Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Post-Hiatus & Elizabeth Edward RIP + Prizes (United States of Artist & Turner Prize)

It's been eons, but I fell down the rabbit hole of classes, committee work, and boom! it was already December. Now, classes are over, all my students have submitted their final papers or revised story or novel drafts (yay!), and I almost have a bit of breathing room. There's still committee work, and final grading, but I am greatly looking forward to the tiny break before classes resume the first week of January. (We are on quarters, which are bruuuu-tal!)

So much has transpired I'm not even going to try to cover all the ground between my last post and this one, so I will be posting some photos of events (readings, musical events, etc.) that I attended, with minimal commentary, and, in a subsequent post, a short note about a superb event I participated in this past weekend, one of the best things I've been a part of since, well, last December, when C and I went to Caltagirone, Italy.  This was in the C city where I spend a good deal of my waking life, Chicago, but it was almost like being in a magical place. But I'll say more in my next post.

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I did want to note the passing of Elizabeth Anania Edwards (1939-2010, at right, Reuters), a lawyer, author, wife, mother, and politically engaged citizen.  Elizabeth Edwards, who died of a recurrence of breast cancer, is best known for her support her husband John Edwards' campaigns for the Presidency and Vice Presidency, but both in 2004 and especially in the 2008 campaigns, she emerged as powerful public figure in her own right.  Edwards demonstrated tremendous poise, courage and resilience in the media spotlight, both after announcing that her cancer her returned and her husband's public disgrace, just as she did in her final days. RIP.

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Congratulations to Martín Espada, Greg Tate, Glenn Ligon, Renée Green, Mel Chin, Siah Armajani, Doug Wright, Danny Hoch, and all the other artists who received 2010 United States of Artists fellowships!

Also, today the Tate Britain announced the winner of the 2010 Turner Prize in Art. It went to Susan Philipsz, for an acoustic installation entitled "Lowlands Away," which was first mounted on three bridges in Glasgow, and then as part of the finalists' exhibit at the Tate Modern.  Previous winners have included Gilbert & George, Anish Kapoor, Rachel Whiteread, Antony Gormley, Chris Ofili, Steve McQueen, and the infamous paragon of the Young British Artists, Damien Hirst.

I must admit that I was pulling for the exciting theory-and-cinema-focused Otolith Group, one of whose founding members is the extraordinarily brilliant artist and scholar Kodwo Eshun. There time will certainly come.  Simultaneous with last night's Turner Prize ceremony at Tate Modern, art students and their supporters protesting the new Tory-Liberal Democratic coalition government's proposed cuts in education and arts funding occupied one of the museum's gallery and also picketed the event. Turner Prize ceremony attendees, it's good to note, in the main supported the protesters.

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