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Congratulations, Trisha Brown – 2011 Gish Prize winner

Established in 1994, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize is given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” Named after the silent film actresses, who left most of their estates to the arts, the $300,000 Gish […]

Brown performing at the Walker in 2008 as part of the exhibition "So That the Audience Does Not Know Whether I Have Stopped Dancing"

Established in 1994, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize is given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” Named after the silent film actresses, who left most of their estates to the arts, the $300,000 Gish Prize is one of the largest in the arts and is meant to honor groundbreaking figures in all disciplines.

Receiving it in its 18th year, Brown joins a formidable and eclectic roster of artists — see below — many of whom, like Brown, have had lengthy associations with the Walker. Bill T. Jones, for instance, performed an open rehearsal with his company just last night; and the 10-day festival The Next Stage: Merce Cunningham at the Walker Art Center unfolds starting in late October.

In 2008, the Walker presented an exhibition of Brown’s drawings and other artworks integrating the performing and visual arts, along with several performances of her early work, in Trisha Brown: So That the Audience Does Not Know Whether I Have Stopped Dancing.

Congratulations to Ms. Brown on this latest honor in recognizing her work and its influence. More about the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize here.

Past Recipients of the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize
Frank Gehry, architect, 1994
Ingmar Bergman, film director, 1995
Robert Wilson, artist and director, 1996
Bob Dylan, singer/songwriter, 1997
Isabel Allende, author, 1998
Arthur Miller, author and playwright, 1999
Merce Cunningham, dancer and choreographer, 2000
Jennifer Tipton, lighting director, 2001
Lloyd Richards, theater director, 2002
Bill T. Jones, dancer and choreographer, 2003
Ornette Coleman, jazz innovator, 2004
Peter Sellars, theater, opera and festival director, 2005
Shirin Neshat, film maker, 2006
Laurie Anderson, artist, 2007
Robert Redford, actor, 2008
Pete Seeger, singer/songwriter, 2009
Chinua Achebe, author, 2010

 

Children should be seen

A friend just send me this post from artfagcity, on images of babies in contemporary art – something we’re both interested in, being moms of toddlers ourselves. (I’d say we’re obsessed, but being moms of toddlers leaves scant time for obsessing about anything except the toddlers.) AFC’s Paddy Johnson also includes a link to this […]

//www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk)

Marlene Dumas, Die Babe (from http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk)

A friend just send me this post from artfagcity, on images of babies in contemporary art – something we’re both interested in, being moms of toddlers ourselves. (I’d say we’re obsessed, but being moms of toddlers leaves scant time for obsessing about anything except the toddlers.) AFC’s Paddy Johnson also includes a link to this essay on motherhood and contemporary artists, from The Brooklyn Rail. While reading it, I recalled watching the uptick in strollers on the streets of Williamsburg (Brooklyn) a few years back – but at the time I wasn’t considering that many of those pushing the strollers might be working artists … Then again, isn’t Williamsburg now too expensive for working artists, with or without offspring? Circling back to artfagcity, an artistic comment on both topics.

PS – Margaret, a working artist and mom-of-toddlers and a regular here on the Walker blogs, has a number of thoughtful posts on art and parenthood.

One Thing and Another in 2007, a top ten from Steve Dietz

I asked Steve Dietz, Artistic Director of ZERO1 and former Walker New Media Curator if he would prepare a top ten list for our roundup. Steve is busy these days, but he managed to indulge and put together a list, if a little late. Thanks, Steve. — Ed. I’ve never really understood Top Ten or […]

I asked Steve Dietz, Artistic Director of ZERO1 and former Walker New Media Curator if he would prepare a top ten list for our roundup. Steve is busy these days, but he managed to indulge and put together a list, if a little late. Thanks, Steve. — Ed.

I’ve never really understood Top Ten or “Best of” lists. Can’t we all just get along? Probably it’s just some kind of Walter Mondale self-loathing gene, but really, who cares if yet another person does – or doesn’t – think Matthew Barney is the greatest living vaseline artist of his generation from Boise? Nevertheless, here is my list of 10 or more of one thing and another in 2007.

Not Exactly Disappointing

Doug Aitken, SleepwalkersDocumenta was disappointing, but Doug Aitken’s Sleepwalkers at the Museum of Modern Art was something else. I went to New York just to see this gargantuan “urban screens” nighttime projection on the museum’s exterior, and I’m glad I did. It was a thrill to have a different kind of content so close, from a Midwestern perspective, to Times Square. In the end, however, the experiment was too hermetic. And not just the content. The context still felt like we were on the outside looking in. The engagement with the city was on the order of scale alone.

