he Michigan Daily Wednesday, March 13, 1985 Page 5
Squashed animals come alive as art
y Andrew Comai
HE BIRDS of the air and the beasts
the field as seen squashed on the
oad, are now on display at the Latent
mage Gallery. Nat Ehrlich explores a
ost gruesome variation on man s in-
eraction with nature; where autos get
dented and animals get mangled.
Seen a man standin' over a dead dog
lyin' by the highway in a ditch.
He's lookin' down kinda puzzled
pokin that dog with a stick.
Got his car door flung open he's
standin' out on highway 31
Like if he stood there long enough
that dog 'd get up and run.
(Springsteen, "Reason to Believe",
So moans Bruce the existentialist,
bard of the freeway. He describes a
situation familiar to all who have
besmeared their steel belted radials.
with protoplasm and felt bones crunch
through the steering column. The fen-
dering of a feline is enough to 'make one
ponder the brevity of one's own dance
upon this earthly coil. Crunching
Florida turtles can arouse the deepest
angst, and eliciting the final bark from
the family beagle is known to arouse
the deepest nausea.
It is therefore understandable that
nearly half of the people who view the
show leave within the first few minutes.
Less obvious is the motivation behind'
the people who actually stay to look at
these very ugly photos. Indeed one
might question the sanity of these
viewers as well as that of Mr. Ehrlich
who, over the past year, 'has taken
photos of 100 road kills. The fact that
Mr. Ehrlich is a professor of
psychology at the University of
Michigan-Flint does not wholly acquit
him from the charge of deviant
behavior. The fact that he has since
ceased taking photos of flattened fauna
leads one to believe there was some
Rurpose to his madness.
When he first started photographing
dead animals, Mr. Ehrlich suffered
from sweaty palms and his fingers
were so trembly that he had trouble ad-
justing his F-stop. By the end of his
year long odyssey, he was able to con-
front any stinky carcass with calm ob-
jectivity. Mr. Ehrlich takes pictures of
objects to see what they look like on
film because the form thus captured
differs greatly from the form experien-
ced first hand. He will capture the form
of the sun on film when it is impossible
to experience with the naked eye due to
brightness. It follows that he strives to
capture the forms of dead animals with
the camera because first-hand ex-
perience inhibits objectivity. By
reducing the qualities that appeal to the
base senses, one might find a mashed
marsupial aesthetically pleasing. If you
can't smell them or see them seethe
with carrion beetles and maggots
perhaps you can appreciate the forms.
Perhaps not. If the spectator can ap-
preciate form in spite of an offensive
subject matter, it may be possible to
call the photo of a dead white goose on
solid background of black asphalt
beautiful. One may find graceful lines
in the flat squirrel that seems to
pirouette, leaf in hand, to some unheard
tune. If one cannot desensitize oneself
to the offensive subject matter one
always has the option to run screaming
from the gallery.
The artist does not want the spectator
to be totally desensitized so to add to the
disturbing qualities of the collection,
the method of display is disturbing. Pic-
tures are hung unframed and crooked
on the walls and are dangled on strings
from the ceiling. The arrangement is
chaotic and disturbing. The exhibit as a
whole is a tense balance between the
artist's eye for composition and the
brutal reality of the subject matter. The
unnerving qualities of the theme as
well as the method of display tend to
overwhelm aesthetics of composition.
The exhibit tends to arouse those
emotions tliatlead to a crummy feeling
all day long. If your day is going too
well, stop in at the Latent Image
Gallery, 221 E. Liberty right below Af-
ternoon Delight, for a downer. The
show ends March 16. Gallery hours are
12-5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 12-7 p.m.
Friday, and 10-5 p.m. Saturday. Don't
go after lunch.
Curious cat peruses the effigy of a mashed squirrel amidst an asphalt plain.
May Festival looks spectacular
Generally acknowledged as Ireland's greatest traditional music group, The Chieftans have played for every audience
from Pope John Paul II to Saturday Night Live viewers, and everywhere from the Great Wall of China to the Capitol"
Building in D.C. On a more humble level, they'll be appearing tonight at 8:00 p.m. at Hill Auditorium, bringing their
captivating, often improvi ational mix of reels, ballads, horn pipes and jigs along with the guest participation of Irish
step dancer Michael Flatley. Tickets are available, at $12.50 and $10.00, at the door and at Ticket World outlets.
Badura-Skoda opts for unique
By Mike Gallatin
T HE MAY FESTIVAL in Ann Arbor
is a long tradition that began in
1896. This year the Pittsburgh Sym-
phony Orchestra will be featured and
will include such reknowned guest ar-
tists as Itzhak Perlman, Philippe En-
tremont, and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
Single ticket concert sales began March
1 and are available from the box office
at Burton Tower through The Univer-
sity Musical Society.
The concert on Wednesday, May 1
features Sixten Ehrling as guest con-
ductor and Itzhak Perlman as violinst.
The program will begin with com-
positions by Nielsen and will conclude
with Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.
Maestro Ehrling is known for his
widely heralded recordings of modern
music such as the seven symphonies of
Sibelius. He is considered by some to be
the foremost Swedish conductor of the
Itzhak Perlman is one of today's
genuine musical superstars. John
Guinn of The Detroit Free Press predic-
ts that for a Perlman show "empty
seats are almost unimaginable." He
has appeared with every major or-
chestra in the world, has been on coun-
tless national television shows, holds
numerous Grammy awards for his
recordings, and was selected as
Musician of the Year in 1981. More than
just his flawless technique, it is the
communication of' the sheer joy of
making music that earns him so many
Thursday, May 2 will feature Philippe
Entremont as conductor/pianist and
Anne Martindale Williams, the prin-
cipal cellist of the Pittsburgh Sym-
phony Orchestra. Rimsky-Korsakov's
popular composition The Russian
Easter Overture will be performed
along with Bloch's Hebrew Rhapsody.
