T H E A R T S P O R T A L
The arts are a very wide range of human practices of creative expression, storytelling and cultural participation. They encompass multiple diverse and plural modes of thinking, doing and being, in an extremely broad range of media. Both highly dynamic and a characteristically constant feature of human life, they have developed into innovative, stylized and sometimes intricate forms. This is often achieved through sustained and deliberate study, training and/or theorizing within a particular tradition, across generations and even between civilizations. The arts are a vehicle through which human beings cultivate distinct social, cultural and individual identities, while transmitting values, impressions, judgments, ideas, visions, spiritual meanings, patterns of life and experiences across time and space.
Prominent examples of the arts include:
- visual arts (including architecture, ceramics, drawing, filmmaking, painting, photography, and sculpting)
- literary arts (including fiction, drama, poetry, and prose)
- performing arts (including dance, music, and theatre)
They can employ skill and imagination to produce objects, performances, convey insights and experiences, and construct new environments and spaces.
The arts can refer to common, popular or everyday practices as well as more sophisticated and systematic, or institutionalized ones. They can be discrete and self-contained, or combine and interweave with other art forms, such as the combination of artwork with the written word in comics. They can also develop or contribute to some particular aspect of a more complex art form, as in cinematography. By definition, the arts themselves are open to being continually re-defined. The practice of modern art, for example, is a testament to the shifting boundaries, improvisation and experimentation, reflexive nature, and self-criticism or questioning that art and its conditions of production, reception, and possibility can undergo.
As both a means of developing capacities of attention and sensitivity, and as ends in themselves, the arts can simultaneously be a form of response to the world, and a way that our responses, and what we deem worthwhile goals or pursuits, are transformed. From prehistoric cave paintings, to ancient and contemporary forms of ritual, to modern-day films, art has served to register, embody and preserve our ever shifting relationships to each other and to the world. (Full article...)
Featured articles -
Are You Experienced is the debut studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released in 1967, the LP was an immediate critical and commercial success, and it is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. The album features Jimi Hendrix's innovative approach to songwriting and electric guitar playing which soon established a new direction in psychedelic and hard rock music.
After struggling to earn a living on the R&B circuit as a backing guitarist, Hendrix signed a management and production contract in 1966 with former Animals member Chas Chandler and ex-Animals manager Michael Jeffery. Chandler brought Hendrix to London and recruited members for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, a band designed to showcase the guitarist's talents. In late October, after having been rejected by Decca Records, the Experience signed with Track, a new label formed by the Who's managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. Are You Experienced and its preceding singles were recorded over a five-month period from late October 1966 through early April 1967. The album was completed in 16 recording sessions at three London locations, including De Lane Lea Studios, CBS Studios, and Olympic Studios. (Full article...)
- Melanie Barnett-Davis is a fictional character, portrayed by actress Tia Mowry, who appears in the American sitcom The Game, which aired on the CW Television Network and BET from 2006 to 2015. Introduced in a backdoor pilot on the sitcom Girlfriends as Joan Clayton's cousin, Melanie chooses to support her boyfriend Derwin Davis' career with the San Diego Sabres, a fictional National Football League (NFL) team, rather than attend medical school at Johns Hopkins University. The series focuses primarily on Melanie and Derwin's complicated relationship, with her fears of his infidelity at the center of many of the episodes' storylines. Mowry left the series in 2012 upon learning that her role would be reduced as a result of co-star Pooch Hall's decision to reduce his role on The Game to appear in the crime drama series Ray Donovan. Both actors reprised their roles in the series finale, in which Melanie gives birth to twins.
Melanie was created by producer Mara Brock Akil. While casting the character, Brock Akil had doubts about whether Mowry would be the best choice, given her wholesome image from starring as Tia Landry on the sitcom Sister, Sister, but hired the actress based on her strong work ethic and her desire to be part of the series. Mowry considered the character to be her first adult role and felt it emphasized her individuality and maturity. She identified closely with the part, observing parallels between Melanie's relationship with Derwin and her own marriage to actor Cory Hardrict. She cited The Game as an example of women receiving more lead roles on television. (Full article...)
- "Partners in Crime" is the first episode of the fourth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One on 5 April 2008. The episode reintroduced actor and comedian Catherine Tate as Donna Noble, who had previously appeared in the 2006 Christmas Special "The Runaway Bride". In the episode, Donna and the alien time traveller the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) meet while separately investigating Adipose Industries, a company that has created a revolutionary diet pill. Together, they attempt to stop the death of thousands of people in London after the head of the company, the alien Miss Foster (Sarah Lancashire), creates short white aliens made from human body fat. The episode's alien creatures, the Adipose, were created using the software MASSIVE, commonly used for crowd sequences in fantasy and science fiction films.