Germaine Koh, JournalCompare Sleepwalkers with a project like Germaine Koh’s Journal. For a month she wrote a 40-word daily diary, which was displayed on a large LED ticker sign in downtown Cleveland:

13 July. Lunch with Mom and B. Date with IV really nice: dinner at Bishop’s (so expensive!) then drank port on beach. Good talking. He made me CDs for road trip. I was not too nervous.

The telegraphic tidbits chased the latest quotes from Dow Jones and the interpenetration of public and private information on such a grand scale created a certain disruptive intimacy for the urban flaneur along Euclid Avenue. [Self-exposure: I curated the Koh project for the Cleveland Ingenuityfest.]

I Wish I’d Been There

Faust @ Futuresonic, Manchester, May 2007There was a continuing glut of historical reenactments in 2007, but a couple of straight-forward re-presentations made me understand better – and regret – what I missed at the time. A performance by the 70s “inventors of Krautrock” Faust at Futuresonic in Manchester brought on a hitherto unknown nostalgia for power sawing a hanging sheet of metal in a shower of sparks.

Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, Hole in SpaceA simple installation in the exhibition Outside the Box of Kit Galloway’s and Sherrie Rabinowitz’s seminal 1980 transcontinental Hole In Space put the lie to the idea that their project is commonplace now with video cell phones and networked urban screens. Size does matter and their genious was to make it life size, neither screen-sized nor super-sized. Now I know why I keep describing this piece as seminal.

The Power to Continue to Surprise

Jim Campbell, Home MovieWith some artists, even though their work has a signature familiarity, it seldom feels exploitatively repetitive. Jim Campbell’s San Francisco gallery exhibition of Home Movies displayed on hanging strips of LEDs like an electronic beaded curtain were palimpsests of memories, barely visible but distinctly readable, which were someone else’s but could have been yours.

Jennifer + Kevin McCoy, The Constant WorldJennifer + Kevin McCoy’s installation, The Constant World, which inaugurated the new gallery spaces at the British Film Institute is in one way, I suppose, a move from Godard’s Week End to Alpahville in terms of narrative, but it is also monumentally beautiful, perhaps especially among the Brutalist architecture of London’s South Bank.

Goaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!

Speaking of historical reenactments, Gerard Byrne’s 1984 and Beyond was just about the best thing at the Venice Biennial. He filmed Dutch actors disucssing the future from the vantage point of the past based on a 1963 series of interviews in Playboy magazine with 12 leading science fiction authors, including Arthur C. Clark, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Robert Heinlein. Set in the Rietveld Pavilion at the Kroller-Muller Sculpture Garden, the venues are as retro future as the conversation without ever becoming cartoony. It’s a beautiful work.

A new work, Blue Hawaii, commissioned for Janet Cardiff and George Burns Miller’s The Killing Machine and Other Stories in Darmstadt was remarkable for allowing visitors to wander alone around an unlit flooded basement of the building, but it is perhaps the least successful of a stunning retrospective exhibition. From the opening room with its eponymous killing machine – a fearsome dentist chair – to early work such as a semi-autobioraphical slide show where Cardiff and Miller at least bicker if not fight to the sonorous 40 Part Motet to a tragicomic Fitzcarraldo meets Paris, Texas set-narrative, Opera for a Small Room, the exhibition is a masterpiece of exquisitely powerful works.

Performance Art

By the time we had a Parkour chase scene with Daniel Craig’s James Bond in Casino Royale – a high budget imitation of Parkour inventor David Belle’s utterly fresh chase scene in Banlieu 13 – “free running” seemed to have been exhausted by its success, just as the urgency of graffiti art dissipated in the 80s. But the artist group Mongrel, which runs Mediashed in Southend on Sea, worked with the parkour group Methods of Movement to choreograph a “duel,” which was filmed in the Manchester (again) Arndale Shopping Centre using only the existing in-house CCTV network of cameras operated from the central control room. Once you get over the sheer exhileration of running around a mall at night alone, the performance is a show stopper. The Duellists. Brilliant.

For Fashionably Late for the Relationship, computer artist and musician-composer turned filmmaker R. Luke DuBois collaborated with Lian Amaris Sifuentes to shoot a 72-hour performance of Sifuentes in her boudoir – on a traffic island at Madison Square Park in New York City – getting ready to go out. DuBois has made a databased installation version and a feature film length cut using a time-lapse algorithm that has also allowed him to compress every Academy Award winning film into 1 minute each for Acadamey. Mesmerizing.

