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Cultural Caviar

June 01, 2010

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Cultural Caviar

Pierre Bergé Design Sale, Brussels, Belgium, June 9
Tom Dixon, Marcel Breuer, Alberto Giacometti, The Lalannes, Line Vautrin, Serge Mouille, Pierre Jeanneret, Joe Colombo, and many more works by renowned designers will be up for grabs through this top art and antiques auction house. Works by young designers such as Guy Brown and Peter Traag will be available alongside more expensive pieces like Ron Arad’s Blow-Void rocking chair. You’ll need deep pockets, or just a love of good design.

 



Chicago Blues Festival, Chicago, IL, June 11 - 13
Blues fans beware—and get down to Grant Park to celebrate blues greats like Ray Charles, B.B. King, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy and Koko Taylor. This is the largest free blues festival in the world and remains the largest of Chicago’s music festivals. During three days on five stages, almost a million blues fans prove that Chicago is the “Blues Capital of the World.” Don’t miss this!

 


Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in Fences, New York
Of the 10 Tony nominations this Broadway revival garnered, Washington and Davis’ are perhaps the two most deserved. Although the two were little more than professional acquaintances back when they started rehearsing in March, they have since developed an on- and offstage presence full of warmth and playfulness, essential to the rapport of their characters’ marriage—its hopes and downfalls. (In a recent New York Times interview, the two were noted to finish each other’s sentences. Some surprise: the two had long conversations with Tony-nominated director Kenny Leon developing a rich backstory for the couple’s courtship, from their first date, first night of sex, and the first night Troy told Rose he once killed a man. Because of that, it’s arguably the best play revival to hit Broadway yet.



Pantone Hotel, Brussels, Belgium
Interior designer Olivier Hannaert and architect Michel Penneman have completed a hotel for Pantone, the color company, in the heart of the Belgian capitol near the Avenue Louise, a glamorous shopping and business district. Guests can chose a room color depending on their mood, and meet with a color consultant, should they need an expert. The Pantone is a unique boutique hotel, and work of art in itself. It verges on kitsch, but like with all such things, will brighten one’s outlook and amuse one’s senses.



Ganga Dussehra, Varanasi, India, June 11
Hindus come from across India to the sacred city of Varanasi to bathe in the holy waters of the Ganges. It is believed that anyone who dies in Varanasi goes straight to heaven. Devotees of the Ganga come to purify their soul and carry the river clay home to venerate. Varanasi is one of India’s holiest cities and a visit to this festival is surely like no other. The city is impressive on any day, but the scene on the ghats this particular day are a colorful and chaotic spectacle everyone should see at least once.



Nude Visions, Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, Germany, June 1 - August 15
The exhibition gathers images and attitudes towards the body as it has been observed, and as standards have changed over the past two centuries. Bert Stern’s Marilyn Monroe, the surrealists, and the cult of physical health of the Neue Sachlichkeit movement of the 1930s are on view. Curated by the Munchner Stadt Museum with an accompanying book, this collection of photography lifts the veils that often accompany the human form. An appropriate exhibition, it would seem, as the summer starts and clothes come off with the heat.



Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic
Maestro Alan Gilbert just finished up his first season as music director of the New York Philharmonic—and how. This weekend marked the New York’s first presentation of Le Grand Macabre, a work Gilbert calls “symbolic, erotic, and bizarre.” Indeed, since taking over, the 43-year-old conductor has shaken up the traditionally stuffy Philharmonic with fresh ideas, combining masterpieces from the classical canon with daring modern fare. The 2010-2011 season opens in September with performances of Wynton Marsalis’ Swing Symphony, R. Strauss’ Don Juan, and Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes by Carl Maria von Weber.



El Colacho, Castrillo de Murcia, Spain, June 6
Strange, but oh so true. Since 1620 Castrillo de Murcia has been celebrating Corpus Christi with El Colacho. The famously bizarre event has grown men dressed as the devil leaping over rows of babies. The Catholic festival of Corpus Christi is celebrated all over Spain with processions, mystery plays and a wide variety of events, but this one has to be the most intriguing. People imagine that as the incarnate devils jump over the infants they take evil with them, leaving the children cleansed. Attendees should be prepared to be chased and terrorized. Ooohh!



An Idealized History of Fashion, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France, through October 10
Suddenly 70s style is being re-embraced—and not just by women in platform shoes on the street. Curator Oliver Saillard has brought life back into an an era of dancing, prancing models, and experimental ready-to-wear fashion with multimedia installations of the most imaginative kind: the exhibition opens with the 40s inspired collection that a young Yves Saint Laurent dared to send out in 1971 (referencing the war period when collaboration was still an open wound in France). Then, with jazz playing in the background, models step out in short dresses and wide shouldered vests, while the audience is captured on film in disbelief, discomfort, and electrified excitement—or just yawning boredom. Meanwhile, another screen shows a television show interpreting the clothes as madness and mayhem. Finally, the big and best surprise: the models are shown smiling. What a contrast to today’s everyday waifs. In this exhibit, the “tasteless” 70s burst with life and joy so missing from today’s runways.


The World Cup, South Africa, June 11 - July 11
Need we say more? The World Cup, more than any other sporting (or otherwise) event worldwide, attracts viewers and attention of all kinds. Every four years, in pubs and corporate boardrooms, thatched huts and flophouses, fans of “the Beautiful Game” gather around televisions and transistor radios—and now, for the deep of pocket, iPhones and 3-D flat screens—to cheer for their heroes. Doesn’t matter whether they call it soccer or football, whether they’re male or female, they watch and listen by the billions, holding their breath at every corner kick, falling to their knees and leaping for joy at every goal scored. That this year’s tournament is in South Africa, where apartheid was the law of the land until 1994, only adds to the heightened sense of celebration—this is about a whole lot more than just soccer. Can’t wait for the games to start? Vanity Fair‘s Annie Liebowitz has some yummy photos of the star players for you to eye—they’re wearing their flags. And very little else.

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