The Monocle Minute

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 19 August 2017

Music

Green party

Wales’ Green Man festival reaches its 15th anniversary and is ready to celebrate in style.

Independent music and arts festival Green Man is welcoming crowds to its bucolic grounds in the Welsh countryside this weekend to celebrate its 15th birthday. Since its founding in 2003 the festival has grown from a modest 300-person affair on the grounds of Craig-Y-Nos Castle to a site just outside of Crickhowell that holds more than 20,000 people. Heavyweights such as The Flaming Lips, Bat For Lashes and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant have previously headlined. This year’s sold-out event will see US singer-songwriter Ryan Adams take the stage tonight and pre-eminent UK musician and two-time Mercury award winner PJ Harvey perform tomorrow. To hear what happened over the weekend, tune in to Monocle 24’s round-up on the Culture Show with Robert Bound.

Art

Image: Alamy

Medicinal properties

Art has been admitted to a Montréal hospital and is serving a noble purpose.

The therapeutic effects of art cannot be denied and the newly unveiled Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (Chum) is taking the idea to a whole new level. Quebecois law requires 1 per cent of all construction budgets to go towards public art but the CannonDesign and Neuf Architectes-designed hospital really emptied its coffers for the artistic cause. The building features 13 artworks by local artists, which makes Chum “the largest concentration of public art in Montréal since the International and Universal Exposition in 1967,” according to Azad Chichmanian, partner at Neuf. The oeuvre spans from neo-baroque benches to an eight-storey glass façade that depicts mountain peaks by artists Mathieu Doyon and Simon Rivest. The idea was to showcase local artists but first and foremost to provide comfort to patients.

Culture

Image: Alamy

Love and devotion

Wu Tsang’s first solo show in Germany envisages a world in which race and gender play no role.

The celebrated Los Angeles-based film-maker, artist and performer, Wu Tsang, premiered her first solo show in Germany this summer. At the heart of “Devotional Document (Part 2)” – on until October at the Kunsthalle Münster – are three powerful films that address the issue of identity and envision a future in which neither race nor gender and sexuality play a role. Societal norms that contribute to some of today’s most pressing socio-political struggles are simply erased in Tsang’s poetic pieces. Evocative landscapes and cityscapes – from desert lands peppered with cacti to LA’s backstreets – act as a backdrop to the music and movement that carries her central message: a Californian utopia. The exhibition is presented almost like an obstacle course, pulling its visitors back to reality as they navigate the expansive screens, just before they escape into Tsang’s world again.

Food

Food for thought

A new book traces the evolution and social role of the restaurant.

In the Restaurant – a new title from Pushkin Press (released last year but soon to be available in English for the first time) – traces the remarkable capacity of restaurants to reflect something deeper and more telling about the societies they serve. The chapters range from tales of Josef Goebbels' deplorable back-slapping Munich meals to George Orwell’s ire at having to shave off his moustache as a Parisian scullion and Alice Water’s groundbreaking foundation of Chez Panisse (among much debt and drug use, it seems). Christoph Ribbat’s book is knowing and nourishing in equal measure and the short, sharp chapters arrive like delectable hors d’oeuvres, from the origins of restaurants to kitchens as sights of sociological study, cafés that existentialists pondered in and sites of civil disobedience. Restaurants, it seems, have been the quiet theatres for some of society’s most poignant and telling displays.

From Monocle 24

Image: Shutterstock

Edible Cinema

Action!

Do you fancy a glass of gin with your screening? We meet the clever folk behind Edible Cinema, an immersive event that takes food and drink off the screen and into the hands of the audience.

From Monocle Films

Athens’ favourite neighbourhoods

Do you want to visit the heart of Athens but steer clear of the tourist traps? Take a walk around Petralona, Koukaki and Filopappou to discover the best areas of the capital according to Athenians themselves.

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