“... where the names of famous men are written.”
Contrary to what you may have been taught in school, neither legend nor literature started with Beowulf. That dual honor goes to The Epic of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian work so ancient that it saw the light of day on clay tablets rather than on paper. A sweeping and magnificent tale of bravery, it was also man’s earliest meditation on the mystery of existence. And thanks to UMS, it is now a multimedia event incorporating music and painting. The former element is brought to us by Juilliard-trained clarinetist Kinan Azmeh; the latter by the “spontaneous drawings” of Syrian/Armenian artist Kevork Mourad. Together they succeed in creating “a shockingly different take on one of the world’s oldest literary texts.” January 23 and 24 in Ann Arbor’s Biomedical Science Research Building Auditorium. For ticket info and directions: ums.org or 734.764.2538. And read the book if you haven’t already — Gil makes Conan look like a sissy!
Changing of the Guard
The Gallery Project in Ann Arbor is marking the first months of the Obama administration with a new exhibit entitled Change and they’ve asked artists to visually imagine “alternatives” to the present state of the union. It’s an interesting vista of outlooks touching on everything from the physical environment to the workplace. It’s about hope, improvement — and maybe a glimpse of what lies ahead. Among those in the show: Jef Bourgeau, Nick Sousanis, Cynthia Foley, Jane Hutton, Erin Moran and Dick Goody. January 21 thru March 1. 215 S. Fourth Ave. Call 734.997.7012.
The Voice and the Broken Heart
Judy Garland was Hollywood’s most tragic sacrificial victim — a woman of astonishing talent who either became lost or was mangled within the Dream Factory. Beyond the Rainbow, the current production at Meadow Brook Theatre, does not shy away from the darkness of those years, but its chief focus is on the light and the magic that Frances Gumm delivered in such classic films as The Wizard of Oz and Meet Me in St. Louis. The Rainbow stays up 'til February 1 and there’s more at mbtheatre.com
A Welcome Change from Margaret Cho
As an installation artist, Jae Won Lee draws upon an astonishing range of material. She’s used paper, porcelain, random slivers of silicon and even hair to create pieces that reflect not only her Korean heritage but also her ongoing transformation from “an Asian artist to an Asian-American one.” It’s a compelling transformation — both exhilarating and contemplative. You may enjoy a glimpse of the ongoing process at the Oakland University Art Gallery. There will also be an artist’s talk scheduled for February 1. More at oakland.edu/ouag
The Popcorn will be PROPERLY Buttered
Our friends over at the 555 Gallery have decided that affordable cinema complements art shows quite nicely, so they’re inaugurating a film series for the discerning cineaste in all of us. They’re calling it F***ed Up Movie Night (witty!) and for just $2 you can settle into a seat and enjoy such celluloid classics as Rolling Thunder and Super Fuzz. That’s every second Thursday of every month. A visit to 555 will also result in a deeper appreciation for such Detroit artists as Nicole Parker, Carl W. Goines, Jason Matthews and others. 4884 Grand River. Myspace.com/detroitmovienight
Eastern Exposure/Occidental Observations
One of our favorite dance companies has decided to warm the environs with oriental flavor at a January 24 show at Blondies. Spag Burlesque Chases the Dragon will see Detroit’s illustrious g-string ensemble sharing the venue with a compelling cast of supporting players from here and elsewhere; so in addition to exotic grinding there’ll be some sweet swaying by Toledo’s own Mesmeric Bellydance troupe, an art show with silent auction, some new works by Mark Arminski and Audrey Pongracz, and rockabilly rhythms furnished by Port Huron’s Subourbon Sun. Be advised also that the Belmont’s walls are still adorned with Colors in Harmony, a group show with a number of local talents on the roster, including Donato whose crescendos and diminuendos make for some splendid “music.” Blondies: 2281 W. Fort; 313.964.1000; The Belmont: 10217 Jos. Campau in Hamtramck.
Andrew Wyeth RIP
Christina sends a kiss. | RDW
© Copyright by RealDetroitWeekly.com