WBEZ | Art http://www.wbez.org/sections/art Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en China Markets in Freefall http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-31/china-markets-freefall-112535 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/China%20stock%20market%201.jpg" title="A Chinese investor walks past displays of stock information at a brokerage house in Beijing, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Shanghai stocks were volatile Tuesday after falling the most in eight years the day before while other Asian markets also flitted between gains and losses. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)" /><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217229042&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>China Markets Spiraling</strong></span></p><p>China&rsquo;s economy and stock markets have been on a &nbsp;deep decline. Hundreds of billions of dollars have left the country in the last year. &nbsp;The Shanghai Exchange, on Monday, &nbsp;posted its biggest loss since 2007. The markets bounced back slightly this week, after Beijing announced moves to restore confidence, such as buying back stocks, easing fiscal policy and aggressively restricting unethical practices like &ldquo;stock dumping.&rdquo; The regional reverberations have hit hard at countries like Australia, a major exporter to China. Observers warn that if the downward spiral doesn&rsquo;t turnaround soon, China will displace Greece as the world&rsquo;s most dangerous financial crisis. We&rsquo;ll talk about China&rsquo;s economic slowdown with <a href="http://www.eurasiagroup.net/about-eurasia-group/who-is/consonery">Nicholas Consonery</a>, Asia director for <a href="http://www.eurasiagroup.net">Eurasia Group</a>, a &ldquo;global political risk research and consulting firm.&rdquo; He leads the firm&#39;s consulting and advisory work on China.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;Nicholas Consonery,&nbsp;Asia director for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eurasiagroup.net">Eurasia Group</a>, a &ldquo;global political risk research and consulting firm.&rdquo; He leads the firm&#39;s consulting and advisory work on China.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217229789&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:24px;">Milos Stehlik Reviews&nbsp;&ldquo;A Pigeon Sat on a Branch&quot; and &quot;Shaun the Sheep&quot;</span></strong></p><p>Film contributor Milos Stehlik joins us to discuss the latest film from Swedish director Roy Andersson - <a href="http://www.magpictures.com/apigeon/">&ldquo;A Pigeon Sat on a Branch.&rdquo;</a> &nbsp;&nbsp;It&rsquo;s the third film in a trilogy that Andersson says looks at the human condition. The film opens this weekend in Chicago at the Gene Siskel Center. &nbsp;Milos also gives his take on the new animated film, <a href="http://shaunthesheep.com/">&quot;Shaun the Sheep&quot;</a></p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> Milos Stehlik is WBEZ&#39;s film contributor and director of Facets Multimedia<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217230650&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-size:24px;">Weekend Passport</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr">Each week global citizen, Nari Safavi, helps listeners plan their international weekend. &nbsp;This week, he&rsquo;ll tell us about an exhibition of street art from Greece and a play that looks at the role food plays in communities.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-2e91bfd6-e59e-640e-dc4a-c304d3205206">Nari Safavi, co-founder of <a href="http://www.pasfarda.org/">Pasfarda</a> Arts and Cultural Exchange</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-2e91bfd6-e59e-640e-dc4a-c304d3205206">Connie Mourtoupalas, curator of the <a href="https://www.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/">Hellenic National Museum</a> exhibit, &quot;The Street is My Gallery&quot;</span></p></p> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 09:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-31/china-markets-freefall-112535 Obama Visits Kenya http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-24/obama-visits-kenya-112475 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Obama pic 3.jpg" title="U.S. President Barack Obama waves after being greeted by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, right, on his arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya Friday, July 24, 2015. Obama began his first visit to Kenya as U.S. president Friday. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216187008&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false " width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong style="font-size: 24px;">Obama Vists Kenya as President</strong></p><p>President Obama heads to Kenya today. This is the first time he will visit his father&rsquo;s home country since he was elected president. The visit is filled with anticipation. There was discussion of making the visit a national holiday. In the town of Funyula in Busia County, which by borders Siaya County, the home area of President Obama&#39;s late father, the radio station there is calling today &ldquo;Obama Day.&rdquo; We&rsquo;ll check in with Phylis Nasubo Magina who is in Funyula. She&rsquo;s the managing director of The ABCs of Sex Education, where she leads a team of 49 community educators providing sex education and HIV prevention. Ken Opalo, an assistant professor at Georgetown University also joins us to discuss Obama&rsquo;s visit. He&rsquo;s originally from Kenya.</p><p><strong>Guests: </strong></p><p>Phylis Nasubo Magina is the Kenya Country Director of The ABCs of Sex Education</p><p>Ken Opalo Ken Opalo is an assistant professor at Georgetown University&rsquo;s School of Foreign Service and a blogger. He&rsquo;s originally from Kenya.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216187612&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false " width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Weekend Passport:</strong></span></p><p>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. This week he&rsquo;ll tell us about an exhibit on North Korea, the film Hiroshima Mon Amor and Bomba Estereo: Album Release Show</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p>Nari Safavi is co-founder of Pasfarda Arts and Cultural Exchange</p><p>Alice Wielinga is a participating artist in North Korean Perspectives</p><p>Marc Prüst] is curator of North Korean Perspectives<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216188449&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false " width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Milos Stehlik talks with Omar Sy, star of the film &#39;Samba&#39;</strong></span></p><p>Film contributor Milos Stehlik sits down with Omar Sy, star of the new film &ldquo;Samba.