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January 26, 2010 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-01-26

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com h

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 -- 5

for summit,
By DAVID RIVA before college as a trumpet play-
DailyArts Writer er, and I still play today," Maus-
kapf explained. "I also study the
Business and art have always orchestra. Most important, how-
shared a close relationship. Wher- ever, I love the orchestra as an
ever there's a audience member, so I want to see
creative idea, it succeed and flourish past my
there's a finan- Untie lifetime."
cial backer Symphony Clague looks to posterity when
and institu- Orhestra considering the Summit's impli-
tional hoops to cations.
jump through. Tonight "I want our students to have
This ten- at 8 pm. these jobs in the future and our
sion between Hill Auditorium audiences and kids to get to enjoy
administration Free this music," he said. "Rock concerts
and expres- and symphony concerts are very
sion is espe- different, but the intensity of expe-
cially prevalent Chicago rience in live music is similar."
in orchestral L There will be two opportu-
music. SYTny nities for the public to feel this
From the Orchestra "intensity of experience" during
perspective of the Summit, with the University
Music, Theatre Tomorrow Symphony Orchestra performing
& Dance Pro- at8 p.m. tonight and the Chicago Sympho-
fessor Mark Hill Auditorium ny Orchestra tomorrow.
Clague, this Ticketsfrom $10 The Chicago Symphony
dilemma is a Orchestra performance should
"manifestation be a perfect display of why these
of the same set Amconversations need to be happen-
of longstand- Orchestras ing in the first place.
ing issues: How "Recordings are great, but
does an elite things like Ravel's Le Tombeau
Germanic tra- Tomorrow and de Couperin, which the CSO will
dition connect Thursday play at Hill on Wednesday night,
with a broad Rackham Auditorium shimmer in live performance in
commuity of Freefor students a way that a CD and certainly an
listeners in the $25for non-students MP3 can never replicate," Clague
United States said. "Live music lives in part
and why and because of the state of mind - the
how do we pay for it?" intensity of concentration - that
Questions like these lie at the the ritual of a concert inspires."
core of the American Orchestras Music, Theatre & Dance Dean
Summit, which will bring partici- and Guest Conductor for the
pants and panelists from around University Symphony Orchestra
the country to the University Christopher Kendall claims the
Wednesday and Thursday. USO's performance and piece
Topics like "Re-Conceptualiz- selection, although fitting, was
ing the Symphony" and "Lever- not scheduled with the Summit
aging History: Lessons from the in mind.
Past" will be examined in a panel "The repertoire for the concert
discussion format with four or on the 26th was chosen before
more speakers per topic. Break- the Summit was a factor, and was
out sessions and open discussions selected ... with the aim of pro-
will also take place. viding our wonderful orchestra

FOX almost on'Target'
All action and no strong writing makes
Chance a stereotypical action hero.
By Robert Soave Daily Arts Writer

The original "Human Target"
- a 1970s comic book series -
depicted the life
of Christopher
Chance, a body-*
guard/detective Human
for hire. Wealthy
people whose Target
lives are in dan- Tuesdays
ger hire Chance at9p.m.
to assume theirF
identities, protect Fox
them and expose
their would-be assassins. While
Chance doesn't take the place of
his clients in FOX's television inter-
pretation of the comic book series,
the new 9'Human Target" is packed
with enough action and detective
work to keep viewers entertained.
Mark Valley ("Fringe") por-
trays a version of Chance that's
both charmingly intelligent and
bluntly violent. His dual nature is
evident from the very first scene,
when he encounters a deranged
man with explosives strapped to
his chest. The best dialogue of
the entire episode ensues: Chance
warns the man that it's never a
good idea for the bad guy to explain
his plan. When the guy does any-

way, Chance shoots him. The bank
blows up, but the crazy guy doesn't
kill the client. And for Chance,
that's all that matters.
Unfortunately, Chance's lines
throughout the rest of the epi-
sode aren't quite as original, and
he starts devolving into a gener-
ic action hero. While he never
becomes boring, Valley plays the
character with decreasing depth
(barring one scene in which
Chance gives an explanation for
how he learned Japanese that is
both emotional and a complete lie).
As it becomes clear that Chance
may have a death wish, he becomes
less and less distinguishable from
other vigilante character in comic
books, TV shows and movies.
Luckily, the rest of the cast
makes up for Chance's lack of
subtlety. Chi McBride ("Push-
ing Daisies") portrays the likeable
Winston, who takes care of Chance
even when Chance won't take care
of himself. And Jackie Earle Haley
(who played a vigilante killer him-
self in 2009's "Watchmen") is
particularly talented as the infor-
mation gathering, morally ambigu-
ous Guerrero. In a moment clearly

