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German Pop Art











Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt,
6 Nov. 2014
– 8 Feb. 2015















                  What's New
Berlin isn't as cool as it used to be, 2014 edition.  (Rolling Stone, 2/6/14; The New York Times, 2/21/14; Gawker, 2/24/14; The Atlantic Cities, 3/7/14; The New Republic, 9/12/14; CityLab, 12/16/14; The Guardian, 12/19/14)
Can an unfinished Strength Through Joy resort on the Baltic Sea become a luxury vacation destination today?  (The Washington Post, 12/15/14) The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt goes pop! Gain a new appreciation for German pop art of the 1960s and 1970s, now through February 8. (BBC Arts; The Economist, 12/12/14)


                  Stay cool, Frankfurt School
Fifty years after Herbert Marcuse tried to warn us, we're still one-dimensional: "There is no meaningful opposition in the political, social, and media worlds; all new forms of opposition become paralyzed before being formed; cynicism infects all politics; even imagining an alternative seems futile." (Boston Review, 11/17/14) You know Theodor Adorno, the legendary sociologist, philosopher, musicologist, and media critic. But have you read his 1956 essay on punctuation marks?  (Brain Pickings, 9/11/14) Alex Ross takes on Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and their critique of pop culture.  (The New Yorker, 9/15/14)


                   Music
"Not quite a narrative, not quite a concept album, and not quite performance art but a theatrical mélange of the three": Einstürzende Neubauten's Lament commemorates the WWI centenary as you've never heard it done before.  (The Quietus, 11/20/14; Financial Times, 11/21/14) "For those of you, ladies and gentlemen, who aren't so fond of beat music, we ask for your understanding - this is a live show made by young people, for young people. Let's go!"  (Deutsche Welle, 9/7/14) Jeremy Eichler peers into "the dense fog of history, politics, biography, and musical fashion that has always clouded the fascinating, enigmatic career of Erich Korngold."  (The Boston Globe, 9/6/14)


                  Art / Architecture
The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt goes pop! Gain a new appreciation for German pop art of the 1960s and 1970s, now through February 8. (BBC Arts; The Economist, 12/12/14) "For over 40 years, Bernd and Hilla Becher photographed the architecture of industrialisation: water towers, coal bunkers, blast furnaces, gas tanks and factory facades." See their work at Sprüth Magers London, now through October 3.  (The Guardian, 9/3/14) The looting of art and antiquities in Germany didn't end in 1945. In the GDR, "officials systematically stole from the country's art collectors and sold their possessions to raise hard currency."  (Spiegel Online - International, 7/24/14)


                  Books / Literature
Ten notable books by German authors, published in English translation in 2014. Have you read them all?  (Deutsche Welle, 12/16/14) Alex Ross takes on Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and their critique of pop culture.  (The New Yorker, 9/15/14) "There are no more issues in the warehouse." It's the end of an era for the Brockhaus encyclopedia -- now available only online.  (Deutsche Welle, 8/17/14)


                  Film
Ten classic German expressionist films at your fingertips—what's not to love about that?  (Open Culture, 12/11/14) Rüdiger Suchsland's documentary From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses may not be groundbreaking, but its vintage film clips "look glorious."  (Deutsche Welle, 9/4/14; Variety, 9/5/14) The first English-language reviews are in for the film adaptation of Charlotte Roche's Wetlands: "Director David Wnendt and breakout star Carla Juri leave no bodily orifice unexplored in this spiky, smartly packaged commercial enterprise."  (Screen, 8/11/13; Indiewire, 8/15/13; Variety, 8/19/13; The Daily Beast, 1/17/14; Slate, 8/20/14)


                  Theater
"Anti-Brechtians charge Mother Courage and its creator with being irritatingly didactic, insufferably self-important, and full of maddening contradictions. It’s all true, of course. And it’s this very spirit -- irascible, indomitable -- that makes the play (and Mother C.) so irresistible."  (The Daily Beast, 9/10/14) The latest productions at Berlin's Maxim Gorki Theater "stick out a playfully defiant tongue at German assimilationism's wagging white finger." (n+1, 8/29/14) Tanztheater Wuppertal is alive and well, reports Roslyn Sulcas, with an ambitious 40th anniversary season.  (The New York Times, 5/15/14)


                  History
Can an unfinished Strength Through Joy resort on the Baltic Sea become a luxury vacation destination today?  (The Washington Post, 12/15/14) "The first to be singled out for systematic murder by the Nazis were the mentally ill and intellectually disabled...Now, they are among the last to have their suffering publicly acknowledged."  (The New York Times, 9/2/14) Behold the Schmiedhammer Fritz, weighty symbol of Prussia's burgeoning industrial and military might. (History Today, 9/2014)


                  Et Cetera
Berlin isn't as cool as it used to be, 2014 edition.  (Rolling Stone, 2/6/14; The New York Times, 2/21/14; Gawker, 2/24/14; The Atlantic Cities, 3/7/14; The New Republic, 9/12/14; CityLab, 12/16/14; The Guardian, 12/19/14) In appreciation of Jakob Maria Mierscheid, "guided by a consistent moral compass and yet open to compromise. Through his very being he has humanised and enlivened German democracy."  (The Economist, 12/12/14) "Does the world need the idea of 'bad' Germans?" (The Wilson Quarterly, 2014)