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Otto Piene





















Otto Piene (1928-2014)


                  What's New
Fifteen more years of explaining Hitler: Ron Rosenbaum on the Downfall parodies, Godwin's Law, and how functionalism "has been cast into the dustbin of history along with 'the banality of evil.'"  (Los Angeles Review of Books, 7/10/14; The Daily Beast, 7/26/14) "Conspiracy theories aren’t necessarily wrong, and in some cases there is compelling evidence that conspiracies did lie behind major historical events. But not this one." Richard Evans makes the case that Marinus van der Lubbe acted alone.  (London Review of Books, 5/8/14) In memoriam: Otto Piene (1928-2014), "known for his experiments in kinetic art and for working at the junction of art, nature and technology."  (The New York Times, 7/18/14; The Huffington Post, 7/22/14; The Guardian, 7/24/14)


                  World Cup Champions
The World Cup of Modern Art? Germany would win that too, writes Jonathan Jones.  (The Guardian, 7/14/14) "Whatever its roots, German success is important and instructive."  (The New York Times, 7/17/14; Newsweek, 7/17/14) "Germany has a habit of winning the World Cup at symbolic moments." Gideon Rachmann explores 2014's golden moment (and why it may not last).  Financial Times, 7/14/14


                   Music
"This is not just Beethoven revealed, but Beethoven hyped -- the great anecdotes related and embellished by an enthusiastic raconteur."  (The Weekly Standard, 6/2/14) "In Berlin, Bowie made his journey from addiction to independence, from celebrity paranoia to radical, unmasked messenger..."  (Financial Times, 1/31/14; The Economist, 5/22/14) Free the Karlheinz Stockhausen recordings! "For the past thirty years, most of Stockhausen’s music has been all but impossible to hear, and a generation or more has come of age without the slightest understanding of what he once meant to young composers and musicians..."  (The New York Review of Books, 5/23/14)


                  Art / Architecture
In memoriam: Otto Piene (1928-2014), "known for his experiments in kinetic art and for working at the junction of art, nature and technology."  (The New York Times, 7/18/14; The Huffington Post, 7/22/14; The Guardian, 7/24/14) The Nazi-era catalogues of auctioneer Adolf Weinmüller are now available online. "In some cities, the artworks seized from Jewish owners after 1938 were auctioned by his house, nearly without exception."  (The Art Newspaper, 5/29/14; Deutsche Welle, 6/4/14) Question your assumptions about "degenerate art" at NYC's Neue Galerie, now through September 1.
(The New York Times, 3/13/14; The New Yorker, 3/24/14; The Washington Post, 5/23/14; The New York Review of Books, 6/19/14)


                  Books / Literature
Listen in on the poetry of a complicated relationship -- Brecht & Steffin: Love in a Time of Exile and War, at London's Southbank Centre on July 19. (The Guardian, 7/10/14) Attention, U.S. readers: now you can catch up with Andrea Maria Schenkel's best-selling thriller Tannöd (translated as The Murder Farm by Anthea Bell).  (The New York Times, 6/10/14) Kurt Tucholsky -- brilliant, prolific, witty, and newly available in English, too. Thank you, Berlinica!  (The New York Times, 6/6/14)


                  Film
A complete retrospective of Fritz Lang's silent and talking feature films! At the Harvard Film Archive, now through September 1.  (WBUR, 7/16/14; Harvard Gazette, 7/17/14) "The nineteen-twenties were a time of unrestrained cinematic audacity." See F. W. Murnau's Faust, among the decade's audacious best.  (The New Yorker, 6/24/14) In memoriam: Karlheinz Böhm (1928-2014).  He played Emperor Franz Joseph, Beethoven, and a creepy serial killer on film. In real life, he helped to raise millions for a country in need. (Deutsche Welle, 5/30/14; The Guardian, 5/30/2014; The Washington Post, 5/30/2014)


                  Theater
"This is a good year for those interested in Brecht," beginning with the publication of a new biography by Stephen Parker.  (The Independent, 2/14/14; The Washington Post, 5/16/14) Tanztheater Wuppertal is alive and well, reports Roslyn Sulcas, with an ambitious 40th anniversary season.  (The New York Times, 5/15/14) The Welsh National Opera is taking on Arnold Schoenberg's Moses und Aron -- the first staged production in Britain since 1976.  (The Guardian, 5/15/14;The Arts Desk, 5/25/14)


                  History
Fifteen more years of explaining Hitler: Ron Rosenbaum on the Downfall parodies, Godwin's Law, and how functionalism "has been cast into the dustbin of history along with 'the banality of evil.'"  (Los Angeles Review of Books, 7/10/14; The Daily Beast, 7/26/14) "Conspiracy theories aren’t necessarily wrong, and in some cases there is compelling evidence that conspiracies did lie behind major historical events. But not this one." Richard Evans makes the case that Marinus van der Lubbe acted alone.  (London Review of Books, 5/8/14) In memoriam: Hans-Ulrich Wehler (1931-2014). He sought the roots of Nazism in failed 19th-century modernization. "Few historians of any era have written so much, of such high quality, about so many different subjects."  (The Guardian, 7/18/14; H-Net, 7/21/14)


                  Et Cetera
Supergeil!  If this doesn't make you want to shop at Edeka, what will?  (Slate, 2/24/14; The New York Times, 7/25/14) Can this relationship be saved? On Germany, the U.S., and mismatched expectations in the post-Cold War era.  (The Daily Beast, 7/9/14; Spiegel Online - International, 7/10/14; Los Angeles Times, 7/10/14; The New York Times, 7/10/14; The New York Times, 7/13/14) 7:1!  Time to start casting Das Wunder von Belo Horizonte.  (Slate, 7/8/14; The Guardian, 7/9/14; The New York Times, 7/9/14; Spiegel Online - International, 7/9/14)