WBEZ | Tree http://www.wbez.org/tags/tree Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Sculptor Charles Ray: The man who lives inside a tree http://www.wbez.org/content/sculptor-charles-ray-man-who-lives-inside-tree <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-10/Hinoki_CharlesRay_v2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="Charles Ray's massive sculpture &lt;i&gt;Hinoki&lt;/i&gt;. " class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-10/Hinoki_CharlesRay_v2.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 306px;" title="Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago"></p><p>The year was 1997. While driving up the central coast of California, Chicago-born sculptor Charles Ray made a discovery that would impact the next ten years of his life: a massive fallen tree decomposing in a meadow just off the highway. He describes the moment he saw the tree this way:</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;"><em>I was instantly drawn to it. It was not only a beautiful log, but to my eyes, it was perfectly embedded in the meadow where it had fallen decades earlier.&nbsp; Pressure from the weather, insects, ultraviolet radiation, and gravity were evident. Total collapse appeared to be no more than a handful of years away.&nbsp; I was inspired to make a sculpture.</em></p><p>And that he did. He created a sculpture that is surprising and captivating. It is impressive in its scale and in its detail, in its precision and in the way it uses the man-made not to mimic but to re-interpret the natural.</p><p>Working with Japanese carvers who normally fashion sacred wooden Buddhas displayed in temples, Ray created an intricately carved, life-sized replica of this decaying wooden tree. And he did so not in fiberglass or cloth or stone (all options he considered at one point) but in wood. He explains his decision this way:</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;"><em>When I asked [master carver Yuboku] Mukoyoshi about the wood and how it would behave over time, he told me that the wood would be fine for 400 years and then it would go into a crisis; after two hundred years of splitting and cracking, it would go into slow decline for another 400 years. I realized then that the wood, like the original log, had a life of its own, and I was finally able to let my project go and hopefully breathe life into the world that surrounds it.</em></p><p>The sculpture would eventually carry the title Hinoki, named for the sacred Japanese cypress wood from which it’s carved. &nbsp;But before he was able to create this finished piece, now on display in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ray had to figure out how to get hold of this enormous tree.</p><p>In the audio excerpt above, Ray explains how he got the tree, and why he had to be sneaky about it. He spoke at the Art Institute in March, in a talk moderated by art historian Bernhard Mendes Burgi. (I highly recommend listening to Ray’s whole talk with Burgi. The way he describes making this sculpture start to finish is fascinating.)</p><p><a href="../../series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a> showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified’s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Charles Ray spoke at an event presented by <a href="http://www.artic.edu/aic/">The Art Institute of Chicago</a> in March. Click <a href="../conversation-charles-ray-86428">here</a> to hear the event in its entirety.</p></p> Fri, 10 Jun 2011 19:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/sculptor-charles-ray-man-who-lives-inside-tree Working for the Weekend: Critics picks for 4/22-4/24 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-21/working-weekend-critics-picks-422-424-85497 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-21/114.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><u><strong>Kelly Kleiman</strong></u></p><p>First up is <strong><a href="http://www.victorygardens.org/onstage/tree.php"><em>Tree </em></a></strong>at Victory Gardens, a perfect pairing of director Andrea J. Dymond and playwright Julie Hebert, each known for powerful yet subtle examinations of painful subjects. This very long one-act traces the family connections (hence, "Tree") of two people from entirely different worlds: a black man in Chicago and a white woman from Baton Rouge who turn out to be siblings. Anchored by the utterly truthful performances of Aaron Todd Douglas and Elaine Rivkin as the brother and sister, and soaring on the work of Celeste Williams as their now-demented now-lucid mother, the play works on both macro and micro levels: as an examination of how racism continues to poison American discourse, and as a dissection of the strains of family--any family. Jacqueline and Rick Penrod's set is as full of twists and turns and dead-ends and opportunities for disaster as the plot itself. At the Victory Gardens Biograph through May 1--which is next weekend, so move fast or you'll miss it.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-21/114.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 750px;" title="Colm O'Reilly (John Sisson)"></p><p style="text-align: left;"><br> And now for something completely different: <strong><a href="http://theateroobleck.com/plays/there-is-a-happiness-that-morning-is"><em>There Is A Happiness That Morning Is</em></a></strong>, the latest from Theatre Oobleck, whose <em>The Strangerer</em> managed to connect Albert Camus and George W. Bush without diminishing either one--at least, not any more than they deserved to be diminished. This new piece is existential in its own way, weaving William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience around the fate of a hapless pair of college teachers whose decision to have sex on the quads leads to their delivering what are very probably their last lectures.&nbsp; By the time they were done, I was (in equal parts) rooting for them and resolving to read Blake.&nbsp; Find a stranger or more thought-provoking evening and it's bound to be another Oobleck show. Through May 22 at the Storefront Theatre on Randolph Street. &nbsp;</p><p><u><strong>Laura Molzahn</strong></u></p><p>Swing your partner, do-si-do! It may sound like a square dance, but <a href="http://juliaraeatonick.com/1/events">Julia Rae Antonick’s new <strong><em>Commissura</em></strong></a><em>&nbsp;</em>is far more elevated and intellectual—though the dancing can be riotous, and some of the audience is seated on moving platforms. (Don’t worry, they move slow.) Antonick’s piece for two couples, who are also couples off the dance floor, and two musicians, who sometimes move as well as play, explores the invisible connective tissue between two people. Sometimes that tissue is stretched to the breaking point, other times it works like lightning. Two weekends at the Fine Arts Building.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-21/709076_orig.