Weekend Agenda 28/29 March - Monocolumn | Monocle


A daily bulletin of news & opinion

27 March 2015

ART: The Plains Indians, Artists of the Earth and Sky, New York

“You see the art and traditions of Native Americans across thousands of years, which is an incredibly unusual thing to see in one place”

Charlotte Burns, US news, market and business editor at ‘The Art Newspaper’

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is showing art from the Plains Indians communities of the US that ranges from millennia-old etchings to contemporary video installations that distil the character of the vast nation’s first inhabitants. Of course, the US is a nation divided, in some respects, and that richness of backgrounds will be reflected with contributions from Lakota, Cheyenne, Blackfeet, Arapaho, Pawnee, Kiowa, Meskwaki, Comanche and Meskwaki communities being just some of the works on show.

FILM: Dior and I

“You’ve got a couture collection to make in eight weeks – you don’t want a camera hanging around – but he does it very well”

Jason Solomons, film critic

The appointment of minimalist Belgian menswear designer Raf Simons as the new artistic director at Dior came as a surprise to many in the fashion industry. But, having followed every move of the designer during preparations for his first Dior collection, film-maker Frédéric Tcheng has captured a unique insider’s view of what it takes to redefine a classic in Dior and I. Eschewing much of the flamboyance of typical fashion film-making, the documentary is a pressure-cooker piece about the highs and lows of trying to please the pickiest audience on earth.

MUSIC: Amason

“They look like artisan butchers – in a good way – and they just have a real soul to them, there’s something really magnificent to watch in them”

Crispin Parry, CEO at British Underground music development agency

In a SXSW special of The Arts Review, Crispin Parry of the British Underground music-development agency told us all about his favourite new sounds from the festival in Austin, Texas. Among them was the slinky and smart yet slightly retro pop of Swedish five-piece Amason. Recent debut album Sky City interprets dreamy pop reminiscent of 1970s studio greats such as Fleetwood Mac but also throws in the odd Swedish-language track to keep things interesting, too. But luckily great pop music is the international language of awesome.

THEATRE: Radiant Vermin, London

“The tone of the whole thing is cheeky, larky, playful – it’s really fun and yet the more you think about it you think ‘Ooh, gosh, I’m not sure’”

Matt wolf, theatre critic, ‘International New York Times’

Radiant Vermin at London’s Soho Theatre tells the tale of Ollie and Jill, played by first-time home buyers Sean Michael Verey and Gemma. The play is a satire on London’s current housing crisis and sees the ridiculously naive couple going to ever darker and more murderous lengths in order to achieve their dream home. You could say that dream quickly turns into a nightmare but it’s one that people actually live everyday in London’s crowded housing market (albeit in far less surreal circumstances), so perhaps the joke is really on us.

BOOK: The Temple of Perfection: A History of the Gym by Eric Chaline

“The ancient Greek word ‘gymnós’ means ‘naked’, which is how the Greeks used to train: the social history of the gym is incredible”

Mark Mason, writer

Though we think of achieving optimum fitness as being a distinctly modern concern, the concept of the gymnasium is nearly 3,000 years old and personal trainer Eric Chaline’s book The Temple of Perfection looks at every rippled torso and furrowed brow to have ever set foot in one. But its not merely an excuse for gratuitous images of freakishly large men – although they do make an appearance – this is a considered, painstakingly researched volume looking at the motivations of why we want to better ourselves; or why we think about it, anyway.


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