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s the latest film by the team that brought us &ldquo;The Intouchables. &#39;Samba&#39; tells the story of an undocumented kitchen worker who&rsquo;s battling deportation. The movie follows his struggles and budding romance with the immigration case worker who&rsquo;s trying to help him stay in France.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p>Omar Sy, French actor and comedian, star of the film &ldquo;Samba&rdquo;</p><p>Milos Stehlik is WBEZ&rsquo;s film contributor and director of Facets Multimedia</p></p> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-24/obama-visits-kenya-112475 Chicago parks have zero statues of women, 48 statues of men http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-21/chicago-parks-have-zero-statues-women-48-statues-men-112436 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/dorothy vikramjam.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Plenty of men are memorialized in stone and bronze in Chicago&rsquo;s parks: Explorer Leif Ericson, president George Washington, former Illinois governor John Peter Altgeld, even Greene Vardiman Black. Not familiar with him? He&rsquo;s the &quot;father of modern dentistry.&quot; Chicago&rsquo;s public spaces do have statues of female figures &mdash; nymphs, goddesses, and Dorothy from <em>The Wizard of Oz</em> to name a few &mdash; but you won&rsquo;t find a single statue or bust of a historically significant woman in any of the city&rsquo;s 580 parks.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s really time to honor more females,&rdquo; said Asya Akca, a University of Chicago political science major who is pushing for a statue of a notable woman on her campus in Hyde Park. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a huge oversight that they&rsquo;re not being honored.&rdquo;</p><p>According to the Chicago Park District, there are no statues of women in our city&rsquo;s parks because the heyday of public figurative sculpture in the United States took place at a time before women had earned the right to vote.&nbsp;</p><p>To rectify that lack of representation, the district has named and renamed more than 40 parks to honor the legacies of notable women over the last 11 years. There are now 66 parks named after women in Chicago, according to the park district. Yet, during that same period, figurative statues and busts of men have continued to be erected around the city.</p><p>In 2004, a tribute featuring several figurative bas-relief sculptures of <a href="http://www.cpdit01.com/resources/planning-and-development.fountains-monuments-and-sculptures/Burnham%20Park/Tribute%20to%20George%20Halas.pdf">George Halas</a>, founder of the Chicago Bears, went up near Gate 15 of Soldier Field in Burnham Park. That same year, Martin Luther King Park on West 76th Street in Auburn Gresham got <a href="http://www.cpdit01.com/resources/planning-and-development.fountains-monuments-and-sculptures/Dr.%20Martin%20Luther%20King%20Park/Dr.%20Martin%20Luther%20King%20Jr.%20Bust.pdf">a bust of the civil rights leader</a>.</p><p>And in 2006, the Park District installed a 9-foot-tall <a href="http://www.cpdit01.com/resources/planning-and-development.fountains-monuments-and-sculptures/Wicker%20Park/Charles%20Gustavus%20Wicker.pdf">bronze statue of Charles Gustavus Wicker</a>, an early Chicago settler and politician, in Wicker Park.</p><p>Chicago is not unique in its lack of statues honoring famous women. As the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/why-the-dearth-of-statues-honoring-women-in-statuary-hall-and-elsewhere/2011/04/11/AFx8lgjD_story.html"><em>Washington Pos</em>t</a> has pointed out, less than eight percent of the public outdoor sculptures of individuals in the United States are of women. Central Park in New York City &mdash; perhaps the most well-known green space in the nation &mdash; has 22 statues of men like Alexander Hamilton, William Shakespeare and Hans Christian Andersen, but none of women.</p><p>&ldquo;When you have a public forum &mdash; Central Park &mdash; where 40 million people visit every year, to have zero real women symbolically represented in a statue, this does not support the concept of equality,&rdquo; said Coline Jenkins, vice president of the <a href="http://www.centralparkwherearethewomen.org/">Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund</a>, a group pushing for statues of those two trailblazing women in New York&rsquo;s signature park.</p><p>By comparison, more than 50 million people visited Chicago in 2014, according to Choose Chicago, the city&rsquo;s not-for-profit tourism arm. And Jenkins said Chicago should highlight its great women in statue form for all to see.</p><p>&ldquo;You have one of the most famous American citizens, and that is Oprah Winfrey. You also have the first female who got the Nobel Prize, Jane Addams. Go for it,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Jenkins is the great-great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the suffragist and women&rsquo;s rights advocate. Her organization has hashed out a preliminary plan with the New York City Parks Department to bring statues of her forbear and Susan B. Anthony to the 77th Street entrance of Central Park.</p><p>It won&rsquo;t be the only statue of a female historical figure in Manhattan. Riverside Park has a statue of Eleanor Roosevelt and another of Joan of Arc.</p><p>Back home, the Chicago Park District says it supports the installation of statues of women in parks, but it has yet to take any steps to make that a reality. Of course, that&rsquo;s not to say no women are honored here.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.cpdit01.com/resources/planning-and-development.fountains-monuments-and-sculptures/Midway%20Plaisance/Cheney-Goode%20Memorial.pdf">Cheney-Goode Memorial</a> was erected in 1932 in the center of the Midway Plaisance on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side. It&rsquo;s dedicated to Flora Sylvester Cheney and Katherine Hancock Goode, two female legislators from the turn of the century. Another example, in Chicago Women&rsquo;s Park and Gardens, honors social worker and activist Jane Addams.