"Partners in Crime" features the return of three recurring characters: Jacqueline King reprises her role as Sylvia Noble from "The Runaway Bride"; Bernard Cribbins reprises his role as Wilfred Mott from "Voyage of the Damned", to replace the character of Geoff Noble after actor Howard Attfield died; and Billie Piper briefly reprises her role as Rose Tyler for the first time since the second series' finale "Doomsday" (2006), in a scene that was not included in preview showings. (Full article...)
- Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action film written and directed by James Cameron. It is the sequel to the 1979 science fiction horror film Alien, and the second film in the Alien franchise. Set in the far future, it stars Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of an alien attack on her ship. When communications are lost with a human colony on the moon where her crew first saw the alien creatures, Ripley agrees to return to the site with a unit of Colonial Marines to investigate. Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen and Carrie Henn are featured in supporting roles.
Despite the success of Alien, its sequel took years to develop due to lawsuits, a lack of enthusiasm from 20th Century Fox, and repeated management changes. Although relatively inexperienced, Cameron was hired to write a story for Aliens in 1983 on the strength of his scripts for The Terminator (1984) and Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985). The project stalled again until new Fox executive Lawrence Gordon pursued a sequel. On an approximately $18.5 million budget, Aliens began principal photography in September 1985 and concluded in January 1986. Like its development, filming was tumultuous and rife with conflicts between Cameron and the British crew at Pinewood Studios. The difficult shoot affected the composer, James Horner, who was given little time to record the music. (Full article...)
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary is a neo-Gothic Catholic Church at Moscow's center, that serves as the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Moscow. Located in the Central Administrative Okrug, it is one of three Catholic churches in Moscow and the largest in Russia.
The construction of the cathedral was approved in 1894 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs under Russian Empire. Groundbreaking was in 1899; construction work began in 1901 and was completed ten years later. Three-aisled and built from red brick, the cathedral is based on a design by architect Tomasz Bohdanowicz-Dworzecki. The style was influenced by Westminster Abbey and Milan Cathedral. With the help of funds from Catholic parishes in Russia and its neighbouring states, the church was consecrated as a chapel for Moscow's Polish parish in 1911. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution in 1917, the Provisional Government was overthrown by the Bolsheviks and Russia eventually became part of the Soviet Union in 1922. Because the promotion of state atheism was a part of Marxist–Leninist ideology, the government ordered many churches closed; the cathedral was closed in 1938. During World War II, it was threatened with demolition, and was used after the war for civil purposes, as a warehouse and then a hostel. Following the fall of communism in 1991, it returned to being a church in 1996. In 2002 it was elevated to the status of cathedral. Following an extensive and costly programme of reconstruction and refurbishment, the cathedral was reconsecrated in 2005. (Full article...)
- The Turn of the Screw (also known as Ghost Story: The Turn of the Screw) is a British television film based on Henry James's 1898 ghost story of the same name. Commissioned and produced by the BBC, it was first broadcast on 30 December 2009, on BBC One. The novella was adapted for the screen by Sandy Welch, and the film was directed by Tim Fywell. Although generally true to the tone and story of James's work, the film is set in the 1920s—in contrast to the original 1840s setting—and accentuates sexual elements that some theorists have identified in the novella. The film's story is told in flashbacks during consultations between the institutionalised Ann (Michelle Dockery) and Dr Fisher (Dan Stevens). Ann tells how she was hired by an aristocrat (Mark Umbers) to care for the orphans Miles (Josef Lindsay) and Flora (Eva Sayer). She is met at the children's home, Bly, by Mrs Grose (Sue Johnston), the housekeeper. Ann soon begins to see unknown figures around the manor, and seeks an explanation.
Critics were divided in their reviews of The Turn of the Screw. The acting and tone of the production were generally praised, but the plot's divergences from the original story were less well received. A particular disagreement concerned the film's horrific elements; some critics considered it to be genuinely scary, while others suggested that the horror was not fully effective. The original story has been much analysed owing to its ambiguity, and critics disagreed about the extent to which the film succeeded in portraying this trait. Academic analyses found the film considerably less ambiguous than the novella. The Turn of the Screw was released on DVD on 1 March 2010 in the UK and on 28 April 2015 in North America. (Full article...)
Bronwyn Bancroft (born 1958) is an Aboriginal Australian artist, and among the first Australian fashion designers invited to show her work in Paris. Born in Tenterfield, New South Wales, and trained in Canberra and Sydney, Bancroft worked as a fashion designer, and is an artist, illustrator, and arts administrator.