It's like '24,' but every day is Flag Day.
indicative of his character, he gets the episode, they are nonetheless
rid of two thugs by calmly promis- fun to watch.
ing to murder them in their sleep. Beyond the three main actors,
Haley easily steals the show. there's less to praise, as the side
But while Chance may not be characters in the first episode's
as interesting, he still entertains plot aren't very believable and don't
by virtue of constantly beating up have enough time to become so.
bad guys, especially in a lengthy It would be helpful to see Chance
fight sequence inside the ventila- integrate himself into his clients'
tion shaftof aspeeding bullet train. lives for a while longer before his
This excellently choreographed cover is blown and he has to punch
fight scene is not only thrilling, but his way out of the situation.
also develops Chance's character, As such, "Human Target" isn't
as he doesn't hesitate to brutally what it could be. But with stronger
kill his client's enemies. While writing backing his performance,
such action moments don't entirely Valley could easily become the new
excuse the absurdities of the plot face of the action hero on prime-
during the bullet train segment of time TV.

The art of distastefulpoetry

According to Clague, a co-
organizer of the event, the idea
was overly ambitious from the
start, but the response has been
"When we described the Sum-
mit on our Web page as a 'land-
mark' event, it was really wishful
thinking," he said. "We convinced
a handful of big names in arts
administration to join us and,
of course, had the benefit of the
presence of (Chicago Symphony
Orchestra) Emeritus Conductor
and pioneering contemporary
composer Pierre Boulez.
"Things just snowballed from
Michael Mauskapf, a Rackham
student, is looking forward to a
fruitful dialogue among attendees.
"We are hoping to have an
open, honest and productive con-
versation about how these issues
from the past and present might
inform what orchestras do in the
future, and what current success-
es are happening today," he said.
Additionally, Mauskapf is
anticipating potential solu-
tions including "some practi-
cal and actionable projects that
orchestras and academics can
enact immediately to improve
the health of the industry and of
cross-disciplinary partnership."
Clague is also enthusiastic
about prospective pairings, not-
ing that Thursday will be devoted
to collaboration and connection.
"We will ask each participant
to sign on to some new proj-
ect," he said. "(The University's)
American Music Institute has
two ideas.
"One will be a study of suc-
cess in the U.S. orchestral scene,
(because we usually) focus on
learning from the failures, for
some reason. ... The other will be
a composition competition to cre-
ate new versions of the American
national anthem in celebration
of the bicentennial of 'The Star-
Spangled Banner' in 2014. We'll
also announce the participation
of two big-name composers."
The importance of the Summit
does not lie solely in its institu-
tional function. Many have deep
personal interests because of
their passion for orchestral music.
"I've played in orchestras since

Ensuring a
future for the
orchestral world.
students an opportunity to work
with repertoire that makes an
important contribution to their
learning process," he said.
"This particular, very chal-
lenging program has three
works," he added. "One from last
year, one from 50 years ago and
another from 100 years ago, all
with something deeply important
and compelling to say, but saying
it differently: one emphasizing
the spiritual (Bruce MacCombie's
Samsara Rounds) one the intellec-
tual (Lukas Foss's Time Cycle), and
one the emotional (Sergei Rach-
maninoff's Symphony No. 2 in E
Minor, Op. 27)."
With prominent speakers and a
wide variety of attendees including
musicians, conductors, composers,
business professionals, financial
backers, students, writers, crit-
ics, historians and everyone who
enjoys orchestral music, a healthy
dose of buzz has been generated
from the prospects of the Summit.
"Enthusiasm is high for the
Summit," said Mauskapf. "It
seems as though we caught a wave,
as this issue has recently received
a lot of national press. People are
both worried because of the chal-
lenges and excited regarding the
opportunities for change and
The Summit starts tonight with
the University Symphony Orches-
tra's free performance at Hill
Auditorium. Wednesday includes
the first half of panel discussions
and breakout sessions at Rackham
Auditorium followed by a perfor-
mance by the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra at Hill. On Thursday,
the conversation wraps up with a
half day at Rackham. The Summit's
Rackham component is free for
Follow the Summit live on its
official blog at www.insidethearts.