Second Life

Perhaps it is because our First Lives are going down the drain of climate change and war mongering that Second Life is so popular, although it is more likely simply a rerun of Web 1.0 faddishness, confusing specific platforms – Second Life – for general principles – virtuality, sociability, play, for instance. Nevertheless, Adam Nash’s Seventeen Unsung Songs located on East of Odyssey are worth listening to, and while I didn’t think Cao Fei’s Second Life installation at Venice was as convincing as her Whose Utopia? at Tate Liverpool and more recently the Walker, her Second Life machinima films iMirror are compelling.

Doh!

Whatever you think of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro’s ICA Boston – and I think it’s amazing – they “solved” the long running battle of the mediatheque. For years now, institutions have overthought and overthought what the space of new media should be like. ICA Boston tilts it on a 45 degree axis and as you look almost straight down into the evanescent waters of Boston harbor, what is meerely an Apple store on its side becomes a compelling experience. Who needs dialog tables with brilliantly simple architectural solutions?

The Materialization of the Virtual

Finally, more and more art formerly known as new media artists – and curators! – are realizing the virtues of the real. Finally. For example, online Thomson + Craighead’s Beacon has always seemed to me little more than a Google hack – sorry Jon and Ali – but when they convert one of those clacking train signs with the letters flipping over till they form a sentence, to read the the latest queries of the collective unconsious feels more like an adventure or a good mystery than self-gratifying voyeurism.

May we all enjoy one thing and another in 2008.

Walker Top Tens of 2007, part three

It’s a little heartwarming, a little geeky, and a little design nerdy, but the final installment of our top tens are here. Sounds like the perfect note to end the series on (until next year). The list of lists: Top 10 things I miss about the Walker, by Paul Schmelzer, guest blogger and former editor […]

It’s a little heartwarming, a little geeky, and a little design nerdy, but the final installment of our top tens are here. Sounds like the perfect note to end the series on (until next year). The list of lists:

Top 10 things I miss about the Walker

Paul Schmelzer, Guest Blogger and Former Editor of Walker Magazine

pssmall.jpgOver nine-plus years as the managing editor of the Walker magazine (and later these blogs), the place was bound to get under my skin. I left in August 2007 to edit the news, but I still think often of friends and fun back at the Walker. Of course, I miss the front-row seats to the amazing exhibitions, lectures, performances and films, but I’ll stick to the less visible. I don’t mean to sound self-serving, but what I miss most is:

The perks.

I hope I’m not revealing trade secrets here, but there’s an awful lot of side benefits to working at the Walker.

10. The all-staff email list. With the mandatory subject prefix “NON-WAC,” Walker all-staff emails can run the gamut from blatant self-promotion (“my band is playing this weekend” or, in my most recent abuse of the system, “my wife’s having an art sale”) to pure gold. Walker staffers have the best rummage sales, used cars, and enticing underground side projects and double lives that get exposed via internal email. And don’t forget the free paint… the half-used buckets of Frida Kahlo Yellow or Heart of Darkness Burgundy, made available to whomever hustles to the loading dock first.

9. Frame Sales. This once- or twice-yearly sale, just for staffers, features old frames freed up after an international touring exhibition closed or a work is deaccessioned. Five to fifty bucks can buy a museum-quality frame, in aluminum, steel, birch or cherry. (I can honestly tell friends — and note the use of ellipsis points here to indicate dramatic pause, “Oh yeah, at home I’ve got a sweet de Kooning…. frame.”)

8. The Shop employee discount, which nicely fed my Moleskine addiction for years.

7. Those sweet public restrooms, dubbed, for their sleek design and white enamel accents, iPotty!

6. The Walker library. Not a staff-only perk, mind you (just call and make an appointment), the Walker’s library houses the biggest collection of artist books in the entire world. Or maybe the upper midwest. (I can’t remember which.) Overseen by the remarkable Rosemary Furtak, it houses hand-bound books, sculptural books and editioned books, plus the best backstock of art magazines and catalogues around. I remember poring through a box of ‘zines, sketches and notes by local great Frank Gaard. He and former WAC director Kathy Halbreich had a correspondence for a time, and each of his typewritten, marginless paeans would begin with the all-caps announcement of the letter’s soundtrack: “LISTENING TO L7 AS I WRITE THIS…”

image1.jpg5. Carp Shop parties. The Walker’s basement dwellers — Program Services, which includes the carpentry shop, frame shop, and photography — throws mind-blowing seasonal parties. If you’ve ever marveled at how the Walker transforms its galleries from show to show, well, these are the guys (and gals) who do it. So, naturally any party of theirs will turn a dusty workshop into something unexpected: a nautical themed “Tropical Love Explosion,” “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” and “Havana Cantina sin Llantas,” which included a ’54 Studebaker (found at a junkyard and sawed in half to fit in the freight elevator) and a Cuban street scene, complete with a clothes line across the street.

kikipumpkin.png4. Pumpkin Carving Contest. These staff contests took the commonplace art of steak-knife-hacked pumpkins to an entirely new level. How might Robert Gober, Huang Yong Ping, Matthew Barney, or Kiki Smith create a pumpkiny Halloween homage? Here’s your answer.

