Sunday links

Sunday links

Highlight of the weekend was definitely Thomas Ostermeier’s Hamlet at the Barbican. Today’s matinee performance was the last (Wednesday’s show was cancelled because of strike action), so any recommendations of reviews will only give you a sense of what you missed. Staged across nearly three hours with no interval, acted by a cast of six (one actor plays both Gertrude and Ophelia), and set on a large square of dark, damp earth, it is certainly one-of-a-kind: bonkers, brilliant at times, silly, self-indulgent, extraordinarily physical, intense and thrilling, vibrantly theatrical and anti-theatrical, but also at moments all-too-obvious. For more, read the Guardian‘s Lyn Gardner, Kate Kellaway for the ObserverDaisy Bowie-Sell for the Telegraph. Then, go below for other links to interesting stuff from the past week.

The magic of the lantern: delightful Bioscope post about the launch of the Lucerna database and about magic lantern slides in general.

Why on earth is the history man being quite so hysterical?: Catherine Bennett for the Observer on the Niall Ferguson-Pankaj Mishra row.

Universities under attack: Keith Thomas for the London Review of Books on the absurdities of the REF (and if you don’t know what this is, read his polemic).

Translating in the dark: Tim Parks at the New York Review of Books on the tricky topic of translation.

• Point and paint: I really want to see this show, reviewed here by The Economist, exploring the links between early photography and painting – at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam until 8 January, then the Phillips Collection in Washington DC.

• Possible forging of modern art is investigated: one of those richly interesting articles where you know there’s much more to the story still to come out – Patricia Cohen in The New York Times on what may or may not be forged modernist masterpieces by the likes of Pollock and Motherwell.

• Five books interview – Hal Foster on Pop art: terrific choice by the Princeton prof of volumes by Reyner Banham, Richard Hamilton, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter and Ed Ruscha.

The hideousness of the art world: you’ll have read this already, but if not it’s a compelling piece by Charles Saatchi (oh, yes) about contemporary art as ‘the sport of the Eurotrashy, Hedge-fundy, Hamptonites; of trendy oligarchs and oiligarchs; and of art dealers with masturbatory levels of self-regard.’ Much as I dislike the man in many ways, I’d say this is pretty spot-on.

The museum website as a newspaper: interesting interview with the Walker Art Centre about their new website (thanks to @mia_out).

Visual art performance vs contemporary performance: Andy Horwitz at Culturebot is very good on the visual art world’s seeming ignorance of performance traditions and techniques.

Engagement – is TV finally ready for a new metric?: fascinating Frank Rose piece at Deep Media.

BBC Weather – design refresh in pictures: great BBC blog (with great images) by Melanie Seyer, who leads design for the BBC Weather product.

Institutions, confidence and the news crisis: a new Clay Shirky post – what more do you need to know?