Weekend

Required Reading

This week, the full story behind the closing of the Marciano Art Foundation, the LA County Museum of Art’s debt issues, colonialism and Parasite, a Hieronymus Bosch parade, and more.

The election fever has been ramping up in the US (and it’s still nine months away) so it seemed a good time to post this image of an election in Japan (circa 1920–25). It’s also my periodic reminder to you that the Library of Congress has a great Flickrstream of public domain images. (via flickr.com/library_of_congress)

Jeffrey Deitch, the art dealer and former director of the L.A. Museum of Contemporary Art, had predicted to the New York Times: “I think this will become one of the most important spaces for contemporary art in the whole country.”

Compare LACMA’s debt as a percentage of its total assets and the numbers grow starker. Debt for Chicago’s Art Institute stands at nearly 19% in comparison to its total assets; Boston’s MFA comes in at 20%. The Whitney Museum of American Art, which completed a new building in Manhattan by Renzo Piano in 2015, currently has a debt ratio of 13%. LACMA’s is nearly 58%.

Joanna Woronkowicz, a professor of nonprofit financial management at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, says that number is high. “Normally you want to get below 40%,” she says. “But interpreting that in context is really important.”

  • Ju-Hyun Park has a fascinating take on colonialism and the movie Parasite, and while there are some small points I might disagree with (such as the reading that ‘Parasite’s setting is rendered an obstacle that must be transcended as a precondition to its recognition.’), the overall arch is very much on target and worth a read:

English is Parasite’s unequivocal language of power, but none of the characters wield it exclusively. The Kims find ways to bend it to their advantage. Ki-woo secures a position for his sister, Ki-jung, by creating a fictional persona for her: “Jessica.” As “Jessica,” an overseas Korean from Chicago, Ki-jung turns the power of English names and language against the Parks. She tells Yeon-gyo that Da-song has “schizophrenia” (a word Yeon-gyo can’t pronounce), and offers her services to unlock the “black box” of his mind. Yeon-gyo accepts “Jessica’s” diagnosis because of an unspecified traumatic incident Da-song experienced the year before, although her faith in “Jessica’s” expertise appears to also be rooted in the credentializing power of English. Dong-ik later exhibits similar susceptibility to the colonial authority of English. When Ki-taek gives him a doctored business card for a fictional company known as “The Care,” Dong-ik decides to use the service to hire a housekeeper to replace Moon-gwang because of the card’s “cool” font and design.

In fact, it is the bowls and dishes and cups I have bought and studied that have shaped my understanding of Japan, and my place in it. I threw a belated housewarming party two months after I arrived, crowding my flat with colleagues, neighbours and new friends. While neighbours brought grapes — in Japan, these tend to be an expensive delicacy — an Australian colleague gave me a ribbed ceramic vase, glazed deep green with an inch of plain clay at the bottom. It came with a story.

Though Jalaiah is very much a suburban kid herself — she lives in a picturesque home on a quiet street outside of Atlanta — she is part of the young, cutting-edge dance community online that more mainstream influencers co-opt.

The Renegade dance followed this exact path. On Sept. 25, 2019, Jalaiah came home from school and asked a friend she had met through Instagram, Kaliyah Davis, 12, if she wanted to create a post together. Jalaiah listened to the beats in the song “Lottery” by the Atlanta rapper K-Camp and then choreographed a difficult sequence to its chorus, incorporating other viral moves like the wave and the whoa.

She filmed herself and posted it, first to Funimate (where she has more than 1,700 followers) and then to her more than 20,000 followers on Instagram (with a side-by-side shot of Kaliyah and her performing it together).

The research, conducted by Greenpeace and released on Tuesday, found that out of 367 recycling recovery facilities surveyed none could process coffee pods, fewer than 15% accepted plastic clamshells – such as those used to package fruit, salad or baked goods – and only a tiny percentage took plates, cups, bags and trays.

… While the report found there is still a strong recycling market for bottles and jugs labeled #1 or #2, such as plastic water bottles and milk containers, the pipeline has bottomed out for many plastics labelled #3-7, which fall into a category dubbed “mixed plastics”. While often marketed by brands as recyclable, these plastics are hard for recyclers to repurpose and are often landfilled, causing confusion for consumers.

  • Fascinating thread about how three ethnic Chinese reporters (one from China, another from Australia, and one from the UK) view the difference in coronavirus-related headlines and how offensive they are:

Bosch is known for his symbolic paintings often tying in gruesome representations of the afterlife and human desire and fear. He is also regarded as one of the earliest genre painters, depicting common people and their everyday experiences. The annual Bosch Parade is described by organizers as “a theatrical and musical art spectacle on water,” drawing thousands of visitors to the southern city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, where Bosch was born and eventually got his name from.

  • We may have a name for the generation that follows Gen Z … get ready for “Generation Alpha“:

The term Generation Alpha is usually credited to Mark McCrindle, a generational researcher in Australia who runs a consulting agency. McCrindle told me that the name originated from an online survey he ran in 2008 that yielded a slew of now-discarded monikers, many of which focused on technology (the “Onliners,” “Generation Surf,” the “Technos”) or gave the next round of humans the burden of undoing the damage done by the last (the “Regeneration,” “Generation Hope,” the “Saviors,” “Generation Y-not”).

  • While the US elections take up all the oxygen in the mediascape, it’s important to remember that there are elections in roughly 70 countries going on this year alone. TheBallot.World has the full info and it’s a great resource to stay aware.
  • Bow down to the cuteness that is an animatronic Baby Yoda:

Required Reading is published every Saturday, and it 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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