In 1985, Bancroft established a shop called Designer Aboriginals, selling fabrics made by Aboriginal artists, including herself. She was a founding member of Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative. Art work by Bancroft is held by the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Art Gallery of Western Australia. She has provided art work for more than 20 children's books, including Stradbroke Dreamtime by writer and activist Oodgeroo Noonuccal, and books by artist and writer Sally Morgan. She has received design commissions, including one for the exterior of a sports centre in Sydney. (Full article...)
- The Good Terrorist is a 1985 political novel written by the British novelist Doris Lessing. The book's protagonist is the naïve drifter Alice, who squats with a group of radicals in London and is drawn into their terrorist activities.
Lessing was spurred to write The Good Terrorist by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombing of the Harrods department store in London in 1983. She had been a member of the British Communist Party, but left after the 1956 Hungarian uprising. Some reviewers labelled the novel a satire, while Lessing called it humorous. The title is an oxymoron which highlights Alice's ambivalent nature. (Full article...)
- Hattie Jacques (/dʒeɪks/; born Josephine Edwina Jaques; 7 February 1922 – 6 October 1980) was an English comedy actress of stage, radio and screen. She is best known as a regular of the Carry On films, where she typically played strict, no-nonsense characters, but was also a prolific television and radio performer.
Jacques started her career in 1944 with an appearance at the Players' Theatre in London, but came to national prominence through her appearances on three highly popular radio series on the BBC: with Tommy Handley on It's That Man Again; with ventriloquist Peter Brough on Educating Archie; and then with Tony Hancock on Hancock's Half Hour. After the Second World War Jacques made her cinematic debut in Green for Danger (1946), in which she had a brief, uncredited role. From 1958 to 1974 she appeared in 14 Carry On films, playing various roles including the formidable hospital matron. On television she had a long professional partnership with Eric Sykes, with whom she co-starred in his long-running series Sykes and Sykes and a.... The role endeared her to the public and the two became staples of British television. (Full article...)
- "Interactions" is the second episode of the animated television series The Spectacular Spider-Man, based on the comic book character Spider-Man created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The episode sees Spider-Man confronting the supervillain Electro, whose body was corrupted with electricity after a freak lab accident.
Directed by Troy Adomitis, "Interactions" was written by Kevin Hopps, who researched all the available comic books he had that featured Electro. The character's appearance in the episode draws on his traditional comic book style, though designer Victor Cook emphasized the color green and removed the character's customary star-shaped mask. His voice actor, Crispin Freeman, sought to reflect the character's declining sanity in his vocal style. (Full article...)
- Thriller is the sixth studio album by the American singer and songwriter Michael Jackson, released on November 29, 1982, by Epic Records. It was produced by Quincy Jones, who had previously worked with Jackson on his 1979 album Off the Wall. Jackson wanted to create an album where "every song was a killer". With the ongoing backlash against disco music at the time, he moved in a new musical direction, resulting in a mix of pop, post-disco, rock, funk, and R&B sounds. Thriller foreshadows the contradictory themes of Jackson's personal life, as he began using a motif of paranoia and darker themes. Paul McCartney appears on "The Girl Is Mine", the first credited appearance of a featured artist on a Michael Jackson album. Recording took place from April to November 1982 at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California, with a budget of $750,000.
Thriller became Jackson's first number-one album on the US Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart, where it spent a record 37 non-consecutive weeks at number one, from February 26, 1983, to April 14, 1984. Seven singles were released: "The Girl Is Mine", "Billie Jean", "Beat It", "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' ", "Human Nature", "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)", and "Thriller". They all reached the top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, setting a record for the most top 10 singles from an album, with "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" reaching number one. Following Jackson's performance of "Billie Jean" in the Motown 25 television special, where he debuted his signature moonwalk dance, the sales of the album significantly increased, selling one million copies worldwide per week. The "Thriller" music video was premiered to great anticipation in December 1983 and played regularly on MTV, which also increased the sales. (Full article...)
- A Handful of Dust is a novel by the British writer Evelyn Waugh. First published in 1934, it is often grouped with the author's early, satirical comic novels for which he became famous in the pre–World War II years. Commentators have, however, drawn attention to its serious undertones, and have regarded it as a transitional work pointing towards Waugh's Catholic postwar fiction.
The protagonist is Tony Last, a contented but shallow English country squire, who, having been betrayed by his wife and seen his illusions shattered one by one, joins an expedition to the Brazilian jungle, only to find himself trapped in a remote outpost as the prisoner of a maniac. Waugh incorporated several autobiographical elements into the plot, including his own recent desertion by his wife. In 1933–34 he travelled into the South American interior, and a number of incidents from the voyage are incorporated into the novel. Tony's singular fate in the jungle was first used by Waugh as the subject of an independent short story, published in 1933 under the title "The Man Who Liked Dickens". (Full article...)
