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February 09, 1985 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-02-09

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ARTS
Saturday, February 9, 1985

The Michigan Daily

Page 5

Artists portray emotional variety

By Hobey Echlin
A RT IS one of those funky little
things you can never quite figure
out and even if you can there's no right
or wrong, just your feelings about a
work against those of another. And if
this other happens to be the artist, well,
he or she probably has a view separate
from yours. And so what? Just as the
artist expresses herself through a
medium of the senses, so too does the
admirer envelop himself inside his own
artistic realm, usually just a five
minute contemplation and then a move
on to another piece.
This five minute contemplation is a
sort of test. A question and answer
period where you the viewer try to
figure out what's going on just as much
as you can and eventually confuse
yourself and give up the whole idea and
then just sort of look at the thing and get
your own ideas. This to me is the impor-
tant part.
The more abstract or ambiguous the
art form is the more the viewer is af-
forded the opportunity to kick back and
make it his own, and interpret each
aspect of the form as a "why" instead
of a given. So art becomes a fusion, a
harmony of sorts between viewer and
the viewed. The viewed is the part of
the artist you see on the canvas or on
the paper. And this is only a glimpse.
No artist bares the obvious and can be
pleased with it. And if it looks obvious,
look again. The more inward the
thought or feeling conveyed, the more
Quartet di
By Mike Gallatin
THE GUARNERI String Quartet is a
familiar group of performers to
Ann Arbor concert-goers. The perfor-
mances are the second installment in a
series of six concerts in which the com-
plete cycle of Beethoven's Sixteen
String Quartets will be performed. The
concert will include a representative
quartet from the early, middle, and late
periods of compositions: opus 18, no. 3;
opus 95, "Serioso"; and the late quartet
No. 15 in A Minor. The performance,
which begins at 4 p.m. on Sunday at
Rackham Auditorium, marks the Quar-
tet's twentieth anniversary season and
is their eighteenth' appearance at
Rackham.
The Beethoven quartets have always
been favorites with performers as well

low I

openly identifiable the piece becomes
as depicted emotion and feeling. And
with the media of painting,
photography and sculpture, and your
reactions to these varied forms, a whole
realm of abstract emotions is opened
up. A whole realm of emotions for each
medium. Photography for instance is
more an art of concrete perspectives
where you're photographing what's
really there. Only you control the angle
and the exposure. But the subject is still
there. Painting isn't what's really
there, it's what you see there and put on
canvas. And the mode of abstract
sculpture takes what isn't there and
makes it there in three dimensions; in a
sense, something from a whim of ab-
stract emotion.
And before you start wondering just
what the hell this is about, this is a
review of an art gallery. And it's about
now you have to ask yourself, much like
I am writing this, why the weird for-
mat? Why all the brainrot? Why the
gross generalizations about art?
Well...It's my reaction and my
feelings about art as a whole and as
components. And in this manner this
entire review is my personal reaction to
an evening at the opening of the
"Utilities" gallery at the Center for
Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit,
Tuesday night. Evening? Well, more
like two hours. But in that two hours I
entered a realm that was as much an
experience for me as being the artists
themselves.
The work of five CCS students, in the
various media I mentioned before,
provide an inspirational atmosphere

for me as a critic. I mean here are
talented art students putting them-
selves up there on the walls for you to
see and be and you're kind of up there
with them. "Hello, my name is..and
this the back of my mind" it all seems
to say. Maybe a name-tag with that on
it and we'd all be a little deeper.
It is with these feelings, bent as they
seem, that I entered the gallery, or
should I say, the artists. This is their
baby, wet plenty, but smiling all the
same. Everything was theirs: the
music, from Pat Metheny to the
Talking Heads and plenty more that
wasn't quite as artsily cliche. Then
there was the bar well stocked with
"Big Jug" beer, real cheap wine,
Twinkies, generic this, generic that,
and green Kool-Aid. Their baby.
The gallery itself: Newspapered
walls, ironically proclaiming
inauguration, the Michigan Catholic,
and the Grosse Pointe News, in a set-
ting that remains aloof and above any
journalistic nonsense. Aloof to a con-
crete and far off Washington reality
that nobody really cares about, or
should anyway. Editorial? Sure, feed
your head and all that...
As for the art itself, all themes
presented. Joseph Baratelli's triptych
seems an unfocused configuration of
rage and isolation, and the inwardness
of it all, on three large sheets of canvas.
Jayms Fluder's photography, dealing
with the nude and a variety of oddities
from headwrapping to the American
flag conveys a brashness, almost offen-
siveness, that in itself reconsiders
values and perspectives of American

