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September 28, 2005 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-28

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 9

* prints bring
Italian culture
By Andrew Klein
Daily Arts Writer
Although the University of Michigan Museum
of Art's Italian Renaissance
print exhibit is located in the
museum's unglamorous base- Malian
ment, the presented works form Renaissance
a cohesive picture of how print-
making developed out of 15th Now thru Dec. 11
century Italy - first as a means Free
of reproduction and then as a At the University of
genuine form of art. What is Michigan Museum of Art
also apparent, but not mentioned
,is how a large part of our visual
lifestyle today can be related to the development of
In our age of pop culture and mass production, the
world of the art print no longer belongs to the educat-
ed and the rich. You see them everywhere: Monets,
Van Goghs, "vintage" French cigarette ads, Klimts,
Eschers, Rothkos, etc. The poster store has replaced
the gallery, making great works of art accessible to
any who wishes to have them. But this new genera-
tion of art collectors may not know that the roots of
their hobby lie in the Italian Renaissance.
The exhibit's introduction explains to the viewer
that the 20 works on display were executed using
the new techniques of the time - wood and copper
engraving. It becomes immediately apparent that an
incredible amount of skill is required to execute a
beautiful print. The first selections to really grab the
viewer's attention are several woodcuts from Mar-
cantonio Raimondi. Although Raimondi's prints are

Secondhand stories

An exhibit on 15th century Italian Renaissance prints is at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

more often than not reproductions of works executed
by Raphael, they are in no sense direct duplications.
"Crouching Venus" looks like a charcoal drawing,
with graceful pools of light and shadow accentuat-
ing her femininity. "The Plague of Phrygia" stands
out with its emotional composition.
Ugo da Carpi's "Descent from the Cross" is the
exhibit's first example of the chiaroscuro woodcut
technique, a revolutionary method that utilizes
multiple pieces of wood to produce much more
drastic shades, which is why "Descent" stands
out so vividly. The surrounding works rely on
extremely precise etching to create the illusion
of shadow and depth, but da Carpi's chiaroscuro
print almost comes off as a quatrefoil sculpture,
with the central figure of Jesus eerily suspended in
front of the frame.
Giuseppe Scolari's "Dead Christ Supported by an

Angel" is the last work in the exhibit and is espe-
cially striking because of his use of negative space.
He employs white instead of black as his figural out-
lines, giving the work not only the feeling of a pho-
tographic negative, but also a sculptural quality. It is
extremely reminiscent of Michaelangelo's "Pieta,"
which would have been instantly recognized by the
contemporary viewer.
With the explosion of printmaking came the dif-
fusion of art into every area of life, and this tradition
carries through today. Immortal works of Rembrandt
and Warhol and Titian can be found on T-shirts, post-
cards and in poster stores. The accessibility of art
owes its proliferation to the phenomenon of Italian
Renaissance printmaking. This exhibit is not only a
wonderful display of a brilliant medium; it is repre-
sentative of one of the most important progressions
of popular art.

Books are my thing. It's pretty
much been that way since
learned to read when I was
four. In the third grade my teacher
sent home a note telling my parents
that I had been reading books in
class instead of paying attention to
the lesson. In the sixth
grade, I transferred to
a new school and spent
my lunch hour reading
at my corner desk. In
high school, my parents
confiscated my library
card until I pulled my
algebra grade up to an A
- a little dramatic if you %
ask me, but whatever. It
worked. B
Now that I'm in college, NG
I am wonderfully, fabu-
lously, magnificently surrounded by
books. They are everywhere! Aside
from the regular books I have to
buy for my classes (most of which
- besides textbooks - I enjoy read-
ing), I'm in a town with more book-
stores than I can count on my fingers
and toes. They're all over the place
- and thank goodness!
When it comes to choosing a
bookstore, there are obviously the
major players: Borders Books and
Music, Shaman Drum and Barnes
and Noble. They're aesthetically
pleasing, pristine, most with light
violin music in the background and
uppity cafes. With their corporate
power, they draw in the big names,
writers like Salman Rushdie and
Billy Collins. Looking past these,
however, I've found the real trea-
sures - little places filled with
books, crammed in from floor to
ceiling, stacked in waist-high piles
and jostling for counter space.
David's Books, The Dawn Treader
and The West End Bookstore are
just a few of Ann Arbor's second-
hand gems.
A used bookstore is a magical
place. The salesclerks, often the
owners, are personal and individu-
al. At David's Books, I have often
asked for the authors of books I'm
in search of. At the Dawn Treader,
when I was strapped for cash, they
let me take the book and come back
the next day with the rest of the
At Ann Arbor Used Books, a tiny
little space up some cramped stairs
off of State Street, I met the owner
and his beautiful golden retriever,
Jake. In addition to the sort of ser-