3. The stories. For a writer, a reveler in off-the-beaten path finds, and an art lover, the Walker is Content Paradise. Where else can I say that I’ve interviewed a Swiss guy in a cardboard cave, a taxidermist charged with conserving a fake elephant, a herpetologist overseeing a reptilian panopticon, or a shirtless, gonzo jazz drummer (see “At the Center,” Walker magazine, April 2005 for that story)? I miss being embedded with the most interesting unit around.

peeps.png2. The people. At this point — number two, for cryin’ out loud — I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to all the truly excellent human beings I’ve met through the Walker, past and present. Good friends, passionate co-workers and stellar intellects like Witt and Justin and Kemi and Adrienne and Doug and Kate and Emmet and Doryun and Peter and Megan and Max and SP and Yasmil and Dean and Aimee and Francesca and the other Max and Emily and Philip and Masami and Cameron and… Well, you get the idea.

piratenate.png1. Nate‘s beard.

Top 10 tech of 2007

Robin Dowden, Director of New Media Initiatives and Justin Heideman, New Media Designer

  • Apple iPhoneEveryone is sick of the hype, but it is actually a pretty nifty device. I’m not a fan of AT&T, but as a true “wireless communicator”, it’s pretty rad. The iPhone’s little brother, the iPod Touch, is also pretty nifty and we have had great success using them for some things around here.
  • XO One Laptop Per ChildHaving seen a prototype at MW2007, I was excited for the release of this. It seems that if if Microsoft and Intel weren’t out to kill it, it could do well. The reviews by people who’ve gotten them seem pretty positive, and the hardware design is impressive.OLPC XO-1
  • Adobe Photoshop CS3CS2 was a rather underwhelming release, aside from Smart Objects. CS3 is faster, more reliable and more polished, probably the best release of Photoshop since 5.5’s addition of the Save for Web… function. It’s smart about knowing how to work on small screens, too, which is great for laptop users.
  • LeopardThere are many things to like about OS X 10.5. For me, it was probably the smoothest upgrade I’ve ever done. And Time Machine has already saved my computer once, which makes it worth every cent. But the thing that I’m most excited by, and haven’t used that much yet is Quartz Composer. QC got vastly expanded capabilities and can now automagically work on multiple machines across the network. How cool.
  • GmailOK, gmail didn’t come out in 2007, but it’s support of IMAP did. Imap support moves gmail from a nicer-than-the-rest webmail to an actual useful email system. So now you can use gmail with your iPhone. And it’s smart in ways google would make it. For instance, you don’t need to save your sent messages, if you send them through gmail’s SMTP servers, it keeps them for you. Nice.
  • City of Minneapolis Municipal WiFiWhereas many cities seem to be struggling with municipal wireless schemes, Minneapolis is rolling out one that seems to be working well. I myself have been using it as my sole internet connection at home for a few months now, and it’s been very reliable. I’m looking forward to doing some work from the Sculpture Garden this summer. Minneapolis Wifi
  • AJAX/DHTML Javascript Libraries and FirebugIt seems that 2007 is when the libraries came into their own and got pretty feature complete. You have your choice of MooTools (my library of choice), JQuery, Prototype, GWT, YUI, Dojo, etc, etc. I can’t see making a website without a js library. And combining a JS library of your choice with Firebug and Firefox, it’s like you have a command line for websites.
  • WordPressWordPress has been around for a while, but 2007 saw the releases of version 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, which together added some pretty impressive features. We love wordpress, so this would be hard to leave off the list.
  • Yahoo PipesBeyond the slick interface, when Pipes was released, it didn’t seem all that interesting or useful. Over time, though, it has proven rather useful. I see pipes as a quick little mashup prototyping tool.Yahoo Pipes
  • Digital Wireless Oven/BBQ ThermometersSeemingly simple, but awfully utilitarian. Let’s say you like to cook, but you don’t like waiting around for things to cook. This little guy is great. Put it in your meat, and it goes off when it’s the right temp. Genius!