culture, while exploring a novel twist to
the nude theme itself.
Lori Grissom offers the viewer
scenes of last fall's Mondale rally and
Pro-life campaigners in pictures that
take the apparent and suggest a deeper
interpretation, often reversing the first
impression and leaving you with a
much different one. Renee Dooley's
sculpture of "Anger" provides a blank
sheet of interpretation in the most ab-
stract piece of the gallery. Oh yeah, it's
made out of an old door, too.
Diane A. Crea's photography,
utilizing the sequential technique, ex-
poses the forboding qualities of an ar-
tist's feelings and their depiction with a
theme of the woman. "Intrusion", a
sequential of the artist herself, with its
bold images of very black and very
white relay as much a personal reac-
tion to an emotional intrusion, and the
varied tempermants that such an in-
trusion might be dealt with by.
And it's right about now you're
screaming for something concrete.
Enough of these weird impressions. All
I've given is my own interpretations
and reactions: five young artists and
the impressions, the emotions, and the
perspectives they've allowed me to see
for myself in my own way.
And as for you, the gallery is located
at 245 East Kirby, right next to the
Detroit Institute of Arts , in Un-
derground 245 of Center for Creative
Studies, and will be open from Feb. 6-
22, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission
is free, and all works are for sale. The
green kool-aid may be gone, but maybe
you can snag a Twinkie...

Why are these men smiling? Because they get radio air-play while keeping
their artistic integrity intact. From left to right: Brian Ritchie, Gordon
Gano, and Victor Delorenzo, the Violent Femmes.
Violent Femmes sell out
to MTV? Not a chance,

splays Bee
as with audiences, although they in-
spire as much fear as admiration. They
represent a pinnacle of chamber music
as well as .seeming a high point in the
history of cultural achievement. Many
consider them Beethoven's crowning
feat, with all else he had accomplished
previously being but a preparation for
the consummate artistry of the last
quartets. As a whole, they say as much
about the development of music form
the Classical to Romantic period as
they do about the extraordinary life of
Beethoven.
A great deal of commentary and
analysis considers the quartets in much
the same light as Rembrandt's self-
portraits are seen. If broken down into
the three major periods of composition,
one may trace a picture which paints a
thinly disguised autobiographical por-
trait of Beethoven's spiritual and
creative development. Certainly, the
late quartets describe a world of pain

thoven's brilliance

and mystic visions that borders at
moments on the superhuman.
This is not completely surprising
when one remembers that Beethoven
struggled with a fate that included a
progressive deafness. His last works
were heard by him only in the
imaginative silence and space of his in-
ner ear. The early quartets show direct
influences of Haydn and Mozart, the
middle period is distinctly individual
and mature, while the last five quartets
expanded the limits of form and ex-
pression in revolutionary ways, com-
bined with a visionary intensity which
plumbs the depths of our understan-
ding.
Music critics throughout the ages
have always tried to articulate in
literary terms the genius and heroism
of Beethoven's enormous creative
powers. While words are ultimately
made the paupers of the music, the
noted musicologist J.W.N. Sullivan best