</p><p>&ldquo;The Jane Addams Memorial &lsquo;<a href="http://www.cpdit01.com/resources/planning-and-development.fountains-monuments-and-sculptures/Chicago%20Women%27s%20Park%20and%20Garden/Jane%20Addams%20Memorial.pdf">Helping Hands</a>&rsquo; sculpture, done by famous sculptor Louise Bourgeois in 1993, should not be overlooked or minimized just because it&rsquo;s not a figurative sculpture,&rdquo; said a Chicago Park District spokesperson.</p><p>University of Chicago student Asya Akca would like to see more statues and busts of women around the city, and she&rsquo;s pushing for a statue of Marion Talbot, dean of women at the school from 1895 to 1925, somewhere on campus. For the political science major, it&rsquo;s clear what&rsquo;s at stake.</p><p>&ldquo;There is an unmistakable correlation between the lack of female symbols of leadership in our society (i.e. statues, monuments, memorials) and the lack of female representation in leadership positions,&rdquo; she wrote in her piece &ldquo;<a href="http://chicagomaroon.com/2015/03/03/monumental-women/">Monumental Women</a>&rdquo; in the <em>Chicago Maroon</em>. &ldquo;In front of us is a tremendous opportunity to address this broader issue right here, right now.&rdquo;</p><p><em>You can here Morning Shift&rsquo;s interview with Asya Akca of the University of Chicago and Coline Jenkins and Myriam Miedzian of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund by clicking the audio player above.</em><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 13:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-21/chicago-parks-have-zero-statues-women-48-statues-men-112436 Spike Lee defends 'Chiraq' title for movie about Chicago http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/spike-lee-defends-chiraq-title-movie-about-chicago-112029 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/spike.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Filmmaker Spike Lee says people judging his new Chicago movie from afar &ldquo;don&rsquo;t know what the hell they&rsquo;re talking about.&rdquo;</p><p>Controversy has swirled around Lee&rsquo;s film &ldquo;Chiraq,&rdquo; a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA4YUC4GOhQ">slang term</a> for Chicago violence. Flanked by dozens of residents who&rsquo;ve lost loved ones to gun violence, Lee addressed those concerns on Thursday at St. Sabina Catholic Church in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of things have been said about this film by people who know nothing about the film. A lot of people have opinions about the so-called title of the film, again, know nothing about the film,&rdquo; Lee said. &ldquo;People act like they&rsquo;ve never seen none of my films, like I got pulled off the street. I&rsquo;ve been doing this since 1986. In fact, everything I&rsquo;ve done has led up to this film.&rdquo;</p><p>Lee didn&rsquo;t take questions or give details about the film, which reportedly is a <a href="http://www.screendaily.com/im-global-cannes-bound-with-chiraq/5087677.article#.VVCuC8l-vXM.twitter">musical </a>that riffs off of a Greek tragicomedy. While the city is often perceived as the national posterchild for violence, Lee said the story is bigger than Chicago because it&rsquo;s about violence in America.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/04/29/402971445/residents-of-troubled-chicago-neighborhood-wary-of-spike-lee-s-chiraq">Much of the criticism</a> is directed at the name &ldquo;Chiraq,&rdquo; which combines parts of the names Chicago and violence-torn Iraq. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has told the director that it was unfair to the people in the Englewood neighborhood where the film takes place.</p><p>But Lee said that it&#39;s an artist&#39;s job to hold a mirror up to what is happening in the world without fear in order to tell the truth.</p><p>&quot;This is not a joke. This is not a game,&quot; Lee said. &quot;This is real life and death and that&#39;s the way we&#39;re going to approach this.&quot;</p><p>He noted that 14 people were shot overnight in Chicago, and three of them were killed.</p><p>One of the parents standing alongside Lee was Sarah Turner, whose 42-year-old son, Michael, was shot four times in the back in 2013. No one was ever arrested in the killing.</p><p>She said the movie title &quot;Chiraq&quot; was appropriate.</p><p>&quot;Because it is what it is; it&#39;s a war zone,&quot; she said. &quot;You can&#39;t feel comfortable all over and even in your own homes. Every time you turn on the news somebody&#39;s being shot. Babies are being shot right in their own homes.&quot;</p><p>Father Michael Pfleger, the priest of St. Sabina, has been a staunch supporter of Lee and last weekend allowed auditions for movie extras at his parish.</p><p>Actor John Cusack, a Chicago native appearing in the upcoming movie, said art must be courageous.</p><p>&ldquo;There really is no controversy around this film except for a bit of manufactured political controversy. A few people say it&rsquo;s controversial and then the press repeats it. But controversial to whom?&rdquo; Cusack said. &ldquo;I am 100 percent sure that the great city of Chicago can survive a film of conscience just as it did <em>Transformers</em>. I love my city Chicago and would never do anything to hurt it.&rdquo;</p><p>Lee recalled receiving similar criticism in 1989 when he released <em>Do the Right Thing </em>about race in urban America.</p><p>&ldquo;There were people who said this film would cause riots all across America. And black people are going run amok. People wrote that this film would stop David Dinkins from being the first African-American mayor of New York. But those people ended up on the wrong side of history,&rdquo; Lee said.</p><p>He thinks the same thing will happen with his latest film set in Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;They are going to look stupid and be on the wrong side of history. We&rsquo;re here for peace,&rdquo; Lee said.</p><p>Filming is expected to begin this month.</p><p><em>The Associated Press contributed to this report.</em></p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s South Side Bureau reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a>.