My 10 Favorite Pantone Colors That I Used in 2007

Ryan Nelson, Design Fellow

  1. 805.jpg 805 U — A fluorescent red/orange that will blind you.
  2. 032.jpg Red 032 U — The quintessential red.
  3. black6.jpg Black 6 U — It’s so dark!
  4. hexagreen.jpg Hexachrome Green U — It’s vibrant and awesome.
  5. warmred.jpg Warm Red U — It really is warm.
  6. 122.jpg 122 U — The same yellow you used for finger painting in 1st grade.
  7. violet.jpg Violet U — I think I like this color because violet light bends the most when dispersed by a prism.
  8. 3385.jpg 3385 U — A positively kitsch, but amazing seafoam-green color.
  9. 871.jpg 871 U — It’s gold. What’s not to love?
  10. 803.jpg 803 U — It reminds me of the sun.

Walker Top Tens of 2007, part two

Part two of our top tens brings exhibitions seen, cities visited, movies watched, type set and music listened to: Top Ten Things I saw/heard/read, 2007, by Doryun Chong, Visual Arts Assistant Curator Top Ten Films of 2007 and Top Three Best New Old Films, by Joe Beres, Film/Video Assistant Top Nine Fonts of 2007, by […]

Part two of our top tens brings exhibitions seen, cities visited, movies watched, type set and music listened to:

Moment of confession: I asked the designers to come up with a list of the best book or magazine covers of 2007, but gave them an out to do something else if they didn’t like that idea. Well, designers love an out, and we get a few eclectic (but fun) lists instead. More of that tomorrow.

Top Ten Things I saw/heard/read, 2007

Doryun Chong, Visual Arts Assistant Curator

  1. documenta 12

    Even with the proliferation of contemporary art biennales all over the world all the time, this last summer’s back-to-back opening of the Venice Biennale (every two years), the documenta (every five years), and the Munster Sculpture Project (every ten years) was a rare occurrence that was the contemporary art world’s equivalent to the planetary alignment. I didn’t go to all of them but made my own pilgrimage to see the latter two, being especially interested in seeing my second documenta. Directed and curated by the Austrian team (professional and in marriage) of Roger Buergel and Ruth Noack, the sprawling exhibition of over 100 artists was presented in five venues around Kassel, Germany. There was no title or theme, nor was its conceptual shape clearly discernible (the first sentence of the curators’ foreword in the catalogue read, “ The big exhibition has no form.” I’m still not sure if this should be maddeningly frustrating or perversely comforting). The visitors at the opening, deeming the exhibition intentionally obscurantist, self-indulgent, and even arrogant, responded with reactions that ranged from confused fascination to eye-rolling dismissal to outright hostility. Reviews have been, in general, on the negative side (one notable exception being the New York Times). I still don’t know what to think of it, but sometimes you just have to focus on individual moments that mattered for you, such as: Trisha Brown’s amazing installation/performance “ Floor of the Forest” and works by some of the most important Eastern European conceptualists–e.g., Ion Grigorescu, Zofia Kulik, Sanja Ivekovic, Jiri Kovanda–little known and shown in this part of the world.

  2. The Road and Year of Magical Thinking

    In a year when I seemed to have given up on reading for pleasure and self-betterment, I did finally manage to read–on the way to and from Kassel–two of the bleakest and most beautiful books by American writers in recent years. Whatever consternation I felt with the exhibition and its refusal of generosity I felt was much assuaged by the devastation and redemption in Cormac McCarthy and Joan Didion’s words.

  3. Istanbul Mosque Huang Yong Ping sculpture in Istanbul10th Istanbul Biennial: “ Not Only Possible, But Also Necessary: Optimism in the age of Global War”

    An anti-documenta, one might say: it was clearly done with a fraction of the German extravaganza’s budget and without its efficient organizational machine, and the chaotic but considered mess that often characterizes the style of its curator, Hou Hanru provided an exuberant experience. Unfolding inside a giant seaside depot and in a crumbling modernist mall, among other venues, the show was filled with a lot of documentary-inspired video works telling viewers about the world we live in but often know very little about. It was a nice conversational partner–for me personally–to the Walker’s exhibition Brave New Worlds. And if nothing else, Kassel’s no match for Istanbul, a truly magical city.

  4. Tetsumi Kudo @ la maison rouge and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster @ ARC

    Two great exhibitions in Paris this spring. First, the incredible survey of the work of the late Japanese artist at a small private foundation revealed an alternately gorgeous, grotesque, quirky, and sublime world of images and ideas (the Walker’s own retrospective of the artist’s work is coming this fall). It was a very nice contrast to the Rio de Janeiro-based French artist’s thoughtful installation of a series of atmospheric, synesthetic environments.