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 400px;" title=""></p><p>Columbia College has been the gold standard for dance education for years, but Northwestern is making great strides. <a href="http://nugroup.weebly.com/index.html">A program by <strong>the NU group</strong></a>, all of them alums convened just for these performances, features new work by some outstanding choreographers and dancers: Julia Rhoads of <a href="http://www.luckyplush.com/">Lucky Plush</a> (whose new piece opens at the MCA in October), Peter Carpenter, Jeff Hancock, Annie Beserra of <a href="http://www.stridinglion.org/Home.html">Striding Lion</a>, Meghann Wilkinson of Lucky Plush, Adam Gauzza of <a href="http://www.spdwdance.org/">Same Planet Different World</a>, Michaela Stock of NYC’s Eyes of a Blue Dog, and Genevieve Garcia. Two weekends, the first at the lovely Building Stage.</p><p><u><strong>Jonathan Abarbanel</strong></u></p><p style="text-align: left; ">The nation’s leader is weak and the opposition whittles away his legislative majority vote-by-vote. There’s talk of radical reform, spend-thrift economics and vanishing surpluses as politics and health care clash. No, it’s not America in 2011, it’s England in 1793. Alan Bennett’s <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,51"><em><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">The Madness of George III</span></em></a> remains both pertinent and vastly entertaining precisely because of its rather-modern take on old history. Go see this totally fabulous new production at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (through June 12), and you’ll see why. Broadway veteran Harry Groener is masterful as King George III, who was not nearly as sympathetic in real life as he is in this play!</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/LVhv2_NLzfY" title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: left; "><br> For those unfamiliar with<span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold"> <a href="http://www.oracletheatre.org/NowPlaying.htm"><em>Woyzeck</em></a></span>, it’s a never-completed early 19th Century play by German author Georg Buchner which became a tremendously influential fore-runner of realistic proletariat drama. Completed and adapted scores of times as a play, opera and ballet, there is no “true” version of the work. Right now, you can choose from several as Chicago enjoys a mini-<em><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">Woyzeck</span></em> festival. Oracle Productions just extended their interpretation of the work at Oracle’s tiny Lakeview storefront, and The Hypocrites open their version this weekend, adapted and directed by Sean Graney. Then, About Face Theatre is offering the world premiere of Sylvan Oswald’s<span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold"> <em>Pony</em></span>, inspired by <em><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">Woyzeck</span> </em>and its themes. The Hypocrites and About Face are presenting their productions together in rep at the Chopin Theatre (through May 22).</p></p> Thu, 21 Apr 2011 16:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-21/working-weekend-critics-picks-422-424-85497 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater news 4/12 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-12/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-news-412-85069 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-12/tree2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Monday is a typically slow performance night in the theater world, but there's always someone trying to be funny, so never fear! There's still some stuff you didn't do yesterday.&nbsp;</p><p>1. There <i>is</i> comedy you can bring the kids to...maybe. Last night, Zanie's presented <a href="http://www.marklundholm.com/">Mark Lundholm</a>'s "Alcohol-Free Evening", where the recovering alcoholic of over 20 years made fun of his struggles all within the confines of a "PG rating." In case you're hankering to go, there's an encore performance <a href="http://www.chicago.zanies.com/news.php?NewsSection=Mark+Lundholm">tonight at 7:30 pm</a>.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cvM-zqzAdt8" title="YouTube video player" width="480"></iframe></p><p>2. Ten years ago this Friday, the Edge Comedy club was founded, and they'll be celebrating this weekend with anniversary shows. The man who started it all, Dave Odd, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-12/edge-comedy-club-celebrates-10-years-first-time-funny-folks-85065">talked with&nbsp;<em>Eight-Forty-Eight&nbsp;</em>today</a>&nbsp;about how it all happened. When asked about the long-term potential of comedy in Chicago, Odd said, "There's this, 'you've got to move to one of the coasts to become famous' mentality out there. And I feel like Chicago is getting a lot of notoriety lately because a lot of the people who have come out of here are blowing up, and it's just a matter of getting people to pay attention."</p><p>3. Speaking of LA, the production of "Tree" is playing&nbsp;<a href="http://www.victorygardens.org/onstage/tree.php">at the Victory Garden's Theater</a>&nbsp;after a success run on the west coast. It&nbsp;was written by <a href="http://www.juliehebert.com/index.html">Julie Hebert</a>, who has written and directed for television, film and theater (<em>ER</em>! <em>The West Wing</em>!). "Tree" clashes people of starkly different backgrounds, race and gender, from Chicago to Baton Rouge.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" height="237" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-12/Fair%20%26%20Unbalanced.jpg" title="" width="623"></p><p>4. Second City is cheaper during the week than it is on the weekend (which is either little known or common sense). So next time, take advantage and see their new show "<a href="http://www.secondcity.com/performances/detail/259/">Fair and Unbalanced</a>" on a Monday instead of a Saturday. As usual, the folks at Second City do what they do best and make fun of the people we exalt -- celebrities, and politicians -- leaving you feel warm&nbsp;and fuzzy inside.</p><p>5. The <a href="http://chitheatreaddict.com/2011/04/11/a-packed-jim-carusos-cast-party-gives-chicago-performers-a-chance-to-show-their-stuff/">Chicago Theater Addict reports</a> that Sunday's Chicago Performance of "<a href="http://castpartynyc.com/">Cast Party</a>" was a rollicking success. Creator Jim Caruso has brought the show from New York, which is best described as a little bit cabaret, a little bit karaoke, with a dash of open mic night. It technically sounds like a disaster, but with some of the biggest talents in Chicago theater showing up, "Cast Party" could be the best thing to leave New York since bagels.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Tue, 12 Apr 2011 14:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-12/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-news-412-85069