&nbsp;Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p></p> Thu, 14 May 2015 13:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/spike-lee-defends-chiraq-title-movie-about-chicago-112029 Orson Welles Centennial Festival http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-08/orson-welles-centennial-festival-112006 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" centenary="" class="image-original_image" orson="" span="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Orson%20Wells%20Color%20Old%20620.jpg" title="Portrait of actor and movie director Orson Welles during a press conference in Paris, Feb. 22, 1982. M. Welles is in France to receive the “Legion of Honor”, highest French distinction. (AP Photo/Jacques Langevin)" welles="" /><p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204555716&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>Orson Welles Centennial Celebration</strong></span></span></p><p><span>A Chicago-area celebration of the centenary of Orson Welles takes place throughout the month of May in Woodstock, Illinois, where Welles spent his formative years. The Orson Welles Centennial Festival begins tonight, Friday May 8</span>th, with a screening of a new documentary by Chuck Workman, Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles. Film contributor, Milos Stehlik, spoke with film critic and Welles scholar, Jonathan Rosenbaum, about Orson Welles and his legacy.</p><p><strong>Guest Host: </strong></p><p>Milos Stehlik is WBEZ film contributor and director of <a href="http://www.facets.org/">Facets MultiMedia</a></p><p><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-c34349ba-3459-b500-26f7-c379bee73768"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c34349ba-3459-22a0-72de-434fc78282e5">Jonathan Rosenbaum</span> is a film critic, <a href="http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/">blogger</a> and scholar on Orson Welles. He&#39;s the author of the book <em>Discovering Orson Welles</em> and&nbsp; co-author of the edited volume <em>This is Orson Welles</em>.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>EVENT:</strong></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-c34349ba-3468-22f9-b51d-fe6955b815f0">Jonathan Rosenbaum will appear the <a href="http://www.welleswoodstock.com">Orson Welles Centennial Festival</a></p><p dir="ltr">May 8 - May 23</p><p>Woodstock, IL at various locations</p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204556960&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>65th Anniversary of the Schuman Declaration</span></span></strong></p><p>The greatest peacemaking institution of the last century is arguably the European Union. May 9th marks the 65<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the <a href="http://europa.eu/about-eu/basic-information/symbols/europe-day/schuman-declaration/index_en.htm">Schuman Declaration</a>. At the time, Robert Schuman was France&rsquo;s foreign minister. His declaration&rsquo;s aim was to make war between European states impossible as stated in the declaration&rsquo;s opening line, &ldquo;World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it.&rdquo; We&rsquo;ll celebrate the peacemaking power of the EU and discuss threats to its future.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-83b38682-345b-b0a1-894f-52219bd70430"><a href="https://sites.google.com/site/aaronfreemansite/Home?previewAsViewer=1">Aaron Freeman</a> is a WBEZ contributor, artist-in-residence at the Chicago Council on Science &amp; Technology&nbsp;and self-declared Schuman declaration enthusiast</p><p dir="ltr">John McCormick is the Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Politics at Indiana University and author of the book <em><a href="http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=581141">Why Europe Matters: The Case for the European Union</a></em></p><p><strong><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-fb16e14c-3457-1a94-0e03-9a178a014368"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204558557&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe>Weekend Passport:</span> Russian Music and Ballet, Middle East Poetry and Travel the globe frugally</span></span></strong></p><p><span>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. This week he&rsquo;ll recommend a concert that blends Russian folk music with classical and electronic music, a poetry festival featuring Iraqi and other Middle Eastern poets and we&rsquo;ll find out how to travel the globe, on $50 a day.</span></p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p>Narimon Safavi, WBEZ contributor and co-founder of <a href="http://www.pasfarda.org/">Pasfarda Arts and Cultural Exchange</a></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-fb16e14c-3460-45e5-9d3a-b74da4fb4be2">Matt Kepnes is author of </span>the book <em>How to Travel the World on $50 a Day </em>and editor of the &#39;<a href="http://www.nomadicmatt.com/">Nomadic Matt</a>&#39;, travel blog</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 08 May 2015 11:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-08/orson-welles-centennial-festival-112006 Worldview: War in Ukraine Could Escalate http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-01/worldview-war-ukraine-could-escalate-111976 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ukraine%20cms_0.JPG" title="Ukrainian tank at frontline near Mariupol in Feb 2015 (Photo by Askold Krushelnycky)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203476188&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="font-size:24px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Ukraine/Russia Hostilities Could Soon Escalate</span></span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Journalist Askold Krushelnycky has covered Russia and Ukraine for decades - from accompanying mujahedin groups as they fought in the Soviet-Afghan war to watching Russian troops land in Crimea. Krushelnycky was recently embedded with Ukraine&rsquo;s 37th Mechanized Infantry Battalion fighting in the port city of Mariupol. He&rsquo;s in Chicago to talk about what he&rsquo;s witnessed in the current standoff between Ukraine and Russia. And Krushelnycky will tell us what he believes are the chances of more major military action in Ukraine in the coming months.