COLUMNS

  • Film

    ARCADIAN RHAPSODY

    P. Adams Sitney on Temenos 2022

    DESPITE CONSIDERABLE OBSTACLES—meteorological, sociological, hygienic, economic—the fifth installment of Gregory Markopoulos’s Eniaios, 1947–91, was an astounding aesthetic success. Eniaios is a roughly eighty-hour opus composed of twenty-two cycles (referred to by the filmmaker as “orders”). Since 2004, the work has been revealed two or three cycles at a time, at intervals of four years, though the 2020 event was delayed by Covid until this past summer. The venue is a field in northwest Arcadia, and the event itself is known as the Temenos.

    Usually, about two hundred pilgrims show up for the

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  • Music

    MACHINE LEARNING

    Sasha Frere-Jones on Michael Rother

    WE MUST FORGIVE OTHERS for the terrible things they do, especially when love takes them to the brink. If you have never heard the first Neu! album, you might find yourself babbling about this music. “It’s so peaceful and alive, and it’s noisy but in this benevolent way, and all of these things happen even though it’s mostly just drums and guitar,” and then you get so excited you say, “This is real Krautrock,” even though you’re not sure you should be using that phrase, but you’ve heard other people say it, and what are you even comparing it to? And then you call the drumming “motorik” because

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  • Top Ten

    BARBARA CHASE-RIBOUD

    Barbara Chase-Riboud shares her top ten

    After graduating from Yale University’s School of Architecture and Design, Barbara Chase-Riboud moved to Europe and spent decades traveling the world, living at the center of numerous artistic, literary, and political circles. Her innovative sculptures—which are characterized by the interplay of cast bronze, aluminum, wool, and silk—appear in museum collections across the globe. In 1974, she published her first book of poetry, From Memphis & Peking (Random House), and in 1979, her debut novel, Sally Hemings (Viking), was released to critical acclaim. Her new book, I Always Knew: A Memoir (

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  • Film

    New Beginnings

    A first look at the 60th New York Film Festival

    THIS YEAR’S DENSELY PACKED New York Film Festival, its sixtieth anniversary edition, just added a special event in honor of the late Jean-Luc Godard. The US landing point for most of the feature films the director made between 1963 and 2018 and the site of an extensive retrospective of his work in 2013, the festival will screen, during its first week, Godard’s final film, The Image Book, on a continuous loop in the amphitheater of the Elinor Bunin Center. Admission is free, but the quality of projection, and particularly the audio—which is crucial to the film—is, as I write, yet unknown. The

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  • Film

    Battle Lines

    Tony Pipolo on “Currents” at the New York Film Festival

    THE “CURENTS” SIDEBAR of the sixtieth-anniversary edition of the New York Film Festival offers fifteen features and more than thirty short works. We might begin with the inspired pairing of a program that includes one of each—Alain Gomis’s riveting Rewind & Play, preceded by Elisabeth Subrin’s cleverly conceived and executed short Maria Schneider, 1983. Since I generally avoid reading notes about movies before watching them, I fell right into Subrin’s trap. The video presents what I assumed was footage of a 1983 television interview with Schneider, followed by the same camera setup with two

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  • Passages

    Fulya Erdemci (1962–2022)

    Övül Ö. Durmusoglu remembers Fulya Erdemci

    “WHAT IS RARE is almost not there,” writes the poet Ahmet Güntan, whom the late Fulya Erdemci often turned to for friendship and inspiration. Fulya was indeed a rare thing herself: a radical and tender vessel for art, poetry, politics, beauty, solidarity, and justice who could trace her legacy back to the budding contemporary art scene of Istanbul in the 1990s. She was a pillar in the infrastructures she built for progressive arts and civic politics in Turkey, and she enriched the art world and the world itself with her radiant vision of the future and her devotion to working toward that vision.

