‘Her legacy is incredible’: behind the Shirley Chisholm ‘anti-monument’

An ambitious ode to the first ever black congresswoman is set to launch in Brooklyn in 2020, with the two artists aiming to subvert expectations When it was announced in December that Amanda Williams and first woman to have a public monument in her honor in Brooklyn, and is the first commission in the series commissioned by an upcoming biopic, ran for president, her campaign was underfunded (a budget of $300,000) and she was largely ignored by the Democrats, many of whom wrote her off as a symbolic figure. She received death threats and had to employ a bodyguard. In a 1972 report in the Virginia newspaper Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate Survival Food: The Lost Ways

IM Pei: an audacious daredevil who built the impossible

From his provocative Louvre pyramid to his inverted wedge for Dallas, the Chinese-American architect was too modern for his time but his angular marvels look perfect now So bold were IM Peis designs, they were often regarded as wilfully controversial, designed to shock. But Pei himself never saw it like that. He was possibly the last living link to such founders of modernism as Bauhaus stalwarts Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, all of whom he met. He carried their torch, abiding by their principles and adding flourishes of his own usually too many for the general public. To those modernist foundations of proportion, simplicity, geometry, Pei added audacious angles and structural daring. The result is a body of work that …

Whitney Biennial 2019: why is this year’s show so safe?

The show, increasingly typified by controversial resistance art, is presenting a mostly safe front this year despite a growing protest over a Whitney trustee When the doors open on the sixth floor of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the first thing one sees is a snowman painting by Calvin Marcus. Its an underwhelming statement for the Whitney Biennial, arguably Americas most politically charged art event, which opens on Friday. The curators, Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley, both staffers at the museum, wanted to take a more subtle approach for this 79th edition of the biennial, which features 75 artists, half of whom are women. Despite the countrys political upheaval and the looming elections in 2020, it comes as a …

Goodbye to Gomorrah: the end of Italy’s most notorious housing estate

Famous as the setting for the hit Italian film and TV series Gomorrah, the towers of Le Vele became synonymous with poverty and organised crime until residents took charge When I think of my life in Le Vele, my skin crawls with rage, says Omero Benfenati. He looks out from a dark, narrow passageway framed by suspended steel stairways that block the natural light and lead up to abandoned apartments. Most of the windows are bricked up, and liquid leaks from split pipes on to the sewage and refuse-strewn asphalt several storeys below. We used to play down there, says Benfenati, now a housing activist. The uncollected rubbish bags make ideal goalposts for five-a-side football. Just a few years ago, …

Sterile or stirring? Britain’s love-hate relationship with new towns

Paternalistic social engineering or make-Britain-great-again utopianism? A new archive film compilation takes a look at the UKs controversial postwar towns People sometimes say to me, You must get a terrific kick out of having been responsible for a huge thing like a new town, said Sir Frederick Gibberd in an interview in 1982, 35 years after he created the new town of Harlow. Well, I get a lot of misery out of it, in fact. I go around and think, My god, thats unbelievably bad, and it could have been so good. If that was what the designer thought, imagine how everyone else who moved to Harlow felt. The interview comes in a short film at the end of Stevenage, …

Bitcoin Billionaires by Ben Mezrich review the tale of the Winklevoss twins

Coders, cocktails and a bank heist in reverse the brothers who sued Mark Zuckerberg and hit bitcoin boom time If you have seen Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing their idea to make Facebook. (Zuckerberg eventually settled for $65m.) In that film they were portrayed as faintly ridiculous comic relief, personifying the establishment against which the geeks triumphed. No doubt, then, they were eager to be interviewed for this book, in which they are the heroes. Ben Mezrich wrote the non-fiction account on which The Social Network was based, The Accidental Billionaires, and since it seems that the word billionaires works well in a book title, he is back to tell the story of how the Winklevi as they are commonly …

Rooftop pool? Notre Dame proposals defy traditionalists

Designs from architects around world also suggest glass, crystal and metal spires An architecture firm has proposed replacing the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral with a swimming pool, as France prepares to were damaged in a firein April, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said he was open to a contemporary gesture in rebuilding it more beautiful than before, and the prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, called for a new spire adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era. The said the architect Alexandre Chassang, who has designed a proposal for a glass spire. PierreTrollment (@PierreTrollment) Pour la transissions cologique. pic.twitter.com/hmHLfCrZ9U Florian Renucci, a master mason at the experimental medieval building site at Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate …

Literature provides shelter. That’s why we need it | Arundhati Roy

In a world that is hardening, literature can offer an indestructible place of refuge writes Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things I am truly honored to have been invited by PEN America to deliver this years Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture. What better time than this to think together about a place for literature, at this moment when an era that we think we understand at least vaguely, if not well is coming to a close. As the ice caps melt, as oceans heat up, and water tables plunge, as we rip through the delicate web of interdependence that sustains life on earth, as our formidable intelligence leads us to breach the boundaries between humans and …

This robotic roommate wants to help lonely young people keep in touch with their friends

Image: vicky leta / mashable I lost all my friends nine years ago.  It was my own fault. I hooked up with a friend’s boyfriend and instantly regretted it. I betrayed a friend I really cared about and nothing I could say or do would erase what I’d done. When our entire friendship group eventually found out, one by one, friends began dropping like flies. Some sent messages to tell me they knew what I’d done, and others simply faded away. This moment is, to date, the most shameful of my life.  Nearly a decade later, I still have an unconquerable urge to know how these former friends of mine are doing. So, I look them up on Google, Facebook, …

Royal Ballet: Within the Golden Hour / Medusa / Flight Pattern review monsters and melancholy

Crystal Pite reinvents the corps de ballet, alongside Christopher Wheeldons classy meditation and a flawed world premiere by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui The world premiere of Medusa is Sidi Larbi Cherkaouis first commission for the Royal Ballet. The Belgian-Moroccan choreographer has made brilliant works in the contemporary sphere, for his own company and others, all while serving as artistic director at Royal Ballet of Flanders, performing himself, and working on feature films, Beyonc videos and much else. Its possible he is spreading himself too thinly, certainly on the evidence of this piece. The beautiful priestess Medusa ( Crystal Pites Flight Pattern, an important work that gets under the skin. It depicts the flight of refugees to the sound of Greckis Symphony …

Leonardo da Vinci events marred by Italy and France row

500th anniversary of artists death overshadowed by escalating diplomatic tensions Events to commemorate Leonardo da Vinci will take place in France and Italy on Thursday, the 500th anniversary of the artists death, with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, hosting his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella. The two heads of state will meet at Amboise in the Indre-et-Loire region to visit the Chteau du Clos Luc, where Da Vinci lived from March 1516 until his death in 1519. It was at Clos Luc that the Renaissance master painted three of his most famous works: Mona Lisa, St John the Baptist and the Virgin and Child with St Anne. The three paintings are displayed in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Macron extended the …