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Guest:</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Askold Krushelnycky is an independent journalist, formerly correspondent for the Sunday Times and editor of the Kyiv Post</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong><em>EVENT: </em></strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em><a href="http://uima-chicago.org/on-the-battlefields-of-ukraine-life-with-a-volunteer-battalion/">On the battlefields of Ukraine: life with a volunteer battalion Journalist - Askold Krushelnycky</a></em></div><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-a28baadf-10fc-3ac8-10ce-d062c95abb90">Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Saturday, May 2nd at 6pm, </span></em><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-a28baadf-10fc-3ac8-10ce-d062c95abb90">2320 W Chicago Ave.</span></em><em style="line-height: 1.2;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-a28baadf-10fc-3ac8-10ce-d062c95abb90"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Cambria; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203476977&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></span></span></em></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Milos Stehlik Talks with Ivo Felt about the Estonian film &#39;Tangerines&#39;</span></span></p><p><em>Tangerines(Mandariinid)</em> is set in 1992, just as the Soviet Union was breaking apart and tensions flared between Georgia and Abkhazian separatists. The film tells of two soldiers, from opposing sides. Film contributor Milos Stehlik and the film&#39;s producer, Ivo Felt, discuss the film.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p><em>Milos Stehlik, WBEZ film contributor and director of Facets Multimedia</em></p><p><em>Ivo Felt, producer of the film Tangerines (Mandariinid) </em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203478829&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Weekend Passport: Poesia en Abril and Chicago Asian-American Author Readings</span></span></p><p>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. On this literary edition of weekend passport we&rsquo;ll tell you about a Spanish language poetry festival and a celebration of Asian American writers.</p><p><strong><span>Guests:</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1126-987e-77c5-3e0a97853fbf">Noah Cruikshank (Crook-shank) is the Marketing Manager at Open Books and the Board President of the Chicago Writers Conference</span></em></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1126-987e-77c5-3e0a97853fbf">Vu Tran (Voo Tran) is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts at the University of Chicago and author of the upcoming novel </span>Dragonfish.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1126-987e-77c5-3e0a97853fbf">Irizelma Robles Alvarez is a Puerto Rican poet, essayist and anthropologist. </span></em></p><p dir="ltr"><strong><em><span>EVENTS:</span></em></strong></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1128-4c24-8c24-edb2b0f5092b">1) Vu Tran will participate in r</span>eadings with Chicago-based Asian American authors Nami Mun, and Alec Nevala-Lee.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-1b9f2abe-1129-3412-0143-d9c60db76c05">Friday, May 1st, 6 pm, Open Books River North, 213 W. Institute Place, </span>Event co-organized by Open Books and the Chicago Writers Conference</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>2) Irizelma Robles Alvarez will perform as part of the Poetry Foundation&rsquo;s Poesia en Abril event.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Friday, May 1st at Comfort Station in Logan Square (there are also readings and events on Saturday)</em></p></p> Fri, 01 May 2015 14:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-01/worldview-war-ukraine-could-escalate-111976 For Chicago blues, sweet home is hard to find http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-blues-sweet-home-hard-find-111519 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Blues-1-Muddy-Waters-creative-commons-photo-by-Kevin-Dooley.jpg" style="height: 219px; width: 320px; float: left;" title="Muddy Waters, circa 1971. The late music legend will be honored at this year’s Chicago Blues Festival (Kevin Dooley/flickr)" /><em>Updated 11:13 a.m.</em></p><p><em><em>(Editor&#39;s Note: After our story was published the Chicago Blues Experience&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagobluesexperience.com/" target="_blank">launched this official website</a>.)</em></em></p><p>Back in the 1950s Buddy Guy was a young guitarist living in Louisiana. Like others he eventually traveled north to Chicago, where the blues scene was thriving.</p><p>&ldquo;Muddy Waters, Howlin&rsquo; Wolf, all those great guys,&rdquo; said Guy. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s why I came here. To get a day job and go watch them play at night.&rdquo;</p><p>Those musicians not only inspired him to play, but to open the famed Checkerboard Lounge in the 1970s followed by Legends in the late 80&rsquo;s to keep the music alive. Guy says he&rsquo;ll never forget those early days watching <em>his</em> legends.</p><p>&ldquo;The beer was 25 cents a bottle when I came here. And when Muddy played there wasn&rsquo;t no cover charge. The beer was 35 cents,&rdquo; remembered Guy. &ldquo;So the 10 cents was going for the band members. Muddy Waters was in the band. And those were the greatest days of my life.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Guy just received a Lifetime Achievement award at this year&#39;s Grammys. But he and other artists in town say their music should be just as celebrated locally. And they wonder: If Chicago is the home of the blues, then why doesn&rsquo;t it have a permanent home honoring it?</p><div>The blues made important stops in Memphis and St. Louis, but Chicago is where the blues really came alive in the middle of the last century. That&rsquo;s when musicians like Muddy Waters came here from Mississippi, electrified their down home Delta Blues and recorded it for labels like Chess Records.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>You can still see remnants of this history around town. Like at the old Chess Records on S. Michigan Avenue and Muddy Water&rsquo;s former house at 4339 S. Lake Park Avenue.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><p>&ldquo;This is the house of the blues before there was a house of the blues,&rdquo; said Barry Dollins, former director of the Chicago Blues Festival, standing in front of the boarded up building. &ldquo;This was the rehearsal house.