Sunday links

28th June 2020

John Wyver writes: another selection of links, many gratefully harvested from my Twitter follows, to articles and videos that have felt significant over the past week.

You want a Confederate monument? My body is a Confederate monument: extraordinarily powerful writing from poet Caroline Randall Williams, for The New York Times.

Lest we forget the horrors – a catalog of Trump’s worst cruelties, collusions, corruptions, and crimes: McSweeney’s brilliant project has reached no 759. 759. 759.

Since day one, Donald Trump has been an autocrat in the making: Masha Gessen’s new book, excerpted by the Guardian; see also Masha Gessen’s unarguable Why are some journalists afraid of ‘moral clarity’?, from The New Yorker.

American fascism – it has happened here: Sarah Churchwell for New York Review of Books.

Swimming with the sharks – what progressives can learn from Republicans Against Trump: Laura Shields and Dirk Singer for politics.co.uk on the remarkably effective Lincoln Project.

Full-length version of Portland State’s national anthem duet: the accompanying text says, ‘While filming the national anthem for Portland State University’s virtual commencement ceremonies on the South Park Blocks in downtown Portland, a stranger asked if they could sing with PSU graduate Madisen Hallberg.’

You also need to know, as a Youtube contributor writes: ‘His name is Emmanuel Henreid. He’s a well known & respected, Classically trained Singer, Dancer, Actor, & Pianist. He currently sings for the Portland Opera Co, Maui Opera Co, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Gospel Choir Kingdom Sound, & teaches students around the Globe.’ I found the — socially distanced — duet very moving.

Here is George Henderson: the North East’s film pioneer: excellent from Lawrence Napper, with some wonderful embeds of early cinema, and with more to come; these mute images from Seaham Harbour in 1899, from the British Movietone collection, are astonishing:

Cinema’s first epidemic – from contagious twitching to convulsive laughter: Maggie Hennefeld for LA Review of Books on silent film epidemics.

Tokyo Olympiad – the wind passing through the flagpoles: James Quandt for Criterion’s The Current on Kon Ichikawa’s film of the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo.

Frank Beauvais introduces his film Just Don’t Think I’ll Scream: @mubi Notebook, striking thoughts from the director about the process of making his unconventional found-footage film.

On beauty – three new films in the Dau opus: another very good column at @mubi Notebook, in this case by Ela Bittencourt on the latest releases from the utterly extraordinary Russian cinematic universe.

State of Cinema 2020: lots to reflect on (and a bit to disagree with, perhaps), from filmmaker Olivier Assayas’s passionate lecture in Sabzian’s annual invitation series; the 50-minute video, with English subtitles is here:

Emerging from the siege: from the History of the BBC blog, Hans-Ulrich Wagner relates the tale of the founding of a unique German-British radio orchestra, which was formed seventy-five years ago this month.

The Little Britain affair is a reminder of the UK’s long and toxic love affair with blacking up: David Olusoga, who has been especially brilliant over the past weeks, for New Statesman.

Martha Argerich (2020): Chopin Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58: recorded in an empty hall and released online this week – a breathtaking 26 minutes and 12 seconds…

Oliver Soden on Priaulx Rainier: a short Twitter thread this week, with lovely links, which brought pleasure:

John Elderfield and Terry Winters on Cézanne’s rock and quarry paintings: for the Brooklyn Rail, the critic and the painter discuss a show that the former curated at the Princeton University Art Museum (see header image). Open for just a week before the lockdown, this was to have traveled to the Royal Academy but now will not. I am sad that I will not be able to see this.

Diversifying Art History: an excellent Google Docs bibliography from the team at the History of Art at the University of Edinburgh: ‘We acknowledge that this is necessarily a flawed document, and don’t pretend it is exhaustive. There is (inevitably) more to add – and, possibly, some things we could take away.’

Looking closely at art during lockdown: for Apollo, thoughts from collectors Philip Hewat-Jaboor and Alice S. Kandell.

Square roots: as the Artforum sub-head has it, Paula Burleigh on Zoom and the modernist grid – this is such a rich piece, and one that I want to return to, but do read it now.

How the Coronavirus will reshape architecture: for The New Yorker, reflections on the future of spaces and places by Kyle Chayka.

Warrior librarians: Neal Ascherson for LRB reviews, rather brilliantly, Kathy Peiss’s Information hunters: when librararian, soldiers and spies banded together in World War Two Europe.

Britain’s first major recycling drive fell apart 80 years ago – it’s a warning to UK government today: contributing to The Conversation, Henry Irving writes on a recycling scheme in the early months of World War Two, and the lessons it may hold for today.

Britain’s persistent racism cannot simply be explained by its imperial history: David Edgerton for the Guardian.

You are cordially invited…: on a lighter note, a delightful post from LCC Municipal on invites to long-past events in the metropole’s local government history.

Four years on, we need a whole new Brexit debate: I really should include Chris Grey’s weekly Brexit Blog post every Sunday, since its deeply informed, quietly angry analysis is a small part of what keeps me from screaming at the world – this week’s offering is especially good, and even slightly positive.

Bruce Springsteen’s playlist for the Trump era: … and this, compiled for The Atlantic with David Brooks, is just glorious, with Billie Holiday, Paul Robeson, Jay-Z and Kanye West, together with Joe Gruschecky’s ‘That’s What Makes Us Great’, which the Boss recorded as a duet with Joe – this version on Youtube has terrific photo visuals from Radio Ninguaparte:

Header image: Paul Cézanne, L’Estaque, 1879-83. Oil on canvas. 80.3 x 99.4 cm. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The William S. Paley Collection, 1959, from Cézanne: The Rock and Quarry Paintings.

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