Ernest Miller Hemingway (/ˈɜːrnɪst ˈhɛmɪŋweɪ/; July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. His economical and understated style—which included his iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his adventurous lifestyle and public image brought him admiration from later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and he was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature. He published seven novels, six short-story collections, and two nonfiction works. Three of his novels, four short-story collections, and three nonfiction works were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.
Hemingway was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school, he was a reporter for a few months for The Kansas City Star before leaving for the Italian Front to enlist as an ambulance driver in World War I. In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms (1929). (Full article...)
The pyramid of Neferirkare (Egyptian: Bꜣ Nfr-ỉr-kꜣ-rꜥ "the Ba of Neferirkare") was built for the Fifth Dynasty pharaoh Neferirkare Kakai in the 25th century BC. It was the tallest structure on the highest site at the necropolis of Abusir, found between Giza and Saqqara, and still towers over the necropolis. The pyramid is also significant because its excavation led to the discovery of the Abusir Papyri.
The Fifth Dynasty marked the end of the great pyramid constructions during the Old Kingdom. Pyramids of the era were smaller and becoming more standardized, though intricate relief decoration also proliferated. Neferirkare's pyramid deviated from convention as it was originally built as a step pyramid: a design that had been antiquated after the Third Dynasty (26th or 27th century BC). This was then encased in a second step pyramid with alterations intended to convert it into a true pyramid; However, the pharaoh's death left the work to be completed by his successors. The remaining works were completed in haste, using cheaper building material. (Full article...)
H.M.S. Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It opened at the Opera Comique in London, on 25 May 1878 and ran for 571 performances, which was the second-longest run of any musical theatre piece up to that time. H.M.S. Pinafore was Gilbert and Sullivan's fourth operatic collaboration and their first international sensation.
The story takes place aboard the Royal Navy ship HMS Pinafore. The captain's daughter, Josephine, is in love with a lower-class sailor, Ralph Rackstraw, although her father intends her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty. She abides by her father's wishes at first, but Sir Joseph's advocacy of the equality of humankind encourages Ralph and Josephine to overturn conventional social order. They declare their love for each other and eventually plan to elope. The Captain discovers this plan, but, as in many of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, a surprise disclosure changes things dramatically near the end of the story. (Full article...)
Did you know...
- ... that the Portland Armory (pictured) in Portland, Oregon was the first building on the National Register of Historic Places to achieve a Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification?
- ... that the New Jersey Library Association, the oldest library organization in New Jersey, began in 1890 with 39 members and currently has over 1,600?
- ... that British TV presenter Dermot O'Leary once played as a punt returner for the Colchester Gladiators?
In this month
- 5 May 1726 – Handel's opera Alessandro premieres at the King's Theatre in London with Italian castrato singer Senesino in the title role
- 12 May 1926 – Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 1, which he composed at the age of 19 while a student at Leningrad Conservatory, receives its first performance
- 22 May 1844 – Impressionst painter and printmaker Mary Cassatt (self-portrait pictured) is born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania
- 26 May 1897 – Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, which later became the subject of numerous theatrical, film and television interpretations, is published by Constable & Co.
- 29 May 1913 – Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring premieres in Paris and causes a riot in the audience between supporters and opponents of the work
- August 5: DaBaby Levitating remix losing US radio audiences after the rapper's comments on HIV/AIDS
- June 11: Taylor Swift's Evermore records biggest sales week of the year as it returns to No 1 on album chart
- May 27: Olivia Rodrigo's song good 4 u debuts at No 1 on US Billboard Hot 100 chart
- May 25: 'Rock and roll never dies': Italy wins Eurovision after 30 years
- February 10: Disney to shut down Blue Sky Studios, animation studio behind 'Ice Age'
Lisa del Giocondo was a member of the Gherardini family of Florence and Tuscany in Italy. Her name was given to Mona Lisa, her portrait commissioned by her husband and painted by, Leonardo da Vinci, during the Italian Renaissance.
Little is known about Lisa's life. Married as a teenager to a cloth and silk merchant who later became a local official, she was mother to five children and led what is thought to have been a comfortable and ordinary middle-class life. Lisa outlived her husband, who was about 20 years her senior.
Centuries after Lisa's death, Mona Lisa became the world's most famous painting and took on a life separate from Lisa, the woman. Speculation by scholars and hobbyists made the work of art a globally recognized icon and an object of commercialization. During the early 21st century, a discovery made at a university library was powerful enough evidence to end speculation about the sitter's identity and definitively identified Lisa del Giocondo as the subject of the Mona Lisa. (Full article...)
|“||All the world's a stage / And all the men and women merely players / They have their exits and their entrances / And one man in his time plays many parts ...||”|
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