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Blues-4-Barry-Dollins.jpg" style="float: left; height: 373px; width: 280px;" title="Former Chicago Blues Festival Director Barry Dollins stands in front of Muddy Waters’ former home (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" />Muddy Waters bought the home in the 1950s at the peak of his career and lived there for 20 years. It wasn&rsquo;t just a home for Waters and his family. It was a gathering place for other musicians, where countless jam sessions were held.</p><p>Today the red brick two flat is in bad shape.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s just depressing just to see that X up there,&rdquo; Dollins sighed, pointing to a big red X affixed to the front.</p><p>That X means the house is abandoned and unsafe. It&rsquo;s been on and off the market for years. Dollins says the home could&rsquo;ve served as a historic space, much like the Louis Armstrong home in New York. A place where people can see where and how the musician lived and what inspired them.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s sad that there was no forethought in what the significance of this building is,&rdquo; said Dollins. &ldquo;And how it could&rsquo;ve been preserved and utilized.&rdquo;</p><p>In some ways, the neglected house is symbolic of the overall failure to erect a permanent space to preserve Chicago&rsquo;s music heritage.</p><p>&ldquo;Why don&rsquo;t we have a blues museum? It comes down to money,&rdquo; Dollins said. &ldquo;It takes millions of dollars to create a museum.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>Steve Cushing is the host of the national radio show &ldquo;Blues Before Sunrise.&rdquo; He said Chicago deserves to have a blues museum, but he&rsquo;s not sure how viable it would be.</p><p>&ldquo;How would you pay for it and where would you put it?&rdquo; asked Cushing. &ldquo;It would seem that you would want it in a place that was related to the actual location of the blues. But if you put it on the south side, would tourists, would white folks go down there?&rdquo;</p><p>If something does ever get off the ground, it won&rsquo;t be called the Chicago Blues Museum. That&rsquo;s because local guitarist Gregg Parker copyrighted that title.</p><p>&ldquo;They call me the black Indiana Jones. If I can&rsquo;t find it, it doesn&rsquo;t exist,&rdquo; said Parker.</p><p>Parker once played with Mick Jagger and Buddy Miles among others, but now mostly collects artifacts for traveling exhibitions.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t need a building to do what I&rsquo;m doing. I own it,&rdquo; said Parker. &ldquo;The blues museum is a state of mind. It&rsquo;s not a building.&rdquo;</p><p>In fact, the address for Parker&rsquo;s museum&rsquo;s is a P.O. box number. He once had a storefront space but won&rsquo;t say why it closed. He gets a little defensive&nbsp;when asked when the public could see his whole collection.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not going to tell you my itinerary,&rdquo; scoffed Parker. &ldquo;You might be a thief!&rdquo;</p><p>Parker shows how fragmented and disorganized efforts are to showcase the blues in Chicago. Many say the only way to get everyone on the same page &mdash; and all the artifacts under one roof &mdash; is for the city of Chicago to get involved. They point out that City Hall moved mountains for the proposed George Lucas Museum and the Obama Presidential Library.</p><p>So why hasn&rsquo;t it done more for the blues?</p><p>The Department of Cultural Affairs sent this statement: &quot;The City of Chicago celebrates its rich blues music heritage each year with the world renowned Chicago Blues Festival on the shores of Lake Michigan. More than 500,000 blues fans attend the festival each year, proving that Chicago is the &ldquo;Blues Capital of the World.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>But some tourists at last year&rsquo;s free festival&nbsp;said they wished there was more to see while they were in town.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been to Buddy Guy&rsquo;s place, but that&rsquo;s about it,&rdquo; said&nbsp;Karl Roque, who came all the way from the Philippines. When asked if he&rsquo;d like to see a museum dedicated to his favorite art form, Roque didn&rsquo;t hesitate. &ldquo;Yes. Why not? Maybe it&rsquo;s about time.&rdquo;</p><p>Buddy Guy agrees.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been begging for it for almost 30 years.&quot;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Blues-3-Buddy-Guy.jpg" style="height: 373px; width: 280px; float: left;" title="Buddy Guy’s 78th birthday party celebration at his South Loop club Legends (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" />According to Guy he may not have to wait too much longer. Guy has been working with a group that&#39;s been trying to build a blues museum for a few years now. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;They already got the building on Navy Pier,&quot; said Guy. &ldquo;A blues experience museum on Navy Pier.&rdquo;</p><p>No one at Navy Pier would comment. A statement from Tim Wright, co-founder of the so-called Chicago Blues Experience, said they&rsquo;re close to finalizing the details, but can&rsquo;t confirm when.&nbsp;</p><p>In the meantime, another blues museum is moving full steam ahead. Built with a mix of public and private funds, the $13 million, 23,000 square foot space will feature interactive exhibits and a theater for live music.</p><p>But you won&rsquo;t find it in Chicago.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.nationalbluesmuseum.org/" target="_blank">National Blues Museum</a> is set to open this summer in St. Louis.</p><p><em>Follow WBEZ reporter Yolanda Perdomo on Twitter </em><a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews"><em>@yolandanews</em></a> <em>&amp;&nbsp;</em><em><a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/106564114685277342468/posts/p/pub">Google+</a></em></p></p> Mon, 09 Feb 2015 07:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-blues-sweet-home-hard-find-111519 Gretchen Seichrist stuns with new 'Iamlonesomekid' album http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-02/gretchen-seichrist-stuns-new-iamlonesomekid-album-111518 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/lonesomecover.jpeg" style="height: 374px; width: 450px;" title="" /></div><p>&ldquo;How come nobody falls to their knees in worship?&rdquo; Gretchen Seichrist wonders at the end of &ldquo;Hot Feet,&rdquo; one of 10 stunning tracks on the debut album with her new group Thelonesomekid. And she&rsquo;s justified in asking.