Engaging Eliot: Opening night in Duke Chapel
Engaging Eliot: Paintings by Makoto Fujimura and Bruce Herman
Engaging Eliot: Paintings by Makoto Fujimura and Bruce Herman
From Duke Today:
"Engaging Eliot" is a series of events inspired by T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, a set of poems written during World War II. Visual artists Makoto Fujimura and Bruce Herman were drawn to the poems for their spiritual themes and powerful imagery. They then collaborated on a series of paintings based on the poems. QU4RTETS are the centerpiece of "Engaging Eliot" and will remain on display in the Chapel until Feb. 9.
This spring, Duke's Visiting Artist Program is bringing to campus a rich array of visual artists, diverse in background, subject matter, and technique. There will also be events culminating a two-year series of collaborations between New York-based musicians Wet Ink and Duke graduate students. The goal of the Visiting Artist Program is to support projects that will enrich the life of the university and broader community, augment the curricular efforts of a range of departments and programs, facilitate the interaction of artists and scholars, foster the reputation of Duke University as a place where the arts are vital and diverse, and contribute to the arts as a whole.
Duke University Vice Provost Office for the Arts and the Council for the Arts are pleased to announce the 2011-2012 Visiting Artist Grant awards. The four awards encompass Shakespeare, suspended sculpture, adventurous American music, and an eclectic series of lectures and workshops ranging across the visual arts.
The goal of the Visiting Artist Program is to support projects that will enrich the life of the university and broader community, augment the curricular efforts of a range of departments and programs, facilitate the interaction of artists and scholars, foster the reputation of Duke University as a place where the arts are vital and diverse, and contribute to the arts as a whole.
Musicians from the Chapel Choir, Chorale and Collegium Musicum at Duke and the Choral Society of Durham, conducted by Rodney Wynkoop, will present Claudio Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine in Duke Chapel on Sunday Nov. 21 at 4pm. They'll be joined by Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, a highly regarded ensemble that specializes in the instruments of Monteverdi's day. Tickets are $20 general and $5 for students.
The performance at Duke is one of many around the world marking the 400th anniversary of the publication of this magnificent piece. In it, Monteverdi took the Gregorian chants of the Roman Catholic Vespers — an evening service that features a series of psalms and a hymn — and augmented and amplified them to produce a ninety-minute work that requires seven soloists, a choir that can cover up to ten separate parts, and an ensemble of instruments. Along the way, he proves his mastery of the whole range of compositional techniques of the day, from old-fashioned choral counterpoint to stripped-down vocal stylings from the cutting edge. It's almost like he wanted to leave a historical landmark for us to celebrate every hundred years, and in fact it seems the piece was intended as a showpiece. It wasn't posterity on Monteverdi's mind, though. He was sick of Mantua and wanted a new job. The Vespers of 1610 was published in a volume of sacred music dedicated to Pope Paul V, and the composer even travelled to Rome to present it in person. The effort was in vain, but the Pope's loss is our gain.
The reception area in Duke's Fitzpatrick Center (FCIEMAS).
The white-caped meninges -- Pia (Michele Okoh-Bernis), Dura (Camille Wright), and Arachnoid (Annabelle Meunier).
Hanging out for a while to chat and taste chocolate and champagne makes for a thoroughly stimulating show.
Dura explains that everyone will be taking their shoes off before they enter the brain.
Lingering for a while over the educational material.
Reading material suitable for a show about the brain.
The centerpiece of the brain is the very very busy thalamus (Skylar Gudasz).
Thalamus & Co.
A path of shoes leads from the brain to the classroom/laboratory.
One piece of real estate that's always worth investing in.
For the past few weeks, Duke's Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences (FCIEMAS) has also been a center for art. For Waves of Mu, an installation and performance piece by visiting artist Amy Caron, The Studio became a fanciful interactive walk–
Eight times between Oct. 20 and Oct. 30 audiences of about 50 were relieved of their shoes, ushered into the brain and then down the hall for some dramatic research. Actually the show started as soon as the audience began to arrive. While they waited, white-robed greeters — Dura, Pia, and Arachnoid, named for the meninges — plied them with champaign or cider and chocolate. There was punchy ambient music to listen to, composed by Duke graduate student Paul Leary, and video clips to watch. Brains were busy handling diverse sensory input as people waited to learn about how brains handle sensory input. It wasn't sensory overload, though, since it was also a time to chat and ask questions. In fact, sociability was one of the main themes of the evening.
Dura, Pia, and Arachnoid accompanied the audience into the brain, collecting their shoes in the process. Inside the installation, though, the center of attention was the person sitting at a desk typing, answering the phone, sorting and straightening and generally keeping busy. That was the switchboard of the brain, the thalamus (from the typewriter and the clunky phone, it seems that the brain is stuck in the disco era, technologically speaking). She was apt to hand a slip of paper to whoever was nearby and ask them to take it to some other part of the brain. In spite of the swirl of activity, she was kind enough to answer a few questions.
A futuristic tale of blacks in space and a classic story of a North Carolina slave girl offer varying portrayals of the black experience during "The Theme is Blackness" theater festival next month.
Curated by Duke University faculty and presented by The Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern Nov. 3-13 at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, the festival features two weeks of plays and discussions on the state of theater and race in America.
"We wanted to create a forum where new plays by black playwrights could be showcased outside the month of February," wrote Jay O'Berski, Duke theater studies assistant professor of the practice, in an email message. "Because we have so many incredible black artists in Durham with connections to internationally renowned playwrights working in the U.S., we knew it was time to start something in Durham."
Following his spring 2008 retrospective exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art, Barkley L. Hendricks was in residence at Duke for almost two months in the fall. While he was here he gave several public talks and worked with students in a number of Duke’s art classes as well as students at North Carolina Central University and Durham’s Hillside High School.
He had a lot to say about his best known work, the life-sized portraits that were such a vivid presence on the walls of the Nasher. But the long residency allowed him to talk about his photographs and the landscapes he paints in Jamaica, about his education and his teaching, and about his formative experiences as an artist, not only in the U.S. but in Europe and West Africa as well.
photos: Courtney Reid-Eaton