ADHT Recommends

Performance 9


This is a fascinating and enthralling performance, which will make you gain new appreciation for Beethoven’s Ninth (both as music and as idea), and the experimental virtuosity of visual artists and classical pianists.  In the tradition of John Cage’s prepared piano, Allora and Calzadilla’s piece utilizes the musical instrument as sculptural material, and highlight’s the physicality of the performer’s interaction with it as he/she plays, coaxing new sounds and spatializing sound in the process.

-Janet Kraynak, Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art

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The Lives of Others

the_lives_of_othersSet in East Berlin in 1984, The Lives of Others is a political thriller that exists on a human scale. It tells the story of a celebrated playwright and theater actress and the Stasi agent enlisted to spy on them.

The suspense in this film is crafted from the smallest of details – chance meetings at drab cocktail bars, an eye blinking behind a peephole, a Brecht book that has gone missing. It is with these everyday things that the characters’ internal conflicts begin to emerge and as LA Times film critic Kenneth Turan observes they are then forced “to wager their talent, their lives, even their souls.”

I love sharing this film with students because it portrays creative practice and free will against a backdrop of censorship and surveillance.

-Jessica Cannon, Instructor, ADHT & Foundation

Counter Space: Design + the Modern Kitchen


On view at MoMA through March 14, 2011, this is one of the most innovative and engaging exhibitions of the season. Celebrating the museum’s recent acquisition of a mass-produced kitchen designed by the female architect Grete Schütte-Lihotzky in the 1920s which was installed by the thousands in post-WWI Germany, the stunning show is jam-packed with objects, videos, photographs and ephemera revealing the ties that bound kitchen design to social experience throughout the twentieth century. Aidan O’Connor, a 2008 graduate of ADHT’s MA Program in the History of Decorative Arts and Design and now a Curatorial Assistant at MoMA, worked on the show and its website. In October, she discussed her work on the show with a rapt audience of students enrolled in my course, “Senior Seminar:  Exhibiting Cultures.”

– Laura Auricchio, Assistant Professor of Art History

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A History of the World Told Through Objects


A solar lamp, the plastic credit card, an 18th-century African drum and a Chinese jade cup are just a few of the 100 selections made by The British Museum to tell a history of the world through objects. Design is contextualized not just in a chronological history, but also within social and technological narratives.  The British Museum’s podcasts can be found with this link: A History of the World in 100 Objects.

-Susan Yelavich, Assistant Professor

The Sweet Smell of Success


If you’re either mourning the film star Tony Curtis’ passing or wondering what all the fuss is about, look no further than The Sweet Smell of Success. Curtis plays an ambitious young press agent who falls under the influence of a more experienced, predatory gossip columnist played by Burt Lancaster. Released in 1957, the movie also stars New York City, which forms a velvety, glamorous backdrop to every pivotal scene. I had the pleasure of first seeing it at the New York Historical Society in 2002. If you don’t see it listed in any of our fine art house cinemas, then break down and rent it through your DVD supplier of choice. But see it. You’ll fall in love with a completely different New York City.

-Margot Bouman, Assistant Professor in Visual Culture Studies

Al Taylor at David Zwirner

Rim Jobs and Sideffects | Sep 14 – Oct 23, 2010 | David Zwirner | 519 West 19th Street | New York NY 10011


Al Taylor was known for making “drawings in space” – what the hoi polloi might call “sculpture”. Early on, he refused to delineate between two-dimensions and three-dimensions, since both equally articulated his obsessions, that is, the infinite possibilities that spring from everyday materials and gestures. This posthumous exhibition highlights Taylor’s talent at sustaining umph from a wire and a stool or seeing to it that mere hubcaps look otherworldly. Of course the key to this art-out-of-nothing aesthetic – at least the key to its success, which is guaranteed under Taylor’s deft hand – is that it’s all really lighthearted, even lyrically so.

-Julia Dault, Instructor

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Mark Twain: A Skeptic’s Progress

Sep 17, 2010 – Jan 2, 2011 | The Morgan Library & Musem | 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street | New York NY 10016


The Morgan has some of the best exhibition programming in the city, in my opinion. They also happen to – along with the New York Public Library – hold the world’s greatest collection of Mark Twain’s papers, which are now on view. What better time than now to look at this great author and humorist’s take on the modernization of America? While you’re there you might also check out artist Roy Lichtenstein’s drawings, which are truly remarkable, and hit a perfect pop humor to counterbalance Twain’s more calibrated wit.

-Julia Dault, Instructor

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Pina Bausch’s Vollmond at BAM’s Next Wave Festival

Vollmon (Full Moon) | Sep 29 & 30; Oct 1, 2, 4, 5, 7-9, 2010, at 7:30pm | BAM Howard Gilman Opera House | 30 Lafayette Avenue | Brooklyn NY 11217


If you find the time, I recommend one of the many dance performances that are included in the 2010 Next Wave Festival at BAM, (Brooklyn Academy of Music). BAM’s mission is to be the “preeminent, progressive performing and cinema arts center of the 21st century”, and they fulfill that splendidly by staging a performance by legendary dance-theater pioneer Pina Bausch’s company Tanztheater Wuppertal. Go. Go see Pina Bausch’s dance company. Go to anything at the Next Wave festival. You’ll remember it twenty years from now.

-Margot Bouman, Assistant Professor in Visual Culture Studies

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