went to the Bad Poetry Slam
a couple years ago in the
bar at the Heidelberg on
Main Street.
Each poet
to write and
perform the
most horrible '
poem imag-
inable. The
winning poem
was slammed WHITNEY
by a man POW
with a scruffy
beard who
was wearing an old white Hanes
t-shirt and jeans. He was justifi-
ably given the Bad Poet title with
remarkable lines like "and oh the
stench of your va-jay-jay" and
"your thighs as white as alabaster
punching bags."
I remember this because it was
that bad. Seared-into-my-mind
The Bad Poetry Slam played off
of what is considered "bad" art.
The twist was that, instead of the
writers hoisting their bad poetry
to the highest of heights, the Hei-
delberg's slam encouraged poets
to let the poems sit dejected in the
sewer and be marveled at without
any pretense.
"Bad" takes on another mean-
ing when you include the idea of
awareness, from the snarky com-
ments made behind your back to

the over criticism to your face. The
game is also changed when you
consequently win a $20 gift cer-
tificate at a poetry slam. Suddenly,
bad writing moves from the self-
serving and narcissistic to the pur-
poseful and somewhat consciously
eloquent. The writer throws in
a measure of mindfulness when
writing about his or her lover's ala-
baster punching bags. Admittedly,
there has to be some kind of cre-
ativity behind lines like that.
Here, one has to make up one's
mind about what is "bad" and
what is "good." Can a poem, or
any piece of art for that matter,
be so purposefully bad that it is,
in reality, good? The question
reminds me of artist Jeff Koons,
most notable for his porcelain
sculpture of Michael Jackson sit-
ting with a monkey named Bub-
bles, titled, quite aptly, Michael
Jackson and Bubbles.
Koons's work dives into the
idea of distastefulness in art. One
piece he made for a series titled
Made in Heaven is a billboard
image depicting two figures on
a set of jagged rocks overlooking
the crashing waves of the sea. One
of the figures is a swooning lady
in lacy lingerie lying on her back,
and the other, a lanky, naked man
piled on top of her, is Koons him-
self, with hairy chest, thighs and
carefully crafted coif. He looks
directly into the camera, daring

you to'
for an o
the piec
cally se
done w
the piec
when tI
mind, s
sure of
A gr
art wor
the tac
of some
for the
not onl
the aw:
what h
are nov
in pulp
boats o

enjoy this image. Creating something so artfully
work itself is a vanity shot, horrendous as the construction of
seems entirely laughable "bad art," whatever that might be,
ring it looks better suited is really quite an elaborate pro-
Id vinyl record cover in a cess, from conceiving the idea to
bin at Salvation Army. But carrying it out. Other artists have
ce has been displayed at the played with this conception of the
m of Contemporary Art, disgusting, raunchy and offen-
o, renderingthis horrifi- sive, from Joseph Beuys's piece
lf-admiring billboard into Fat Chair, a triangular mound of
ing incredibly self-aware. If fat heaped onto a wooden chair, to
ithout self-consciousness, Cosimo Cavallaro's piece Cheese
ce would be humiliating, but Room, which is essentially a hotel
he idea of humiliation and room that has been covered in
ism are built by an aware pounds of melted cheese - over
omething worthy of a mea- the lamps, on the bed, on the
walls. There's so much cheddar
heaped everywhere that the room
Sthe stench of emits an orange glow.
Intentionally bad art does have
a ysome merit. There's a degree of
skill, creativity and gall required
to create the most distasteful art-
work ever. The winner of the Bad
praise is created. Poetry Slam had roused an entire
eat deal of contemporary bar full of boos from people who
'ks with the celebration of were not quite drunk enough to
ky or grotesque. The idea be belligerent and aimlessly boo at
ething being explicitly bad just anyone. On a weeknight at 8
sake of being bad contains p.m., you really have to earn those
y the awareness of self but derogatory shouts. And then, like
areness of one's work and Koons after his bare-chested esca-
as come before it - Koons pade out on the rocks, you have to
I art based on images that be proud of your art and be able to
w seen as kitschy and still live up to it afterward.

, in one form or another,
novels containing bare-
d men and busty women on
r in valleys.

Pow wants to spend the rest of her
lift in the Cheese Room. To ask to join,
e-mail her at poww oumich.edu.

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Offer Expires: 2/26/10

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