Daily Archives: April 22, 2014

Laurie Anderson and Rebecca Stead Together With Others at the Met?

SPARK: A New Conversation Series
Laurie Anderson,
performance artist
Melanie Holcomb, curator in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, MMA
Rebecca Stead, author
SeungJung Kim,art historian, professor at the University of Toronto

We think we can measure time only in minutes and seconds, but artists and musicians can also play with, stretch, and compress it. Our awareness of the expanse of human time is shattered by our understanding of geologic time and the age of the stars. In this program, our sense of time is expanded and upended, as Met curator Melanie Holcomb describes how a whole day is compressed into a few square feet in a medieval frieze; astrophysicist-turned-art historian SeungJung Kim explores the double Greek notions of chronos and kairos; writer Rebecca Stead bends time in her novel When You Reach Me (2009); and performance artist Laurie Anderson meditates on time and space.

The Spark series explores vital ideas and issues through the lens of the Met’s collections. Each cabaret-style program gathers artists, thought leaders, and performers from theater, film, politics, literature, science, and pop culture to engage in wide-ranging, fresh conversations and performances. Spark is hosted by Julie Burstein, author and Peabody Award–winning creator of public radio’s Studio 360.

I don’t know about you, but this event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art next Wednesday, April 30th, looks incredibly cool to me.

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More About Endings, Ambiguous and Others

Endings have always been my Everest. Or, really, if writing a novel is like climbing Everest, then my tendency is to get within eyeshot of the summit and say, “Well, that’s far enough.” In the seventh grade my English teacher had only one rule: Our stories couldn’t end with it all turning out to be a dream. Thanks to me, this rule soon expanded to include everyone dying in a bus crash, an asteroid hitting Earth, etc., etc.

I just finished reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to my 4th graders. When we got to the last few pages  I warned them to be irritated. Why? Because of the horrible ending. Not only does it all turn out to be a dream, but Carroll blathers on in the most twee and sentimental way. So, I’m with that 7th grade English teacher — no ending-with-a-dream.

But that 7th grade teacher’s admonition is only a tiny piece of Kristopher Jasma’s thoughtful NYTimes essay, “The End, or Something.” Jasma looks at many aspects of the struggle and importance of endings including those ambiguous ones and how and what is satisfying and necessary both for the writer and the reader.

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