FEMINIS T FOLKIE:
The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 27,1979-Page 5
No ennui rom Inuit
By JONATHAN KUHN imaginative and resourceful spirit. "Inuit" refers to
The exhibits-"Image and Life" and "The Inuit the people we commonly call Eskimo; andis the name
Print"-currently showing at the University of preferred by natives of Northwest Canada. Inuit prin-
Michigan's Museum of Art, prove that quality displays tmaking was established in 1957 by James Houston, an
of art needn't be accompanied by commercial hoopla. artist from southern Canada. Convinced of the poten-
The contrasting origins of the works in the two exhibits tial of Inuit printing as a cultural asset and economic
are particularly exciting. Together the shows mainstay, he organized a co-operative printing
represent the span of human artistic achievement-the workshop at Cape Dorset.
former presents pre-historic artifacts from Japan (in- The Cape Dorset has been highly successful, and
cluding the oldest pottery in the world), while the latter printmaking has spread to other Inuit settlements.
offers contemporary graphics and some sculpture Prints are made through a variety of techniques, in-
from the Canadian Northwest Territories and Arctic cluding stonecut blocks, copper engraving, stencils,.
Quebec. The Japanese exhibit shows the culture that and most recently, lithography. The results are often
evolved slowly over thousands of years; the Inuit are very powerful. A bold sense of line, brilliant cororihg,
reveals an artistic awakening of the past two decades. and fanciful subjects contribute to the impact which
"Image and Life: 50,000 Years of Japanese Pre- these prints have. The effects achieved in some of the
History" was-initiated and organized by the Museum of prints are remarkably complex, especially when one
Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. considers the painstaking process of carving a prin-
The pieces in the show, many of which have not been ter's block in soapstone. "Tuktu of Tasikjuk," a print
let out of Japan before, are groaped into four periods:
the Paleolithic (50,000 B.C. - 11,000 B.C.), the Jomon
(11,000 B.C. - 300 B.C.), the Yayoi (300 B.C. - 300 A.D.),
and the Kofun or Tumulus Ago (300 A.D. - 600 A.D.).
The progression through this great expanse of
Japanese history is fascinating, for although each
-period clearly- builds upon its predecessors, each
establishes distinctive traits. The Jomon for instance is
known for its frequently flamboyant coil pottery, and it
in fact derives its name from a cord patterning often
used on the ceramic surfaces. The Yayoi period
brought about such innovations as rice cultivation and Kananginak
wheel-thrown pottery. showing two caribou, illustrated this sensitivity for
The Kofun era is identified with the massive imperial subtleties of color and texture.
burial sites constructed by its people. Excavations of In' addition to the purely aesthetic value of the Inuit
these tombs have unearthed thousands of clay graphic art, the prints convey to us a sense of the ar-
figurines, known as ' haniwa: The haniwa aremarked tists' world. Many prints depict scenes of the hunt,
by a charming, often comic cimplicity, yet certain while others show us features of the desolate arctic
details of dress along with clay "props" (tools, landscape. The absence of backgrounds in the prints
weapons, etc.) show the various occupations of the reflects a land perpetually blanketed in snow.
Kofun people. The freshness and skill seen in these Another common theme is the representation of
figurines is extraordinary, considering the primitive folktales and local legends, often illustrated as per-
conditions under which they were produced. sonal dreams or visions of the artist. The sea-goddess,
"Image and Life" has a greater anthropological rn,, -11 - -,
By MARY FINN
Two young women kiss tenderly as
the lights dim in warning that the per-
formance is about to start. Hand in
hand, they turn their eyes to the stage.
After a warmup act and plugs for
women's music, the announcer finally
introduces Meg Christian-a feminist
singer, songwriter and guitarist-to the
Tuesday night crowd at Pioneer High
And oh, she is so cute! in her black
tuxedo trousers with suspenders
reaching over a soft mauve bl'ouse!
She's rolled her sleeves in preparation,
and sunters up to the microphone, grin-
"Just imagine we're all sitting
around on little pillows. . . eating little'
cookies," she says with a pinch of
southern drawl. She smiles. We smile
back and shiift in our uncomfortable
HER VOICE RISES strong and clear,
following the path her fingers make on
the guitar strings. She creates her beat
from half dance steps, half march
steps; her feet playing with the music.
Immediately we are at ease. She asks
us to join in and sing, and we do, softly,
for she is the focus.
Christian stands straight, proud and
confident, her 10 years of singing ex-
perience carrying her well. She makes
us laugh between and during her songs,
with her friendly chatter and lively
face. Endearing and child-like,
Christian's facial expressions convey
more warmth and emotion than her
lyrics and melodies combined.
HER MUSIC CENTERS on women;
their strengths and weaknesses, hopes
and fears, loves and desires. Yet
somehow we do not get the feeling she
disregards men. (In a crowd of more
than 300, only about five men are in
evidence.) Much of her message is for
the lesbian community, however, and
straight men and women may be in-
timidated and confused by her
Honest enough to reveal her recent
battle with alcoholism, Christian sings
token songs for the Los Angeles-based
Alcoholism Center for Women that
helped her pull her life back together.
Modestly putting down her guitar
playing expertise, she nonetheless
plucks out a few intricate instrumen-
tals, and some arresting melodies,
about half of which are her own com-
The first guitar major at the Univer-
sity of North Carolina (1969), Christian
worked as a night club singer in the
Washington, D.C. area for a few years.
