Recent news regarding censorship has set the art world ablaze with First Amendment cries and sheer outrage against an institution that has long been examined, criticized, cherished, and doubted throughout contemporary art history: the museum. Although he has been dead for eighteen years, American artist, David Wojnarowicz, has once again sparked the first instance of this latest controversy, which has shed light on the chaotic collision of art and politics. An abridged version of his video, “Fire in my Belly” was part of the “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” exhibition, and was removed by The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Institution after the Catholic League and other right-wing political figures like John Boehner (R-Oh) found excerpts of it deeply blasphemous and offensive.
Buildings balanced on crooked legs, lumpy plaster walls crazed in a filigree of fine cracks, weeds and flowers sprouting awkwardly out of a house’s shingled roof; is this the setting for a fairytale? For architect Terunobu Fujimori of Japan, this is a fairytale come true. His structures re-envision and reconstruct Japanese ideals of tradition and modernity.
Terunobu Fujimori, the leading historian of Japanese modern architecture, began designing his own structures in 1990. On the journey from historian to architect in the latter part of his life, Fujimori found “the act of conceiving and building…to be immensely rewarding, since the act of practicing architecture gives life to the knowledge I have gained as a historian”. Architect Fujimori’s designs emerge as if from a children’s book with imaginative and playful hints at the fantastical seen in his “tree house” designs.
Today marks the 152nd birthday of the legendary Italian composer of such famous operas as “Manon Lescaut,” “La Bohème,” “Madame Butterfly” and “Turandot.” Giacomo Puccini’s talent continues to inspire and enrapture classical music enthusiasts around the world decades after the composer’s death.