  5. The New MuseumThe new New Museum

    The first museum to be built in downtown New York is a knock-out–a kind of stacked bento box in shimmering aluminum claddings (I can’t help but be reminded of our own silver cube), designed by the Tokyo-based firm, SANAA. The inaugural exhibition “ Unmonumental”–a group show of sculptures that will continue to metamorphose by adding collages and sound works during its run–astutely tapped into the zeitgeist and just plain looked great. New York suddenly seemed exciting and dynamic!

  6. Koolhaas CCTV Building in Bejing Bejing Olympic StadiumBeijing, circa 2007

    Despite the supposed governmental programs for curtailing pollution and beautifying the city in general, the city seemed far from its target, with the Olympics less than a year to go. Nevertheless, there’s probably no other place like it on earth. Seeing the Herzog and de Meuron’s “ bird nest” main stadium, and Koolhaas’s CCTV headquarter building under construction was a truly mesmerizing experience.

  7. Walid Raad + Janine di Giovanni

    If I may toot my own horn: we brought the New York-based artist and the celebrated Paris-based American (former) war correspondent to speak as part of the related programs for Brave New Worlds. Raad enraptured the audience with a lecture about the recent history of Lebanon, which wove in and out of fact and fiction, while di Giovanni’s straightforward telling of some of the horrors she witnessed in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Sierra Leone left the audience completely awestruck–I think everyone was brought to tears at some point that evening. You can watch them on the Walker Channel, here and here .

  8. The Hall of Human Origins, American Museum of Natural History, NY

    A gesamtkunstwerk (“ total work of art”) in itself, this installation of dioramas and diagrams was supremely informative and visually fascinating, totally high-tech and at the same time, vaguely anachronistic. What would Mike Huckabee think of this?

  9. G. F. Handel’s Giulio Cesare (1724) and Alcina (1735)

    In the year when my musical taste went totally south–or rather, backwards, in time, all the way to the 18th century–I obsessively listened to the two opera serias by Handel. Perhaps it’s the comfort of time-worn narratives of love and heartbreak, chivalry and treachery, magic and sorcery. Or it’s just that Handel wrote some of the most transcendent melodies. There are great recent recordings/performances of the former at the Glyndebourne Festival, U.K., and the latter, with Renee Fleming and Susan Graham in Paris. Go to Youtube and search them.

  10. “ Talented Ms. Shin Jeong-ah”

    This was also the year of women on the verge of breakdowns… in public–i.e., Britney, Lindsay, and Paris. But the best story of the year for me was about a certain South Korean curator/professor of art history, who was disgraced when her academic and professional credentials (an alleged Ph.D. from Yale, etc. etc.) turned out to be fraudulent. She was fired from her positions (including a co-directorship of the Gwangju Biennale), but the story didn’t end there. It began to spread like a wildfire, leading to massive coming-outs of scared cultural celebrities and social notables about their faked or padded degrees, and then, incredibly, it was revealed that she had an illicit ongoing affair with a governmental higher-up. Where else in the world can a lowly art curator rock a whole country and society?

Top Ten Films of 2007

Joe Beres, Film/Video Assistant

  1. Sunshine (Danny Boyle)
  2. Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno)

  3. Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg)
  4. I’m Not There (Todd Haynes)
  5. Inland Empire (David Lynch)
  6. The Life of Reilly (Barry Polterman and Frank Anderson)
  7. Juno (Jason Reitman)

  8. Control (Anton Corbijn)
  9. Day Night Day Night (Julia Loktev)

  10. Knocked Up (Judd Apatow)

Top Three Best New Old Films

  1. Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett)
  2. The Holy Mountain (Alejandro Jodorowsky)
  3. Blade Runner: The Final Cut (Ridley Scott)

Top Nine Fonts of 2007

Emmet Byrne, Designer

  1. Optima

    Optima

  2. ITC Toms Roman

    ITC Toms Roman

  3. Greta Mono (for Dwell)

    Greta Mono

    This typeface can be found in Dwell Magazine, and the above sample is scanned from page 34 of the February 2008 issue.

  4. Courier Sans

    Courier Sans

  5. Christiana

    Christiana

  6. Futura Black

    Futura Black

  7. Maple
  8. ITC Grouch

    ITC Grouch

  9. Coranto

    Coranto

Emmet adds that this is the REAL list of top ten fonts of 2007.

