The Monocle Minute

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 21 May 2016

Image: Akram Zaatari

Double vision

Akram Zaatari makes video art, longer films, installations and photographs. In fact, the Lebanon-born multidisciplinary artist makes mincemeat of the claims of many others who ever wielded a camera as well as a brush. Represented by Thomas Dane in the UK, This Day at Ten is Zaatari’s first show on (often discerning, often profitable) Swiss soil at Zurich’s ever-interesting Kunsthaus. Zaatari’s work (pictured) regularly concerns itself with the politics and persona of the Middle East and questions history and memory with wit, wisdom and stunning imagery. Zaatar’s themes are universal but his current relevance makes this show doubly potent.

Image: Anna Webber-Getty Images

Culture vultures

This weekend marks New York magazine’s third annual Vulture Festival. The witty online arm of New York – which covers all things pop culture, including television, music, film and podcasts – comes to life on stages across the Big Apple. “The hope is that it extends what Vulture does on a daily basis,” says senior editor Jesse David Fox. “We’re a daily news site operating 24/7 – really shining a light on what we believe is the best and hoping to connect fans of those programmes with the people who are creating them.” Saturday’s agenda includes interviews with the Muppets, a live taping of the podcast Reply All and a preview of AMC’s upcoming series Feed The Beast in conversation with its lead David Schwimmer. Not to be missed during Sunday’s schedule: a sing-along to the musical Rent.

True to form

Themed maps may be rather run-of-the-mill these days but newcomers to London could do worse than turn to Blue Crow Media’s art deco and brutalist numbers. These are the first in the publisher’s new series of mini architecture guides, which are produced in collaboration with The Twentieth Century Society and feature dozens of leading landmarks such as Trellick Tower and the Hoover Building. The reverse side of the folding maps has a pithy introduction to the architectural styles and details of each edifice. “The brutalism map had to be done. London has the best and most diverse selection of brutalist buildings of any city in the world,” says founder Derek Lamberton. “People are reconsidering long-held views of the style so the timing for the map felt right. Art deco seemed to be the logical next step as it has broader appeal.” And it’s not just visitors to London who will benefit from these handy guides. The company’s next title will focus on Moscow’s constructivist architecture.

Image: Alexandre Perreault

Mighty museum of Montréal

Founded in 1964, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is Canada’s first museum of contemporary art and moved into its current
 home in the city’s arts and entertainment district in 1992. Since 
then the institution has grown too large for its own good: only 1.5
 per cent of its collection can be displayed at any given time.
 As such the federal and provincial government has decided to fund an
 expansion, pumping in CA$37.7m (€25.6m) to double the existing
 gallery space. The public can also expect new entrances for better
 accessibility. Originally designed by homegrown architecture firm 
Jodoin Lamarre Pratte, the refurbishment of the post-modernist 
building is expected to be completed by 2020.

From Monocle 24

Cannes Film Festival

We shine a spotlight on the 69th Cannes Film Festival, recorded at the Festival du Palais. Boo Junfeng discusses his Singaporean feature Apprentice and renowned Swiss critic Edouard Waintrop reflects on his fifth year at the helm of La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (The Director’s Fortnight). Plus: we talk to the film-making hopefuls promoting their projects at this year’s Marche du Film.

From Monocle Films

Retail special: Gin distillers

Just like craft breweries, small distilleries are reinventing drinks that have fallen out of fashion. Monocle Films visits three entrepreneurs who have uncorked the potential of the old spirit in London, Hamburg and the Finnish countryside.

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