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REMOTE | Lucas Debargue ‘Art Isn’t Here To Separate Us’ – Ludwig Van

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Lucas Debargue (Photo: Xiomara Bender)
Lucas Debargue (Photo: Xiomara Bender)

French composer and pianist Lucas Debargue joins us for this mini-episode of REMOTE with a couple words on some of his pandemic-projects, reading list, and the importance of emphasizing our similarities rather than differences.

How have you been coping with this lockdown?

I faced it as a “forced break”, using this opportunity to take time to rest, learn and compose music.

What sort of digital initiatives have you been involved in or planning, in lieu of live performance?

I was invited to play a concert for a series behind closed doors organized by medici.tv : “Rendez-vous à Paris”. The series is shot in the beautiful concert hall of the Fondation Singer-Polignac. I created a special French program for it, half of it being contemporary music.

What are some words of wisdom that’s helped you get through this pandemic?

I read a lot of classic literature! It would be hard to pick one quote from the loads of texts I have read. I always rely on the wisdom of my favorite writers, not only in particularly stressful and unpredictable times like the ones we’re now facing.

Any specific books, films, or TV on the go?

Books: I went back to the 17th century French writers : Racine, La Fontaine, Molière.
Films: Eric Rohmer movies, Pasolini, Orson Welles, Clouzot…

With everything that’s going on in North America in regard to race and #BlackLivesMatter, what are some of the changes you’d like to see in your performing arts community when it comes to racial biases and problems with inclusivity?

I am very attentive to what’s going on, and would be happy to see things change, of course. The most important thing for me when humans work together, is that they can only get stronger by developing their common points rather than their differences. Art isn’t here to separate us, but rather to remind us how much we’re all brothers and sisters.

For more chats with artists in social isolation, read on HERE.

#LUDWIGVAN

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Michael Zarathus-Cook

Michael is a student at the University of Toronto, a music writer and general arts critic on briband.com He has been published in The Wholenote Magazine, Opera Canada, The Dance Current, Schmopera and more.
Michael Zarathus-Cook

Latest posts by Michael Zarathus-Cook (see all)

Michael Zarathus-Cook

Michael is a student at the University of Toronto, a music writer and general arts critic on briband.com He has been published in The Wholenote Magazine, Opera Canada, The Dance Current, Schmopera and more.
Michael Zarathus-Cook

Latest posts by Michael Zarathus-Cook (see all)

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Art Hounds: An audio play about understanding people who disagree politically – Minnesota Public Radio News

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Actor, singer and director Ben Lohrberg is looking forward to hearing the show “Understood” from Trademark Theater. The theater has adapted its 2018 stage play into an audio production, and Lohrberg looks forward to hearing how the COVID-accessible format changes the show. The play takes on the timely topic of how we connect with people with whom we disagree. It follows a young, separated couple who each start relationships with individuals who share very different political views. Written by Tyler Mills and directed by Tyler Michaels King, it’s a show about navigating relationships and finding common ground. The audio play streams from Thursday through Nov. 4. Pricing for digital tickets is pay-what-you-choose.

Photographer Jacinda Davis is planning to visit the Hutchinson Center for the Arts to see the new exhibit “Malaise” by fiber artist Liz Miller and beadwork artist Chris Allen. The title of the show reflects the uncertainty of the times, but Davis says she finds the bright colors of their work energizing. Liz Miller uses knotted ropes to make large sculptures, while Chris Allen’s fine beadwork creates textures on a smaller scale. The show runs through Nov. 13.

Theater artist Ariel Johnson of Burnsville, Minn., loves the work of St Paul singer/songwriter Hannah Bakke, who writes folk and comedy music for mandolin and acoustic guitar. Bakke describes herself as “three shots of espresso with a dash of nutmeg; energetic, sweet and will remain fresh for up to nine months if stored properly.” During the pandemic, Bakke has been performing “little free concerts” outside of people’s homes in the Twin Cities area, which will continue as long as weather permits this fall.

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5 Art Accounts to Follow on Instagram Now – The New York Times

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As the pandemic continues to devastate countries around the world, natural disasters bear down and Election Day draws nearer, I find myself struggling with opposite impulses: I want to keep up with the news, and I want to escape into pleasure and imagination. Instagram offers both. Some accounts help me process current events, others provide aesthetic wonder, and still others manage the two at once. This list covers all the points on that spectrum. Consider it a creative coping mechanism for staying engaged during a trying time.

