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The site isn’t just old, it redefines old: the temple was built 11,500 years ago—a staggering 7,000 years before the Great Pyramid, and more than 6,000 years before Stonehenge first took shape. The ruins are so early that they predate villages, pottery, domesticated animals, and even agriculture—the first embers of civilization. In fact, Schmidt thinks the temple itself, built after the end of the last Ice Age by hunter-gatherers, became that ember—the spark that launched mankind toward farming, urban life, and all that followed.
How important is this find?
Schmidt has uncovered what he thinks is definitive proof that a huge ceremonial site flourished here, a “Rome of the Ice Age,” as he puts it, where hunter-gatherers met to build a complex religious community.
- In the US, “one in 10 of the country’s 100,000 arts organisations are in such financial straits they have been forced to make swingeing cuts or consider closing”
- In France, “While the cultural powerhouses boomed, lesser-known institutions, often outside Paris, had their funding slashed and now see their futures hanging in the balance.”
- In Ireland, “Around 300 artistic companies will have their grants cut this year. Only 10 will see an increase.”
In related news, Artbistro ranks all the U.S. states by their arts funding. The top 10 spenders per capita are:
- District of Columbia – $11 (last year it was $22)
- Minnesota – $5.79
- Hawaii – dollar figure not provided
- Puerto Rico — $3.92 (though they add: “… Puerto Rico is not a state, but we are including it for comparison purposes.”)
- New York — $2.50
Thirteen people say a shotgun-waving police “vice squad” in commando gear raided a members-only dance at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit without cause and “shoved, kicked and hit” the museum’s “bewildered and terrified patrons.”
… officers forcibly detained 130 patrons and seized 40 cars, some of which were not returned.
They say the police did not announce themselves as officers when they stormed the art gallery and ran through the space pointing guns and yelling commands such as “Lie down on the fucking ground!”
In his assessment of the winner, LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne writes:
… the proposed building makes an argument that an American embassy should do more than simply symbolize transparency, which all too often means a facility wrapped in glass but secluded deep inside an impenetrable suburban compound. Instead it aspires to a different and broader set of values, primarily having to do with ecological responsibility and neighborliness within a tight urban fabric.
The design suggests that, rather than standing in for certain American virtues, what a contemporary U.S. embassy should be doing is behavingvirtuously.
I do agree that it is refreshing that American government architecture didn’t resort to the tired “glass wall = transparency” symbolism that became a hallmark of American architecture from last century.
The mayor of Vienna isn’t an idiot so he admitted to Reuters, that “ … he did not approve of the club, but noted that outraged politicians and newspapers were playing into the artist’s hands.” Smart guy.
The exhibition will take place in the famed Secession hall and visitors will have to travel through the sex club to see the art institution’s famous Klimt works? The Secession’s sex club is named Element6 and the whole project is the work of Swiss artist Christoph Buechel. The exhibition ends April 18.
Stay tuned for our commentary about the show in the next few days.