Required Reading

This week, Crazy Rich Asians flops at the box office in China, artists are quitting Instagram, an LA mural sparks debate, and more.

Maison du Parc, Canada, by La Shed Architecture. “A sculptural monochrome staircase spans all three levels of this house in Montreal. Its curved handrail is white, while its simple treads are black. A skylight brings light down from above, which filters though gaps between the treads.” (via Dezeen)

Speaking publicly for the first time about the lawsuit, Rowe says her case has far-reaching implications. Her lawsuit will be the first against an orchestra to test Massachusetts’s new equal-pay law, its outcome potentially affecting women across the U.S. workforce who are paid less than their male colleagues.

Meanwhile, Chinese cinema lovers have sharply criticised the film online. According to popular reviews posted on Chinese movie websites mtime and douban, Crazy Rich Asians wasn’t a celebration of Asian culture – it was a demonisation of it.

In the twenty-first century, when our lives are full of distractions and sales pitches, I think poetry is a vitally rehumanizing force, something that can pull our relationship with language away from the vocabulary of the commercial marketplace and back toward the realm of genuine thought and feeling.

  • In Los Angeles, the school district is removing a mural of Ava Gardner from a Koreatown public school. According to the Los Angeles Times, Korean groups have protested against the rays emanating from Gardner’s face, which they say bear resemblance with Japan’s rising sun flag during World War II.

  • Some artists are starting to feel like Instagram isn’t actually good for their art. Drew Zeiba at Vulture gets these artists’ perspectives. Andrea Crespo, who was initially an Instagram fan, says:

“Reward systems in social media were influencing my decisions while art making. I would think about what people would think based off of likes and comments.”

  • Quartz reports that “Perhaps for the first time in Kenya’s history, there’s a movement to investigate the cultural artifacts stolen and kept outside the country’s borders.” The initiative is one of many recent efforts to repatriate objects. Abdi Latif Dahir writes:

Funded by the German cultural institute in Kenya, the program seeks to create a first-of-its-kind inventory of Kenyan artifacts held in public institutions abroad. Once the objects are identified in museums in Germany, UK, and the US, the aim is to get these works to Kenya and feature them in permanent or temporary exhibitions.

  • Over the past three years, there have been 1,457 unclaimed deaths in LA County. A fascinating story on LA Taco reports on a yearly interfaith ceremony that is organized at the designated gravesite:

Each year the county buries hundreds of individuals unclaimed for reasons as varied as the unclaimed individual themselves, according to county officials. Some couldn’t afford the $400 the county charges for cremation and body transportation, while others choose not to claim someone for personal reasons.

For the people who came to the ceremony, the dead were not forgotten.

I’ll be preparing your Required Reading while Editor-in-Chief Hrag Vartanian is on vacation.

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning ET, and is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts, or photo essays worth a second look.

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