Thursday, May 16, 2013
When the Tate Britain recently revealed the latest rehanging of their astounding collection of British art, many long unseen works found a new place in the galleries, but one long-standing feature was not to be found—explanatory wall text. The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones hails this rehanging as “a radical rethink at Tate Britain that also sees more paintings on its walls, sculptures on its floors and history in its bloodstream than ever before.” Is this rethinking of the role of the explanatory wall text the first step in a rethinking of the role of a museum itself? Would it be a good or a bad thing if museums no longer supplement our direct, naked experience of the art? Should museums stop teaching? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Should Museums Stop Teaching?"
Monday, May 13, 2013
The gun debate in America may have “jumped the shark” with yesterday’s Mother’s Day Parade shooting in New Orleans that left 19 wounded, including two children. When something as universally accepted as the idea of motherhood becomes a shooting gallery, any idea of a debate seems as absurd as Fonzie in leather jacket and bathing trunks riding those water skis over 35 years ago. Reuters ran with the story as their international headline the next morning, as the latest “look at the crazy Americans and their guns” story. But I’ll leave the real jokes to the real comics, who have already made their voice on the issue heard clearly in the short film "Cartoonists Demand Action to End Gun Violence," in which a bevy of big cartooning names try to make a serious point through the funny pages. While interests groups, the media, and even the government have failed to change anything, perhaps cartoonists can make the best case for gun control. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Why Cartoonists Make the Best Case for GunControl."
[Image: Dan Perkins, aka Tom Tomorrow. This Modern World.]
Thursday, May 9, 2013
With all apologies to Neil Young, this is the story of Johnny Rotten, or at least the story of his clothes. PUNK: Chaos to Couture, which opens today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and runs through August 14, argues that Punk rock and its accompanying look didn’t fade away, but rather lingers on in our culture in an important way. Begun as a raised middle finger to the establishment, Punk seems a strange bedfellow for an esteemed institution such as the met or a fancy shmancy terms such as “couture.” Can there be such a thing as Punk couture? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Can There Be Such a Thing as Punk Couture?"
[Image: Sweater by Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969), 1982. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photograph by Peter Lindbergh.]
[Many thanks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for providing me with the image above and other press materials related to PUNK: Chaos to Couture, which runs through May 9 through August 14, 2013.]