Entremont will conduct Mozart's Piano
Concerto No. 17 at the piano and the
program will conclude with Ravel's
ever-exciting Rapsodie Espagnol.
Friday night May 3 stars Sir Alexan-
der Gibson, the director of the Scottish
National Orchestra and founder of the
Scottish Opera. Berlioz's Roman Car-
nival Overture and Mozart's Symphony
No. 40 in G minor, always favorites with
audiences the world over, will be
featured on the program. Henry Her-
ford, one of Britain's leading young
singers, along with The Festival
Chorus, under the direction of Donald
'Bryant, will then perform William
Walton's oratorio, Belshazzar's Feast.
The Biblical story filled with dramatic,
colorful scenes is highlighted by the
eloquent commentary of the baritone
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, a native of
New Zealand, will delight Saturday
evening's audience through her ren-
dition of songs by Handel, Britten,
Elgar, and Strauss. A bright, new talent
catapulted to international fame in
1971, her star has not yet ceased to rise.
Sir Alexander Gibson, and The Pit-
tsburgh Symphony Orchestra will ac-
company her as she progresses through
the lieder repetoire which spans three
This year's program should be as
exciting as all those from the years
preceding. The May Festival is a chan-
ce to inundate oneself with music of the
world's great composers and artists on
a marathon basis.
By Neil Galan ter
W HAT DO CONCERT pianists
usually play at a standard piano
recital? Bach, some sort of sonata,
shorter solo pieces, maybe some
Chopin, right? Well, that didn't happen
Sunday afternoon at Rackham
Auditorium when Viennese pianist
Paul-Badura-Skoda played his recital.
He opted for a more unique approach,
and that he certainly got. Bach, Berg,
and Martin are definitely not your usual
concert staple composers, but this
choice of programming created a
thoughtful and intellectual effect, im-
pacting upon the afternoon con-
Opening up the show was J.S. Bach's
First Keyboard Partita in B Flat
Major. Badura-Skoda played with a
healthy balance between the con-
trapuntal lines. His bass lines provided
for a very elegant contour to the music,
and his choice of tempi throughout the
partita was very reasonable. Badura-
Skoda played in the full pure and
original style of Bach, almost like he
was playing at a harpsichord. He didn't
over-color his melodic lines or over-
romanticize either, and the result was a
very intellectual and academic reading
of Bach's music.
Following the First Partita, Badura-
Skoda payed homage to the late Swiss
composer Frank Martin by introducing
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his set of Eight Preludes for Piano to
Ann Arbor audiences. This set of
preludes is a highly romantic work with
a great deal of tonal and textural
variety, and Badura-Skoda spoke all
that variety with a plentiful amount of
color. Rich deep chords, rocking
rhythi s, fancy glissandos, and all the
thing., hat light the fire 'to a roaring
and c citing blaze were present in his
perform .ance of this piece. His playing
of the Martin was more free and not
any, here as restrained as the Bach.
But the reason that this difference was
so noticeable is because Badura-Skoda
is a pianist who plays his music in the
purest terms stylistically. He stays in-
side certain boundaries. His boundaries
were just more broad in the pieces by
Martin than those of the Bach, and the
chronological aspects of the material
explains those boundaries fully.
Then came Berg. The Piano Sonata
Op. 1 of the Viennese composer Alban
Berg. Many people are unaware of the
fact that this year marks the 100th an-
niversary of Berg's birth, and it was in
honor of the composer's birthday that
Badura-Skoda chose to play the Berg
sonata. His performance was put
together very well, and the music
moved along with a good sense of sweep
and an agreeable sense of sectional
contrast. Perhaps though, his reading
could have been a bit more expansive
and not quite as restrained as it seemed
to be. He did, however, take advantage
of some of the many nuances
throughout the score, but in some areas
he could have gone even further without
destroying the overall context.
And then there was (more) Bach...He
chose to close his program with the
final Bach Keyboard Partita in E
Minor. This is a grand work with much
rhapsodic material among its
movements. Once again, Badura-Skoda
played a partita, fully and wholly true
to Bach's original synopsis. It was a
brilliant academic reading of the work,
except for some slight hesitations here
and there, and some very tentative or-
namentations. His ornaments were not
alw; ays totally consistent, but for the
most part this partita was a perfor-
mance of innocence and purity.
Mozart and Schubert wereuencores
that Badura-Skoda gave, including the
Fantasie in D minor of Mozart and the
Impromptu in G Flat of Schubert.
These pieces were the highlight of the
afternoon. His fantasy was full of just
that: fantasy and reverie. It has a
brightness to it in thefinale where the
rippling D Major section sings along
playfully and elastically under Badura-
As for the Impromptu, the playing
was anything but on the improvisatory
or impromptu level. His reading was
solid and well-thought out, rich and
filled with thick Schubertian imagery.
The University Activities Center
is now accepting applications
for positions for:
for all committees.
Applications are due
available at the UAC
MARCH 22 and are
Offices -2105 MI Union.
For more information, call UAC at 763-1107
$1.50 TUESDAY ALL DAY
1 8 0 with this entire ad $1.00 off any
$4.00 admission. 1 or 2 tickets.
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"THE HEART OF THE FILM IS THE PERFORMANCE OF RICHARD BURTON"
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