Culture Canvas

BY Annie Strother  December 2, 2011 at 11:23 AM EDT

A roundup of the week’s arts and culture headlines.


Click to enlarge. Nowness presents the world premier preview of the documentary film ‘Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present’ Thursday as part of the 10th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach. More than 260 galleries from around the world are taking part in the festival, which runs through Sunday, showcasing works by more than 2,000 artists. Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images for Nowness.

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The National Endowment for the Arts will lead a task force of 13 federal agencies to promote research about how the arts affects stages of human development, via The Washington Post.

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Despite initial injuries, an enormous budget and some bad reviews, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is making record amounts of money, prompting murmurs about expanding the show to other cities, via CBS.

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An Occupy Broadway protest is scheduled for Friday, via The Los Angeles Times. It’s expected to feature a number of free public performances around Times Square.

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The Philadelphia Orchestra, which is going into bankruptcy, claims it is unable to pay pensions for its musicians and is using legal proceedings to avoid doing so. Other orchestras are paying attention, via The New York Times.

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New York City Opera and its two main unions still don’t have a contract, and talks broke down on Wednesday, via The New York Times.

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The Venice Biennale’s 25-week run came to a close this week. This year’s biennial attracted 440,000 visitors and included 89 countries, a record number, via ARTINFO.

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Dissident artist Ai Weiwei’s wife, Lu Qing, is now a “criminal suspect” in his case, via CNN. After hours of questioning, police asked her to stay in Beijing but did not tell her what crimes she is being accused of.

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English filmmaker and provocateur Ken Russell died this week at the age of 84. He rose to fame with his 1969 adaptation of “Women In Love,” based on the novel by D.H. Lawrence.

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Sweza, a renowned German street artist, is using QR codes to makes posters of boomboxes sing. He posts the images around Berlin, and passersby use their smartphones to play music, via The Atlantic.

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The National Music of Oslo recently learned that one of the unattributed sketches hanging on its wall is a Rubens, via Artnet.

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The legendary Martha Graham Dance Company is promoting a video contest. Entrants supply an inner monologue for a three-minute dance, available for download. Each voiceover must begin, “Doctor, it’s happening again.”

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Girl Walk // All Day is music video for the entirety of mashup artist Girl Talk’s most recent album, “All Day.” The project, created by Wild Combination and funded by Kickstarter, is unaffiliated with Girl Talk’s Gregg Gillis, features some rowdy ballet and is more than 70 minutes long. The first chapter was released this week on Gothamist.

Art Beat talked with Gillis last February about his mashup albums and live performances. You can download “All Day” for free.