Top ten most frequently played MP3’s while working at the Walker in 2007

Vance Wellenstein, Design Fellow

  • Drastik: Drastik Pleasures
  • Feist: The Park
  • Bat for Lashes: The Wizard
  • Cut Copy: Hearts on Fire (DSTAR edit)
  • Cadillac Blindside: Empty Bottle Evening
  • Eddie Money: Take Me Home Tonight
  • New Young Pony Club: The Get Go
  • Lo-Fi-FNK: Steppin’ Out
  • Snowden: Anti-Anti
  • Born Against: Mary and Child

Walker Top Tens of 2007, part one

The threshold has been crossed into a new year. Walker staffers and a a few guests have had some time to mull over the notables and compile some handy lists. This is the first in a series of three posts. Get ready to contemplate lots of local and not-so-local art, design, technology and film, as […]

05-015-64a.jpg The threshold has been crossed into a new year. Walker staffers and a a few guests have had some time to mull over the notables and compile some handy lists. This is the first in a series of three posts. Get ready to contemplate lots of local and not-so-local art, design, technology and film, as well as good old fashioned lunchtime internet entertainment. Here’s a list of the lists for installment one:

No teasers about tomorrow other than to boast that it’ll be good.

Here and There: Minnesota Design and Architecture Highlights for 2007

Andrew Blauvelt, Design Director and Curator

Benedicta Arts Center at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota Any year-end list is bound to be a subjective exercise in remembrance, no matter how faulty, so with that caveat in mind, here are my highlights. Somewhat overshadowed by the hoopla surrounding some major Minneapolis cultural buildings that opened in 2006, the Benedicta Arts Center at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, opened in the fall of 2006 but seemed to get lost in the shuffle (or in my mind, at least), so it is for 2007. HGA, the architects of the note-worthy 1960’s original, were asked to expand the facility. Riffing on the color scheme of the original’s brick faade, architects Tim Carl and Jamie Milne-Rojek, mimic those hues but in anodized aluminum panels.

There’s context and continuity in the final design but also freshness and variety–a lesson that should be applied to many academic campuses, but typically isn’t. But it was a good year for academic campus additions in this list, at least. Vince James Associates Architects’ (VJAA) Petters Pavilion at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, was a sensitive, but not slavish, expansion of the Marcel Breuer-designed campus. VJAA also completed the Lavin-Bernick Center for Student Life at Tulane University in New Orleans this year, an innovative take on the dynamics of climate, behavior, and program. I suppose the project was technically a rehab, although the results are much more transformation than renovation.

Speaking of out-of-state rehabs, MS&R (of Mill City Museum fame) reached beyond Minnesota to showcase their particular talent for adaptive reuse of historic sites, converting spaces at the old Navy Yard in Philadelphia for Urban Outfitters new offices.

Gold Medal Park, Minneapolis Gold Medal Park next door to the Guthrie Theater opened in the spring, adding a refreshing and unexpected formality to the Minneapolis park system (not to mention some nicely designed lights and benches–Minneapolis, just say no to ersatz Victoriana) as well as much needed green space to the Riverfront area. The park’s focal point, a thirty-two foot high mound, affords some great views of the area and functionally serves to cap some contaminated soil from the area’s industrial past. As Tom Oslund, landscape architect for the project, put it, “ we tore down a parking lot and put up paradise.”

Further north, Duluth-based architect David Salmela captured an AIA award for the Clure Project, a collection of three houses (including his own) overlooking Lake Superior. Just getting your neighbors to agree on anything would be an achievement in and of itself, let alone a modernist enclave.

I finally finished my own modernist enclave in South Minneapolis: “ chez concret,” as my partner calls it, but officially dubbed the B&W House by Julie Snow Architects.

This year’s theme of local design in absentia continues with Process Type Foundry’s release of Seravek, a new typeface family by Eric Olson, who operates his business virtually but was otherwise physically located in Redding, England by way of Deerwood, Minnesota.

The locally based but globally produced Blu Dot Design ventured into upholstered furniture and significantly expanded their collection of modern furnishings. Particularly note-worthy are the Sprout table series, with its tripartite, open, tubular, metal legs with peek-a-boo color inside, and the Animal sofa, available in small and big, with a metal x-shaped base and contrast color-stitched tufting.

Speaking of animals, Jeff Koons’ smiling monkey design makes an appearance on a beach towel, but not just any piece of terry cloth. Target partnered with the Art Production Fund and several artists (Koons, Cindy Sherman, Elizabeth Peyton, and Kehinde Wiley) to produce the collection of towels–just in time for December’s Art Basel Miami Beach crowd, but available to all beachcombers via on-line purchase. (Ed. note: The towels don’t seem to be available on target.com anymore, but can be found here.)

And finally, photographer Alec Soth created this year’s Fashion Magazine–an unlikely mix of Parisian fashionistas and Minnesota Nice. For Soth, Paris Minnesota does not capture its subjects as much as it “ explores the distance between those two places.” Part here, part there.