</p><p>Speaking as someone who resided there for a year or two at two different times, Minneapolis is a place where living can be almost too easy&mdash;an odd thing to say about somewhere that sub-zero temperatures make you feel as if you&rsquo;re on the surface of the moon for several months a year, but true nonetheless, in the sense that the small but supportive artistic community and the chill pace of life in general can be so seductive that a lot of creative people do great work without ever summoning the energy to leave home, barely making noise as far away as Madison or Milwaukee, much less Chicago.</p><p>In the case of a voice as powerful as Seichrist&rsquo;s, that&rsquo;s a damn shame. True, I slept on writing about her prolific outpouring as Patches and Gretchen (six D.I.Y. albums!), despite enthusiastic notices from hometown cheerleaders I respect and her collaboration with my old pal and former bandmate <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/2012-01-19/vortis-diaries-ghosts-bands-past-95654">Devin Hill</a>. The fact is, I liked but never really loved those discs. <em>Iamlonesomekid</em>, the debut by her new band/multi-media project, is a different story.</p><p>Recorded in Water Valley, Mississippi with producers Bronson Tew and Matt Patton (Drive-By-Truckers) and bandmates Christopher Thompson, Jules Daud, Dave Pederson, and Danny Viper, the album finds the singer, songwriter, painter, and performance artist reenergized and recommitting to her unique and alternately seductive and angry merger of art-punk, blues, folk, scatting jazz, and spoken-word poetry. Think of Patti Smith at her most Dylanesque crossed with a less pretentious Karen O or Amanda Palmer and possessed of the pop smarts of Aimee Mann, who happens to be her half-sister. And you&rsquo;re still only partly there.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/PatchesGretchen-625x350.jpeg" title="Gretchen Seichrist." /></div><p>Seichrist is a smart student/pilferer of rock history: You&rsquo;ve gotta love the way the Sonic Youth maelstroms of guitar noise yield to the Stooges-like one-note piano in &ldquo;Funnels&rdquo; and &ldquo;The Heartfelt News.&rdquo; She can also imagine Elvis Presley as a blonde while convincingly delivering a torch song (albeit one more twisted than Bertolt Brecht) in &ldquo;My Bed,&rdquo; or veerx close to pure pop perfection in a ditty such as &ldquo;Baby Me,&rdquo; which only reveals it layers of strange confessions on repeated listens.</p><p>&ldquo;She knows where she&rsquo;s going,&rdquo; the aforementioned Hill said of Seichrist in a <a href="http://www.mprnews.org/story/2010/03/10/gretchen">profile by Chris Roberts for MPR back in 2010</a>. &ldquo;You just have to hold on.&rdquo; Well, with <em>Iamlonesomekid,</em> she&rsquo;s gotten there, and it&rsquo;s a place I can&rsquo;t stop visiting, on album and on the enchanting series of films/videos she&rsquo;s made for each song. Now if only she&rsquo;d hop in the van and head out of the Twin Cities on tour.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/S9AadG1Qn2k" width="560"></iframe></p><p><strong>Thelonesomekid, <em>Iamlonesomekid</em> (</strong><a href="http://www.thelonesomekid.com"><strong>www.thelonesomekid.com</strong></a><strong>)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the 4-star scale: 4 stars.</strong></p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><strike>@</strike></strong><strong>JimDeRogatis</strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong>Facebook</strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast or stream </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Mon, 09 Feb 2015 07:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-02/gretchen-seichrist-stuns-new-iamlonesomekid-album-111518 DePaul museum show 'Rooted in Soil' looks at role earth plays in life, death http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-01-29/depaul-museum-show-rooted-soil-looks-role-earth-plays-life-death <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Bell_.jpg" style="height: 400px; width: 600px;" title="Metropolis 2012 by Vaughn Bell. Acrylic, aluminum, rigging cables, hardware, soil, native plants. (Photo by Spike Mafford)" /></div></div><p>A new exhibition opening Thursday at the DePaul Art Museum takes a unique look at something we take for granted.</p><p>&ldquo;Rooted in Soil&rdquo; examines earth from multiple viewpoints, from the role that intensive agriculture and deforestation play in removing topsoil, to the decaying flowers, trees and even human bodies that all eventually return to the soil.</p><p>&ldquo;The idea came out of a very tumultuous period in my life, where I was having an existential crisis, if you will, and exploring many of these questions about the meaning of life,&rdquo; said Farrah Fatemi, an assistant environmental studies professor at St. Michael&rsquo;s College in Vermont. She curated the show with her mother, Laura Fatemi, who&rsquo;s the museum&rsquo;s interim director.</p><p>Farrah Fatemi said she started meditating and reading a lot about Buddhism.</p><p>&ldquo;One of the things that really resonated with me is this concept of a very fundamental interconnectedness that all beings have to one another and to their environment,&rdquo; she said, adding she and her mother wanted to bring this interconnectedness to the public through art.</p><p>That connection is evident as soon as you walk into the DePaul Art Museum.</p><p>The smell of fresh soil hangs in the air. The first thing you see is a large angular terrarium hanging suspended from the ceiling. If you&rsquo;ve admired terrariums and imagined living in a tiny world of plants under glass, &ldquo;Metropolis&rdquo; by Seattle artist Vaughn Bell gives you a taste of what that would be like. Visitors can stand underneath it, poke their heads through holes cut in the bottom and be surrounded by green plants and the rich smell of soil in the spring, despite the cold weather outside.</p><p>An installation by Chicago artist Claire Pentecost lets visitors step into a room that looks like an old apothecary, but the vials and cylinders are full of dirt. People can lift glass domes containing soil samples and take a whiff.</p><p>&ldquo;I think one of the neat things about this exhibit is that it confronts people in the city who are surrounded by this paved landscape with soil,&rdquo; Farrah Fatemi said. The idea is to connect urban spaces and urban dwellers back to nature.</p><p>Upstairs, the focus turns to the cycle of life, featuring powerful images that are beautiful and uncomfortable.