Many artists who started projects while on lockdown in March have stopped posting about them on Instagram, but Piotr Szyhalski is still going strong with his “Daily Covid-19 “Labor Camp Reports.” (“Labor Camp” is the framework within which Mr. Szyhalski has made art since 1998.) The series consists of black-and-white drawings that use the style and language of propaganda posters to capture the pain and absurdity of the pandemic, with heavy doses of sarcasm and rage at the federal government’s response. Some are direct, like one with a hand pointed at the viewer that implores “You! (Do Something)”; others are more abstract, like a sparse drawing of silhouetted birds above the words “Limitless Melancholy.” Either way, the works are meticulous but piercing, like a carefully released primal scream.

The work of Patience Zalanga, a freelance photojournalist who often covers the Movement for Black Lives, has a gripping, quiet intensity. She tends to forgo the drama of big action for the intimacy of portraits and smaller moments. For instance, a photo of young men inside a ransacked Office Depot seems to hit pause on the scene, as a hooded figure stops to check his phone; through that mundane gesture, Ms. Zalanga creates a feeling of familiarity, even tenderness. There’s also a welcome honesty to her captions, which include a mix of information about the images, personal comments and thoughts on the ethics of documentary photography. Ms. Zalanga, whose work has been featured in The Guardian, Minnesota Public Radio and Time, among other places, and who got her start in Ferguson, Mo., after the killing of Michael Brown, doesn’t pretend to be an all-knowing, objective observer, but lets her followers in on her process and works in community.

If Ms. Zalanga’s images speak to an experience of being Black in the United States, Jamie Lee Curtis Taete’s showcase a culture of whiteness. The Los Angeles–based photographer has an eye for distinctly American forms of consumerism and, and over the past few months he’s brought it to bear on events like pro-Trump rallies and coronavirus lockdown protests. Many of his pictures carry a tension between the ironic distance of the viewer and the subjects’ earnestness, encapsulated by a proudly carried sign or boldly emblazoned T-shirt. In one of my favorites, a yelling blond woman holds an American flag and a poster reading “Give me liberty or give me death,” while standing outside a Baskin Robbins. The intensity of her crusade of victimhood is palpable. As with so many of Mr. Taete’s photographs, I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Part of what I love about the artist Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin’s account is that when I come upon her posts, I don’t necessarily know what I’m looking at. Maybe it’s an almost abstract image of bubbles, or maybe a pair of hands holding dirt, but I’m still wondering: Why this dirt? What’s she doing with it? Such murkiness is appropriate, since Ms. Shin is interested in processes we can’t see, like brewing, fermentation and the cultivation of mold, and how they reflect the complexities of society. It’s a delight to come across one of her photographs and be awed by the extent of the natural, and largely invisible, world. Her captions offer limited explanations — the dirt contained hyphae nuggets, which she brought home to feed — but just as quickly generate new questions, like what are hyphae? (The answer: parts of fungi.)

What does an exhibition look like when it doesn’t comprise objects in a gallery? The pandemic has prompted a variety of answers to this question, from bland online viewing rooms to printable PDF shows. The Flag Art Foundation’s inventive response has been to post “impossible exhibitions” on Instagram. Each one takes the form of a slide show, with a title, curatorial statement and checklist. What makes them “impossible” is that they can include anything available in image form, even if it no longer exists or is physically inaccessible. Eliminating the logistical aspect of curating has freed up people’s imaginations in intriguing ways. The miniature shows are cross-cultural, richly associative and sometimes deeply evocative. The curator Amy Smith-Stewart’s “In this short Life,” for example, is titled after an Emily Dickinson poem and in just nine slides evokes a spiritual sense of the fleetingness of life.

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Embrace Life Council seeks artists for mental health art contest – Nunavut News

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Embrace Life Council is holding a mental health art contest for Nunavummiut aged 5 to 18.

“The aim of it is to create art that we’re hoping will inspire healthy living,” said Nastassja Fraser, a volunteer for the organization. It will also provide children and youth opportunities to explore their creativity while helping others.

The cover from the 2020 Embrace Life Council’s 2020 calendar. photo courtesy of Nastassja Fraser

Children aged 5 to 13 are encouraged to submit drawings or paintings focusing on physical health, while those between 14 to 18 years of age can submit artwork reflecting mental health.

Judges will be evaluating the artwork based on the “artist’s interpretation and ability to visually communicate a message of healthy living,” said Fraser. She added that creativity, technical skill and general craftsmanship will also be evaluated.

The judges are “really just looking for kind of an insightful way of portraying whichever theme it is they choose to address,” explained Fraser.

Twelve winners will be selected: nine from the children category and three from the youth category. The winning artworks will be displayed in the Embrace Life Council’s 2021 calendar.

Winners will be announced on Oct. 16 after the Oct. 10 deadline. Submissions can be mailed or dropped off at the Embrace Life Council in Iqaluit. For more information contact Elisapee Johnston at ejohnston@inuusiq.com or call 867-975-3233 ext. 223.

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