Gridlines is our recurring feature about the world of visual arts, performing arts, media arts, and beyond. We’re talking about the latest and greatest (and less-than-greatest) happenings—what’s grabbing our attention, bringing us joy, piquing our curiosity, and otherwise making us stop and take note. Today's Gridlines comes from Jennifer Wray, Wex marketing & media assistant.
Laurie Anderson performs Landfall with the Kronos Quartet at the Wex. Photo: Brooke LaValley
I’m a big fan of Swedish singer Jens Lekman (as the poster in my bedroom from his 2008 Wex performance will attest). Late last year, my husband and I took a road trip to Cincinnati to catch him in a performance that included songs created as part of his Postcards project. The project, evidence that Lekman is better than most of us at fulfilling a New Year’s resolution, saw him write and record a new song for each week of 2015. You can read Laura Snapes’ interview with Lekman, plus get her guide to all 52 songs—and hear them streaming via Soundcloud—on Pitchfork.
- While we’re taking a moment to look back at 2015, be sure to join artnet in marveling over “The 15 Weirdest and Wildest Art Stories of 2015,” or as they describe it, “a big year for the burgeoning medium of ear art.”
- Last year was “great” for women—“but only if 2015 marks the last year in which things can be so very bad,” says Rachel Syme, in her powerful essay, “Pay Women the Money They Need to Make the Culture,” which examines how women are “widely shut out of cultural production, paid significantly less than their peers, and rarely given the chance or financial backing to create mainstream art without male interventions in the process.”
- Meanwhile, the Angoulême International Comics Festival, one of the world’s most renowned comic-book festivals, agreed this week to add women to its lifetime achievement award nominees. The move came after three major cartoonists and graphic novelists—including Daniel Clowes—pulled their names from consideration after learning of the all male list and called for a boycott, reported the Guardian (U.K.).
- We’re major fans of Laurie Anderson here at the Wex—she joined us at our opening in 1989, and returned last year to perform with the Kronos Quartet as we celebrated our 25th birthday. On the occasion of the screening of her new, acclaimed documentary, Heart of a Dog, Anderson staged a concert for dogs earlier this week in Times Square (featuring sounds “at a low, canine-friendly frequency” reported the New York Times). Visit Gothamist for photos and videos from the evening.
- Speaking of Anderson and dogs, swing by Dangerous Minds to find her (and beloved pup Lolabelle) depicted among the “cool pictures of musicians with their pet dogs and cats, which show how even the most self-obsessed, narcissistic rock god has a smidgen of humanity to care about someone other than themselves.”
- Kodak unveiled its remake of its iconic Super 8 camera (which, in addition to using 8mm film, will employ digital elements) at this year’s CES. The announcement received support from a number of mainstream and indie filmmakers, including Jem Cohen, whose new movie Counting will be here January 15. Cohen said, “Super 8 has been an integral part of my work for 30 years. I didn’t shoot it out of nostalgia or because I wanted something ’low fi’ or because it reminded me of something else. I shot it, and continue to do so, because it has its own integrity, versatility, and power.” Start saving: the camera is expected to retail for $400–$750.