Monocolumn

A daily bulletin of news & opinion

14 August 2015

Art: ‘In Part’ at the Fondazione Prada in Milan

“There’s a great mixture of pieces and the space is very soothing so you have a wonderful experience of touring this exhibit”

Ivan Carvalho, Monocle’s Milan correspondent

Exhibition ‘In Part’ can be visited in the Nord gallery of the noteworthy Fondazione Prada in Milan. This new space, a century-old distillery conversion designed by Rem Koolhaas, is in itself worth a visit. The exhibition, curated by Nicholas Cullinan, explores our fascination with ancient art and sculpture, from the fragmented body to photographic close-ups and the representation of ruins. The carefully selected pieces of work share the concept of the synecdoche: the use of a part to refer to an absent whole. After your visit, don’t forget to share your experiences over a cup of tea in the cinematic café designed by filmmaker Wes Anderson.

MUSIC: ‘Nyanza’ by Owiny Sigoma Band

“The drums in that are just lovely, going backwards and forwards, around and around.”

Luke Turner, associate editor of The Quietus

Owiny Sigoma Band are a London-based, Kenyan-inspired group who made their first album when they travelled to the country to collaborate with two local musicians. For the next installment the duo journeyed to London to soak up some inspiration of their own. The result? A swirling, beat-driven mix of electro, techno and traditional Kenyan Luo music, with nods to its African roots, as well as Changaa, a home-brewed mix of whatever you can find including, apparently, jet fuel – best served with a helping of Owiny, turned up loud.

THEATRE: Edinburgh Fringe Festival

“I have to say, it's been almost unrealistically good so far.”

Dominic Maxwell, chief theatre critic for The Times

The Edinurgh Fringe is the world's largest arts festival and takes place every August in the Scottish capital. Thousands of performers take part each year and it's renowned for its kooky comedy shows and an abundance of theatrical productions from the big stars and also those just starting out. There's nowhere better to discover the next big thing. Last year there were more than 3,000 shows – plenty to keep you occupied throughout August.

BOOKS: 'Beneath the Earth' by John Boyne

“These short stories are not all about the Irish blarney, they're not about bar room banter, the light version of Irishness... this is the side of exiles who leave Ireland in order to escape it, but they can't becasue it becomes their inner landscape.”

Arifa Akbar, literary editor of The Independent

'Beneath the Earth' is the first collection of short stories by John Boyne, author of 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas'. Boyne employs his acute insight into the psychology of victimhood and childhood to map the interiors of characters as complex and varied as the human condition itself.

FILM: Mistress America

“It’s very, very fresh. It’s like Woody Allen on speed, really. You will want to pretend that you’ve made all of those lines up as you reuse them at dinner the next night.”

Karen Krizanovich, Film/TV production and development researcher

After the success of Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig’s 2012 comedy Francis Ha, the pair joined forces once more to bring 'Mistress America' to life. Propelled by dynamic performances and tragicomic tenants, the film tells the story of Tracy (Lola Kirke), a lonely university freshman in New York who finds inspiration in her soon-to-be stepsister Brooke, a 30-year-old Manhattanite played by Gerwig. They’re both chasing dreams in this witty and poignant comedy that will stay with you long after the credits have faded to black.

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