vice that's rarely seen in corporate
bookstores, the prices are much
lower and range according to edition
and quality. A used book isn't like
a used T-shirt. Sometimes it's more
powerful when you know that other
hands have turned the pages, other
voices have whispered
the words and other
thoughts have sprung
from its contents.
Besides the more
mundane advantages
of cheaper books and
better service, there's
personality in used
bookstores. I never
realized it until I came
RNIE to Ann Arbor. With
UYEN the beginning of my
college career I found
a tiny kingdom of yellowed paper
and fading ink, where prices were
negotiable, time slowed down and
worlds waited to be discovered
in long rows on crooked shelves.
Wrinkled covers stopped being
important. Dog-eared pages were
moot. All that mattered was that
finally, after 14 years of hard read-
ing, I got a glimpse into the heart
of what a book is all about - the
It doesn't matter if the cover of
your book is shiny. It'll fade. No
one will know whether or not you
paid full price if you love a book
enough because loving takes its
toll. Something will rip. Something
will bend. Even though it's used,
the essence will still be there. The
words will still mean something.
A book is only as valuable as its
reader - stories can only be told if
there's someone to listen.
Places like Borders have their
advantages. They stock clean books
with a wide selection and you can
probably find pretty much anything
mainstream there. But they lack the
fundamental virtue of used book-
stores - personality.
Yesterday I walked along State
Street in search of Ann Arbor Used
Books, that little attic space with the
big friendly dog. It wasn't there any
more. Instead, there was the sleek
blue facade of Metro Group Archi-
tects. When I realized that it was
gone I mourned a little, like I had a
lost a friend. And really, I had.
-Bernie is still searching for a mint
used copy of "Make way for Ducklings."
Sell her yours at banguyen@umich.edu.

Classical pieces refreshed by 'U' Philiarmonia

By Kristine Michel
For the Daily

Tomorrow's Ur
monia Concert v
of 19th century
composers re-
imagined by their
20th century suc-
The conduc-
tor, Music Prof.
Andrew George,
said he chose
three different
pieces: "Over-

university Philhar-
will feature music
Thursday at 8 p.m.
At Hill Auditorium

mance offers a diverse selection of
different stylistic pieces that "aes-
thetically work well" together. "The
first piece is exciting, rhythmic and
comical, the second more introspec-
tive, idealistic, hopeful and fairly
serious," George said. The lack of
a theme and an audible similarity
between the pieces is replaced by a
different similarity. The composers
all wrote pieces associated with sen-
timental ideals expressing a myriad
of emotions.
George said he hopes that the
diversity of the music and tal-
ent of his accomplished musicians
will actively engage the audience.
He said the performance provides
"great tunes and pieces that the audi-
ence can hum to," after they leave
the performance.
Some of the musicians in the

ensemble also said they appreciate
the variety of music and the emo-
tions they present.
"All of the composers are really
prominent in music today, especially
Bernstein who had his own interpre-
tation of how the music should go
with emotion," said Music sopho-
more Laurel Borden.
Beyond showcasing the range
of the music, George also hopes to
highlight the talent and cohesiveness
of the musicians, who will be per-
forming for the first time together
this year.
George received his bachelor and
doctorate degrees at the Univer-
sity. Before teaching here, George
served as director of Orchestral
Activities at Ohio University,
where he also conducted orches-
tras and taught undergraduate and

graduate classes in conducting and
orchestral literature.
Borden, a musician in his ensem-
ble, said that she feels that George
possesses great musical knowledge
of the pieces he conducts. She added
that his style of conducting is effec-
tive because he is very straightfor-
ward about the technicalities of the
music and how he wants his students
to perform. "He's very easy to get
along with and easy to follow, and
you can see where he wants each
piece to go."

ture to Candide," "Music for a Scene
from Shelley" and "Symphony No.
2, Op. 30 (Romantic)."
According to George, the perfor-

Chris Rock takes comedy to UPN

By lmran Syed
Daily Arts Writer
Long known for his downright
obscene, yet always insightful
stand-up routines, Chris Rock leaves
behind at least
some of his edgi-
ness to tackle his Everybody
latest venture: the Hates Chris
family sitcom in Thursdays
his semi-autobio- at 8 P.M.
graphical UPN
venture, "Every- UPN
body Hates
Chris." With a flair that only Rock's
tone and delivery could provide, the
sitcom promises to become the new
king of TV's biggest night.
The show - narrated by Rock
himself - begins when he turns
13. Chris is a naive child looking
to cash in on the rumored rewards
of being a teenager. Reality strikes
in a hurry though as Chris is given
responsibilities and warnings that

wipeout any chances of having fun.
As Rock explains, he, as the eldest
child in the family, was the "emer-
gency adult" and much of the show's
comedy plays off this notion.
Chris's family moves out of the
projects and into Brooklyn, presum-
ably because his parents want a bet-
ter education for their children. With
this goal in mind, they force Chris
to take two buses each day over to a
supposedly better school in a white
neighborhood, though, as Rock
points out, it was really the same -
"just take away the gangs and bring
in the mob."
At school (called Corleone Junior
High, interestingly enough), Chris's
misadventures continue with a bully
he unwittingly tries to "out-black"
and an epic schoolyard fight that
Chris only barely escapes.
Newcomer Tyler James Williams
is a perfect fit for the role of the
young Rock. He has the same sharp
tone, the characteristic eyes and
lanky body that make Rock unique.
With lines and advice straight from

the man himself, Williams is likely
to be the funniest character on TV
this season.
Although the show is cutting -
it's Chris Rock's life after all - it
certainly has sentimental moments
and is ultimately a story of a loving
family striving to help each other,
even though Chris is always argu-
ing with his siblings.
His mother constantly reprimands
him, but only because she wants him
to turn out well. For example, when
she scolds him for eating the "big
piece of chicken," it's for the greater
good of the family unit.
Inserting the young and unaccom-
plished "Chris" into TV's most com-
petitive timeslot (against goliaths
like "Survivor," "Alias" and "The
O.C."), UPN showed great confi-
dence in the show, and it already has
begun to pay off. The pilot became
the highest-rated UPN comedy ever,
and if the jokes and the colorful nar-
rator stick around, this could prove
to be just the beginning for a great
new series.

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