Posted at 8:31 AM on July 6, 2009
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Events
It was a good weekend for music in the Twin Cities. Gwen Stefani and No Doubt played at the Excel Energy Center on Sunday. Ross Raihala at the Pioneer Press writes the band is stronger than ever after Stefani's return from a solo career. The Star Tribune's Chris Riemenschneider said the concert captured the early days of the band, but didn't reflect how their lives have changed since then. "Stefani, 39, even looked like an ultra-buff 25-year-old, with a stomach you could grate cheese on," wrote Riemenschneider (FYI she's had two kids).
Rosanne Cash gave a more mature show at the Dakota in Minneapolis, filled with witty banter as well as soulful crooning.
Elvis Costello got a mixed review for his performance at Taste of Minnesota. Part of the problem may have been that Costello was surrounded by empty seats, as no one was willing to pay $50 to be up front.
Quinton Skinner writes that Cirque de Soleil's Kooza is quite a spectacle, with a price tag to match. Meanwhile, Star Tribune theater critic Rohan Preston had his face licked by a man playing the circus dog.
How often do you wear the same outfit two days in a row? How about for an entire year? Sheena Matheiken is making social commentary and raising money for charity by wearing the same dress everyday for a year (she's actually wearing seven identical dresses, one for each day of the week).
Matheiken aims to prove that being fashionable does not necessarily mean consuming irresponsibly. She accessorizes to the hilt: different shoes, belts, hats, and tights, as well as multiple layers of frocks and smocks. But all of her accessories come from vintage shops, hand-me-overs, E-Bay, or donations from small stores looking for a mention on her site.
Matheiken was inspired to launch the Uniform Project by her childhood in India, where she was obliged to wear a school uniform. Kids quickly found their own ways to stand out by how they wore their uniform, and what they wore with it.
Matheiken is partnering with the Akanksha Foundation, which brings educators to children living in India's slums. Each day she puts a dollar in her "tip jar" and she encourages visitors to her website to donate as well. In the first 66 days of the Uniform Project she's raised $4,358, helped a little by coverage she recently received from PBS.(2 Comments)
Posted at 4:02 PM on July 6, 2009
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Theater
Theater-goers, start your laptops. You can now map out your fringe-a-thon; the Minnesota Fringe has finalized the schedule for this year's festivities. That means, for those inclined, you can create your own profile and work out what shows you can see when, using the website's "My Fringe" function. If you're antsy to get started, you can even buy your pass now.
Posted at 4:15 PM on July 6, 2009
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Museums
Image of Joseph Beuys' Stempelplastik, one of the two items actively deteriorating, courtesy of the Walker Art Center.
Recently Slate.com's Sam Kean wrote on the challenges of preserving plastic art. It's a startling piece, detailing how a handful of unstable plastics are breaking down, wreaking havoc on museum collections worldwide. Symptoms include flaking, peeling, discoloration, and as Kean explains, smell:
Often the only clue a plastic is degrading is its odor. Some begin to smell like ammonia or take on a sickly new-car smell. PVC weeps chlorine, giving it a swimming-pool smell, and any plastics with acetate eventually give off whiffs of acetic acid, which is found in vinegar. Other plastics are redolent of burnt milk, burnt hair, celery, cinnamon, raspberry jam, or camphor "muscle rub."
I checked in with the Walker Art Center to see whether its collection has been suffering from any of these symptoms, and if so, what they're doing about it. Here's what Walker associate registrar Joe King had to report:
The Walker has two works in the collection, both by Joseph Beuys, that are actively deteriorating. Both are made of PVC, as the Slate article discusses. The plasticizer is migrating out of the plastic, making the surface wet and sticky. This has been called weeping Barbie syndrome as Barbie dolls from the 1950s suffer from the same deterioration. We have had the works conserved, cleaned and wrapped to slow the loss of the plasticizer. The works are stored in isolation to prevent damage to adjacent works. At this point there is nothing further that can be done with them, except to freeze them. We are hoping that as additional research is done, a solution for the preservation of these works will emerge.
For now, those artists who choose to work with plastics are encouraged by curators and conservationists to read the directions carefully, especially as a number of "green" plastics are coming on the market, made specifically to be biodegradable.