Dissatisfied with the songs she was
singing and their limited portrayal of
women 'in love' or ''Brokenhearted',
Christian decided to do something to
change the scene. A consciousness-
raising group (remember those?)
triggered her awareness of the lack of
music for women. She began a crusade
with the women's movement and soon
after, the gay movement, writing and
performing, songs to tell women 9ot to
be afraid to love each other openly.
Her performance is vibrant, and we
enjoy ourselves singing along and har-
monizing, even if we do not know the
lyrics. She is charming and clever,
winding down her performance to a
grass-roots acappela clap-along. No
one is sitting for this encore, and the
two women in the front row, arms
around each other's waists, kiss again
The notorious film that made Nikon a household word, BLOW UP covers both
dated trends and timeless questions. Set amid the mod styles of mid-60's
London, a young, aggressive fashion photographer in total control of
his images is puzzled by a chance event he catches on film-a murder. Anto-
nioni's first English film. With DAVID HAMMINGS, VANESSA REDGRAVE'
and the YARDBIRDS.
Fri: IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
TONIGHT AT OLD ARCH. AUD.
CIN EMA GU ILD 7:0&:0 $- .50
Polar Bear and Cub in Ice
slant than is usual for exhibits at the art museum. Em-
phasis is frequeftly placed on the developing
technology as seen in clay cooking vessels, stone far-
ming tools, and bronze weapons. Evidence for an early
religion may be found in cast bronze bells which ar-
chaeologists speculate may have been objects of wor-
ship. The artifacts-"Image and Life," whether inten-
ded for religious, agricultural, or household use, show
an early society's efforts to gain control over nature.
The Inuit show is quite a change from the Japanese
exhibit, although its images indicate an equally
Taleelayu, is a particularly common subject. The
Inuit's dependence on the sea for food explains
Taleelayu's frequent appearance.
It is unusual for modern innovations to -be shown,
although occasionally a print will include elements of a
more "advanced" technology. One print depicts a
helicopter landing. Usually, however, traditional
themes have been translated to the printing medium.
The sculptures displayed complement the prints,
depicting similar themes. Some pieces are very
comical, as in the case of a man who has literally put
his foot in his mouth. Many works seem to take their
dorms from the grain and color of the stone from which
they are carved.
Both "Image and Life" and "The Inuit Print" are
first-rate exhibitions which demonstrate for us the
variety of human creativity. They are not merely art
shows, but also sociological studies. Both exhibits are
beautifully displayed, and are supplemented each af-
ternoon (except Saturdays) at two o'clock by films on
the ground floor of the museum. "Image and Life"
runs until November 4, and "The Inuit Print" is here
through October 14. A conference on contemporary
Inuit graphics (Sept. 27-29) as well as a mini-course
have been planned in conjunction with the exhibit.
Julliard Quartet has an off night
By DAN EHRENKRAN TZ
The Juillard String Quartet plays
more than 125 concerts each year, and
for each concert to exhibit the best of
the quartet's abilities, each member
would have to be super-human. A group
as well regarded as the Juilliard must
be given the benefit of any doubt and
excused an occasional off-night.
Unfortunately, an off-night occured
upon Juilliard's third appearance in
Ann Arbor in the past 17 years last
The quartet seen Monday was quite
different from the one that performed
here in 1962. The only remaining mem-
ber from the original group is first
violinist Robert Mann. The old Julliard
establshed itself as one of the finest
quartets in the world. Judging from
their concert here, the new group is not
worthy of that reputation. The program
consisted of Haydn's quartet in D major
Op. 20, No. 4, Berg's Lyric Suite, the A,
minor quartet of Brahms, Op. 51, No. 2
and, for an encore, the Andante from
Beethovens Op. 18, No. 4.
THE HAYDN WAS given a rather
bland reading. The first two movemen-
ts were especially lifeless. The Menuet-
to however, did have Haydnesque fire
and spirit which carried over to the last
movement. On the whole, the Haydn
lacked the articulation and the
penetrating musicality that groups
such as the Tokyo String Quartet and
the Quartetto Italino bring to the work.
Berg's Lyric Suite is a very difficult
work, both musically and technically.
Parts of the piece were handled well;
the third movement "allegro
misterioso" was played with the air and
feeling suggested by the title. The piece
was marred however, by technical
mishaps. Intonation was not always
secure and at one point, Mann hit a note
obviously flat and had to slide his finger
up a full half-step in order to correct it.
Though partly due to the intellectual
orientation of the piece, this listener
was left feeling cold at the end of its
The Brahms was the evening's most
rewarding piece. It was played with the
fullness and ' thickness required for a
successful reading of any Brahms
work. The slow movement was played
with the musical feeling that was ab-
sent from the other works; the last
movement was performed with ex-
eitement and conviction. The group was
able to produce a full tone, filling the
hall with a mellow, resonant sound.
Famous for their. Beethoven ren-
ditions, the Julliard played the encore,
Andanie, with musical insights worthy
of the finest of quartets. The tonal
coloration was fitting for Beethoven,
though it lacked the crispness and the
refined ensemble playing of the Quar-
tetto Italiano. The Julliard Quartet has
obviously thought through this work for
many years and has come to an excep-
tionally mature understanding of it.
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