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  • Slant

    Harvest Moon

    The 17th Istanbul Biennial’s audacious return to form

    “COMPOST IS SOMETHING where you bring in things together; but it’s also something that you need to leave alone, somethings have to take their own time and place,” mused David Teh, sitting next to his cocurators Ute Meta Bauer and Amar Kanwar at the press briefing of the seventeenth Istanbul Biennial. Compost, Teh went on, “is what gives this year’s biennial its character.” Their talk on September 12 ushered collectives, critics, curators, and “contributors” to this edition (instead of artists) into the Zeytinburnu Medicinal Plants Garden, a first-time venue for the exhibition. Afterward, a

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  • Music

    Ghost World

    Oren Ambarchi’s music of assemblage and erasure

    IMPROVISATION, says ordinary wisdom, happens in a particular time and place. A player lays down a melody, a rhythm. Another responds. The isolation of the pandemic, coupled with our digital age in which musicians can share files with each other instantly, has forced even stubborn traditionalists to expand their rigid understandings and embrace improvised music layered with overdubs and other studio tricks. Australian guitarist, drummer, and pioneering composer Oren Ambarchi predicted this shift by two decades. The fifty-three-year-old tours relentlessly, accompanied by a who’s who of contemporary

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  • Passages

    Pharoah Sanders (1940–2022)

    David Grundy on Pharoah Sanders

    THE DAY AFTER what would have been John Coltrane’s ninety-sixth birthday, his most famous disciple left the planet. “Trane was the father,” saxophonist Albert Ayler famously remarked, “Pharoah was the son, and I am the Holy Ghost.” Pharoah Sanders, who was eighty-one, first came to prominence as an integral part of Coltrane’s mid-’60s turn to free jazz on recordings like Ascension and Meditations and in the performances of Coltrane’s final quintet. Like Ayler, his use of multiphonics and other extended techniques harked back to R&B “screamers” while simultaneously sounding as if they’d come from

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  • Passages

    Oldenburg was 38

    Charles Ray on Claes Oldenburg

    WHEN I WAS FOURTEEN, I saw a Claes Oldenburg sculpture. It was a big soft thing hanging from the ceiling. Its title was Giant Soft Fan, 1966–67. Clearly it held the image of a fan, but its identity was hallucinatory. Try to describe this strange and wonderful form over the telephone. Give a detailed description—it’s a big soft thing made of vinyl, wood, and foam—but if you refrain from using the word “fan,” the identity of the object will never be determined. The fact that it’s a fan is only apparent in the sculpture’s presence. Even as a fan this sculpture has a visual and physical quality that

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  • Passages

    Claes Oldenburg (1929–2022)

    Rachel Harrison on Claes Oldenburg

    TUESDAY AUGUST 23, 2022

    Woke up and ate a Ray Gun. Dreamt Coming to America was on my T-shirt, actually a wife-beater, people stopped to ask me why. I could stand in the middle of the street with this T-shirt, I say over and over again. Downtown a snow-covered pawn shop, curves and grooves in the artificial light beaming soft pillow icicles carved with a lasso. Landed at Dan’s to eat vegan meatballs with Sousee, Brod, and Nony. We all had more than some wine. Still hungry walking home stopped for French fries.

    Friday, August 26

    Rodin exhibition: dull premise, loved the drawings. Giant walking legs

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  • Film

    Blonde on Blonde

    Andrew Dominik’s Marilyn Monroe nightmare

    TO SAY THAT ANDREW DOMINIK’S BLONDE is a biopic of Marilyn Monroe is not strictly accurate. It would be more precise to say that it is a nightmarish, elliptical horror movie about a beautiful blonde being subsumed, and then destroyed, by an unfeeling industry, and that the blonde’s name happens to be Norma Jean, though people sometimes call her “Marilyn Monroe,” or “slut,” or “sweetheart.” Based on Joyce Carole Oates’s frantic, fragmented, exhilaratingly ugly 2000 novel of the same name, it has passages of true, invigorating brilliance, and about as many moments of baffling mawkishness. Its

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