Articles by Kathryn Dere
April 5, 2013
For those of you whose wanderlust is currently constrained by the demands of the academic calendar, Joël Tettamanti: Compass Points is not to be missed. After all, this newest exhibition at the MIT Museum — and the first solo exhibition in the United States for Switzerland-based Tettamanti — is all about travel. Compass Points includes more than 70 works by Tettamanti, shot in locations ranging from the built-up city of Seoul to more isolated communities in Greenland.
March 22, 2013
Be it pre-WWI and flapper gowns in Downton Abbey, or the green halter dress that Keira Knightley donned in Atonement, costume drama (post-Victorian costume drama, in particular) continually draws us in. Last month, Jacqueline Durran won the Oscar for Best Costume for her work in Anna Karenina — a strikingly modern production not just because Keira Knightley practically drips vintage-style Chanel jewelry, but also because the story, set in the late 19th century, was purposefully presented with a good measure of 1950s couture tailoring. What is it about 20th century fashion that fascinates us so much?
January 9, 2013
Rare are those who profess a love for every kind of art, and rarer still are those who actually have time to read about all of it. With the sheer volume of media that bombards us on a daily basis, is it even feasible to break art down into smaller, more digestible pieces? Luckily for the rest of us, art historian Michael Bird has written a book that caters to every sort of art lover, from novice art historian to seasoned museum-goer. 100 Ideas that Changed Art explains art’s long history in bite-sized chunks, covering topics ranging from cave art to the Internet.
September 28, 2012
If you have not yet been to Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, now is the time to go. Thanks to street artist Swoon (Caledonia Curry), the ICA, or at least part of it, is temporarily festive. Swoon installed Anthropocene Extinction in its lobby just over a year ago, and the effect is still as refreshing as ever.
September 14, 2012
It’s always disturbing to see how quickly money (a lot of it) can persuade people to compromise their morals, and Nicholas Jarecki’s feature-length directorial debut offers a glimpse of this in the form of the glitzy, sometimes seedy, world of high finance. Arbitrage follows the story of Robert Miller (Richard Gere), a 60-year-old hedge fund executive getting ready to retire into full-time philanthropy. But, as in any Wall Street thriller, there are a few catches in the plan: Miller’s a fraud (he’s padding his company’s books with some $400 million of his friend’s money), and he needs to complete the merger of his company before he’s exposed. The stakes become even higher when Miller accidentally becomes involved in the death of his mistress, art gallery owner Julie (Laetitia Casta). A massive cover-up ensues, one that involves Miller keeping his family in the dark and enlisting the help of Jimmy Grant (Nate Parker), the son of a former employee and the only guy who he knows from the other side of town.
July 11, 2012
Scottish singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald entered the US music scene five years ago with This Is the Life, but we haven’t seen (or heard) much of her since. It’s been a long wait for US-based fans — her second album, A Curious Thing (2010), is not readily available on this side of the Atlantic — but the recently released Life in a Beautiful Light makes for the perfect summer soundtrack.
June 13, 2012
A visit to the art galleries on the second floor of the MIT Museum yields a pleasant surprise. “Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya”, featuring the photography of filmmaker-mountaineer David Breashears, successfully integrates art and science to paint a fascinating portrait of climate change in the Greater Himalaya region.
March 2, 2012
In her stage adaptation of Jung Chang’s Wild Swans, Alexandra Wood has crafted a vivid portrait of the political turmoil and uncertainty surrounding Mao Zedong’s rule in China. Chang’s memoir, which spans a century of history and covers the lives of three generations of women — her grandmother, her mother, and herself — is a lengthy one, but on the stage, the epic plays out in five acts and less than two hours.
February 10, 2012
Last Thursday’s French-themed program at the Boston Symphony Orchestra featured a fashion show to complement the performance of Debussy’s La Mer. Project Debussy, part of an annual fashion competition based on the works of a composer, featured eleven Debussy-inspired designs by local fashion students. This Project Composer series adds a new dimension to the usual symphony-goer’s experience, as couture and music — at least classical music — is rarely explored together.
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February 7, 2012
2011 was a year of general unrest and uncertainty — rioting and political upheaval throughout the world, a possible start to the collapse of the Eurozone, and on American soil, the Occupy Wall Street movement. On the arts front, the arrest of Chinese contemporary artist and political activist Ai Weiwei on charges of tax evasion sparked international protest. Despite the universal tensions on political and economic fronts, however, the entertainment industry somehow managed to maintain its golden world of sugar-coated pop and blockbuster films.