</p><p>A 17th-century &ldquo;vanitas,&rdquo; a form of still life that focuses on death-related themes, by Flemish painter Adriaen van Utrecht shows a skull and a glorious bouquet just past full flower that&rsquo;s starting to rot. Coins and jewelry are scattered nearby, symbolizing, as Laura Fatemi said, &ldquo;You can&rsquo;t take it with you.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;In a way, these were religious paintings,&rdquo; Laura Fatemi said, adding that they made reference to concepts like mortality and repentance.</p><p>Next to the painting, Sam Taylor-Johnson explores a similar theme in still life -- but in video form -- showing a luscious bowl of fruit quickly moving through the stages of decay from ripeness to mold to bugs.</p><p>The photographs of Sally Mann, who documents corpses in various stages of decomposition at the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee, are grotesque and strangely beautiful. Justin Rang explores similar themes in his film &ldquo;Light/Dark Worms.&rdquo; It takes up an entire wall and shows worms writhing around a human hand in the dirt, inviting us to reflect on our own impermanence.</p><p>&ldquo;We depend on this nutrient cycle, and we&rsquo;re part of it,&rdquo; Laura Fatemi said. Much of the work plays with our anxiety over dying and our fear of the unknown. &ldquo;The reality is the earth will take us back.&rdquo;</p><p>For many of us, that&rsquo;s never an easy concept to grasp or even to consider. But perhaps seeing it explored in art will make it a bit less scary.<br />&ldquo;Rooted in Soil&rdquo; runs through April 26 at the DePaul Art Museum.</p><p><em>Lynette Kalsnes covers religion, arts and culture for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/LynetteKalsnes" target="_blank">@LynetteKalsnes</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-01-29/depaul-museum-show-rooted-soil-looks-role-earth-plays-life-death The first great album of 2015 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-01/first-great-album-2015-111391 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/The-Decemberists-What-A-Terrible-World-What-A-Beautiful-World.jpg" style="height: 620px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div><p>Let&rsquo;s get this out of the way right up front: Even if you haven&rsquo;t heard about their hometown naming next Friday &ldquo;<a href="http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2015/01/january_20_decemberists_day_portland.html">The Decemberists Day</a>,&rdquo; with an official proclamation to be presented by Portland Mayor Kyle MacLachlan.... er, Charlie Hales... at that craft-beer-and-Chemex-brewing, bearded-hipsters Mecca, or you didn&rsquo;t catch bandleader Colin Meloy announcing this new release by <a href="http://pitchfork.com/news/57193-the-decemberists-announce-new-album-with-colin-meloy-busking-on-brooklyn-street/">busking on the streets of Brooklyn</a>, he and his co-conspirators give the skeptical plenty of reasons to scoff.</p><p>Start with the cumbersome title of their long-awaited seventh album <em>What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, </em>and move on to capital-&ldquo;r&rdquo; Romantic lyrics that once again are rife with characters such as the gown-wearing Philomena (who prompts the unusually bawdy confession from our former English and Theater-major bandleader: &ldquo;All I ever wanted in the world was just to live to see a naked girl/But I found I&rsquo;ve quickly bored, I wanted more, I wanted more!&rdquo;) and the Cavalry Captain, a possible veteran of Tennyson&rsquo;s infamous Light Brigade, who &ldquo;is the remedy to your heart.&rdquo;</p><p>Then, too, you must wrestle with the usual bounty of musical filigree, from horn sections to doo-wop choirs, all decorating a Celtic/hill-country lilt to many of the songs that Meloy always credits to the cooler end of &rsquo;70s British folk-rock crossed with the Smiths, but which resonates just as much of prime Jethro Tull (think <em>Songs from the Wood</em>) and ELP in its &ldquo;Lucky Man&rdquo; mode.</p><p>None of that matters. As a geeky history buff with special passions for the Napoleonic and Victorian eras, as an English professor, and as an unabashed progressive-rock fan, I&rsquo;ve always lapped it all up. But even if I put on my cynical punk-rock glasses, I just can&rsquo;t condemn Meloy and his mates for their excesses, not when these are accompanied by such a healthy sense of humor, whether one thinks of the band <a href="http://www.jimdero.com/News2007/DecemberistsatMillennium.htm">performing with the Grant Park Symphony at the Bean back in 2007</a> and trotting out a <em>papier</em><em>-</em><em>mâché Moby Dick as a stage prop, or revels in the silly video for &ldquo;Make You Better&rdquo; or the lyrics to the new tune &ldquo;The Singer Addresses His Audience&rdquo; (which contains the lines, &ldquo;</em>So when your bridal processional is a televised confessional/To the benefits of Axe shampoo&hellip; We did it all for you&rdquo;).</p><p>&ldquo;We had to change,&rdquo; Meloy also declares in the latter tune, but the changes on the follow-up to <em>The King Is Dead </em>(2011) are minimal indeed: There&rsquo;s the most oblique of political references in &ldquo;12-17-12,&rdquo; the date of the Newton massacre; the unusually straightforward nature of the ballad &ldquo;Make You Better&rdquo; (which features Chicago darling Kelly Hogan on backing vocals), and an attempt to write a timeless folk/blues classic a la &ldquo;You Don&rsquo;t Miss Your Water&rdquo; in &ldquo;Till The Water Is Long Gone.&rdquo; But the overall impression is of familiar Decemberists terrain indeed. And that&rsquo;s fine, too, at least when every one of these 14 tracks boasts a melody as strong as any the band ever has given us.</p><p>That, ultimately, is why we love this group, and why we keep coming back. And your disdain of pretension and allergy to the thesaurus be damned.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Yb8oUbMrydk" width="560"></iframe></p><p><strong>The Decemberists, </strong><strong><em>What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World</em></strong><strong> (Columbia)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the four-star scale: 4 stars.</strong></p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast or stream </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Wed, 14 Jan 2015 06:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-01/first-great-album-2015-111391