The Top 10 Video Games of ’07

Brent Gustafson, Senior New Media Designer

10. Contra 4 (DS)

The original game made the “Konami Code” famous, but you will have so such luck with it in this game. Contra 4 is a throwback to the original, only it’s intended for the hardest of the hardcore. Most players will never get past the first level, it’s that menacing.

9. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (360)

The best multiplayer puzzle game ever made is now in HD and rebalanced. You can now play as someone besides Ken or Donovan and actually have a chance to win! Oh, and no more “diamond trick” cheese either.

8. Knytt Stories (PC)

Perhaps the exact opposite of Contra 4, Knytt Stories is the zen master of platforming. More about exploration and abience than action, it’s a minimalist indie game that makes you rethink what being a platformer means.

7. Crackdown (360)

It’s Grand Theft Auto, only you get to play as the cops…and it’s better. Perhaps the best “sandbox” game to date, Crackdown lets you do just about anything. Did I mention you get superhuman powers to fight the bad guys? Only your imagination is the limitation here.

Desktop Tower Defense6. Desktop Tower Defense (PC/Mac)

The classic game of Tower Defense, with some new twists. Don’t let the fact that it takes place on a work desk fool you. You can’t play this at work, it’s simply too addictive, especially since it’s a free flash game.

5. Jeanne D’Arc (PSP)

A fictionalized anime retelling of the story of Joan of Arc as a Strategy Role Playing Game. One of the better SRPG’s to come out in a long time, with a lot of polish. But we should expect as much from the team that brought us Professor Layton and soon, Dragon Quest IX.

4. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (PC/Mac)

There’s a reason 9 million+ people play WoW. The Burning Crusade is the first expansion to the biggest Massively Multiplayer Online game ever created and it lived up to the hype. Now I just need to figure out how I’m going to get 5000 gold for my epic flying mount.

3. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii)

The third and final installment to the trilogy whose first game is one of the best ever made and then took a nosedive in the second installment, Metroid Prime 3 lives up to the original’s quality. It also reinvents how we will play and interact in First Person Shooters for years to come.

2. Rock Band (360/PS3/PS2)

Guitar Hero was just guitars. Rock Band is guitar, bass, drums, and singing together with three of your friends. Made by the guys at Harmonix who brought you the first two Guitar Hero’s, Rock Band is the pinacle of the genre, and perhaps the best party game ever made.

1. Portal (PC/360/PS3)

Portal Screenshot Part of the Orange Box (which also includes Half Life 2 and Team Fortress 2), Portal is not just the best game of the year, it’s the best game of the year by a mile. In an industry that doesn’t find truly new genres very often, it creates the First Person Puzzler, with its ingeniously simple use of portals that connect disparate locations to amazing effect. With some of the most outstanding (and hilarious) voiceover work ever in a game, and a wonderful finale, Portal has no equal.

Top Ten YouTube Videos of 2007

Marty Marosi, WACTAC member

The Walker’s Ten Top Tens

A little of the local, a little of the global, from grungecore to visionary art, DVDs to old-time blues, art shows to Garrison Keillor’s (possibly) most incriminating moment, when you ask Walker friends and staff to come up with their top-10 lists for the year 2006, they deliver. In relieved farewell to the year that […]

05-015-64a.jpgA little of the local, a little of the global, from grungecore to visionary art, DVDs to old-time blues, art shows to Garrison Keillor’s (possibly) most incriminating moment, when you ask Walker friends and staff to come up with their top-10 lists for the year 2006, they deliver.

In relieved farewell to the year that was, we invited a few guests to share their favorites.

Thanks to them for taking time to share their thoughts, and to you for stopping by to read us the last 12 months.

Contents:

Top Ten Concerts of 2006 by Walker Film/Video assistant Joe Beres

Ten Best Dance Performances of 2006 by choreographer/dancer Penelope Freeh

Best of Everything by painter Frank Gaard

Top Ten Art Blogs by Modern Art Notes‘ Tyler Green

Best World Music Releases of 2006 by Walker publicist Rachel Joyce

15 Things I Didn’t Realize I’d Miss About Minneapolis (With Only One Slander of Garrison Keillor) by Fimoculous‘ Rex Sorgatz

A Relatively Random List of Things Recalled by Paul Schmelzer

The Five Best Books by Paul Schumacher, book buyer for the Walker Shop

Ten Best DVDs of 2006 by Walker Film/Video intern Kathie Smith

Best of Art and Culture by Alec Soth, photographer

(more…)

Top 10 art crimes

Alas, the FBI’s list doesn’t include LACMA’s destruction of a mural by Barry McGee and the late Margaret Kilgallen in its soon-to-be-razed garage.