Among some other musings I've been storing up... About two weekends ago, AA and I took a short getaway trip to New Orleans for some R&R. We got to see the RL-DGs and their new baby NGL, plus play with the ever-adorable dog Penny. But RL--officially and professionally Russell Lord, photography curator--also had some incredible exhibitions on that we went to see. Edward Burtynsky: Water at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans was just beautiful. His photographs shot around the world highlight the importance of water in our lives and the ways in which we control it. The images are dazzling and breath-taking. He creates such complex compositions in colors so vibrant you would swear you were looking at abstract paintings. The image below is one of a number of these beautiful pictures (image: Dryland Farming #2: Monegros County Aragon Spain, 2010; copyright Edward Burtynsky). To top that show off, Russell also curated the thought-provoking exhibition Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Here, Russell explored how Parks's 1948 photographic essay, published in Life magazine about a Harlem gangster named Leonard "Red" Jackson, actually revealed a cropped, edited form of sensationalist journalism that belied the truth behind what Parks really saw in this so-called gang leader struggling to live an everyday life as a black youth in Harlem. Both of these shows are just fascinating, so everyone should go see them if you're in New Orleans. And while you're there, you can check out his third exhibition, a "best of" in the photography collection at NOMA.
For photography and architecture buffs who love New York City, there is a new fun website that appeals to all those people who love seeing pictures of cities and landmarks "then and now." Called NYC Grid, it allows you to use a yellow dividing-line bar over photographs to see how landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge and surrounding areas changed from the past to now. It's quite an amazing tool and demonstrates how fun Internet technology can be at times. There are currently only 32 works you can do this too, but the site has fun photography of different neighborhoods worth perusing as well.
Have you ever wondered how music sounded in ancient Greece and Rome? Mathematically and chromatically, scholars had determined in the past how it was constructed. Now with some clever tinkering of musical instruments, a scholar at Oxford University has demonstrated how Greek music sounded. You can read more about this interesting study here from the BBC, and click here to listen to a few of the recordings of vocal and instrumental music (in association with Archaeology magazine).
Finally...(drum roll, please!)...imagine my devilish delight when I discovered that my all-time favorite Disney villain, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, was being given her own biopic in non-animated form! I haven't seen a Disney movie like this in eons, so I'm looking forward to this. Maleficent really was wicked...and could turn into a dragon too. How cool is that? Angelina Jolie plays her in the film...creepy! OK, it's also a bit bizarre, I know, but still...it's Maleficent! Here's the trailer for the film...