a a a

sums up the credo of the artist as a
glorious failure only to be hailed by
posterity as a genius when he says: "To
be willing to suffer in order to create is
one thing but to realize that one's
creation necessitates one's suffering,
that suffering is one of the greatest of
God's gifts, is to reach an almost
mystical solution of the problem of evil;
a solution that for the good of the world
very few people will ever entertain."
Particularly famous is the third
movement of Quartet No. 15 in A minor.
As a whole, the quartet represents the
capacity of man to rise above his fate
and stand invincible in his ability not
only to endure suffering but to prevail
over the injustice of destiny. The
dynamic theme of the final movement
was originally considered as the prin-
cipal theme for the last movement of
the Ninth Symphony. The late quartets,
the final piano sonatas, and the last
symphonies stand as immortal
testaments to the strength of the human
will, the courage of man's spirit, and
the ultimate transcendance of art.
As Andre Malraux once said, "The
greatest mystery is not that we have
been flung at random between the
profusion of the earth and galaxy of the
stars but that in this prison we can
fashion images of ourselves sufficiently
powerful to deny our nothingness."
Throughout his tortured life Beethoven
paid a high price, yet the rewards were
infinitely great. The sacrifice, of
creation involves a love's labor won as
well as a world well lost. The worldly
substance is but a shadow to the higher,
unseen world in which the quartets
were conceived. The ruins of his fortune
composed the architecture of a higher
providence. This second installment of
the complete cycle of Beethoven's
String Quartets as performed by the
Guarneri Quartet will no doubt
illustrate the eternal truth of the motto
of The University Musical Society: A rs
longa, vita brevis.
March of Dimes
BIRTH DEFECTS FOUNDATION
SAVES BABIES
HELP FIGHT
BIRTH DEFECTS

When the Violent Femmes come to
the Michigan Theatre Saturday night, it
will be with an air of deliberate ob-
scurity.
Just look at their discography. It
might have taken a few years and a lit-
tle help from new-music radio, but the
first album, with its mischevious
puberty theme, rocketed the Femmes
from acoustic obscurity into a com-
mercial limelight. And the fee-backed
adolescence of "Ugly" and its high-
school revenge sufficiently wetted the
appetities of new fans a bit disgruntled
with the mellower, bluesy side of the
band. Thus with America by the tail,
the time was right for a commercial
drop.
But the Femmes are no sell out. And
so you have Hallowed Ground, a much
more country-blues album with even
more abstract and potentially con-
troversial themes of religion and sex.
You gotta know "Country Death Song"
left the "Blister in the Sun" crowd
fhinrir~t n~i r% fina ther R~i)'

thinking about putting tneir Bs-5z2 hae.Ejy.
terack upiplaceofGordnandHobeyEchi Theater. Enjoy.
poster back up in place of Gordon and --HObey Ech/in

But I think that was the desired ef-
fect. I mean, the idea of the Femmes
becoming a Duran Duran that forgot to
pay the electric bill just doesn't cut it.
And along those commercialism-be-
damned lines, 'the Femmes have
managed to keep their current tour in
the small theaters instead of the arenas
bands like U2 have lowered themselves
to. And on top of that, this tour isn't tied
to the promotion of any album.
This won't be the kind of show that all
you walk away from with is a tour shirt.
Instead, save some money and get a
better understanding of a band that's
doing its own thing, whether you want
them to or not. But regardless, you
have to respect these guys for not slip-
ping into the MTV genre of money talks
and talent a video does not make. So
take a tour with no strings
(figuratively, of course) attached and a
band whose releases swerve to avoid
commercial trends and you have the
Femmes tonight at the Michigan

These distinguished looking gentlemen comprise the Guaneri String Quartet. Tonight's performance at Rackham
marks the Quartet's twentieth anniversary season and their eighteenth appearance in Ann Arbor.

S a - aJ

$1"00 OFF with this entire
a$-.00 off Adult Eve.
Admission. Good for 1 or 2 tickets.A
features thru 211 4/85 except Tuesda
$2.00
"A REFRESHINGLY QUIRKY COMEDY"
-NEWSW

~ememe
SomeneSec al
All nvaene
- ovCe G,
Cerifiate

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EEK

STRANGER THAN PARADISE

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"
"

-rqwr

HIU5E

THIS WEEK AT GUILD HOUSE
802 MONROE
ANN ARBOR, MI
48104
February 11 8:00 p.m.

PC

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"
"

FRI., MON. 5:15, 7:15, 9:45
SAT., SUN. 1:15, 3:15, 5:15, 7:15, 9:45 FRI. & SAT. AT 11:30 P.M.

0
0

GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATIONS
Incl.... BEST PICTURE
THE KILLING FIELDS

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4
4
. ,4
p 4

GUILD HOUSE READING SERIES

TINA DATSKO and RICHARD TILLINGHAST

4

Reading from their works.

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