Beloved Buildings: A Harris poll released yesterday to commemorate the AIA’s 150th anniversary ranks the “most beloved US buildings.” 1800 adults were ask to rank 247 buildings, selected by the AIA. Their top structure? The Empire State Building, with the White House taking second place. Three art museums made the top 50: the Met (17), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (24), and the National Gallery of Art’s West Wing (34). The Walker’s on there, too, at 117, trailing downtown Minneapolis’ Philip Johnson-designed IDS Center and ahead of Minnesota’s only other mention, Frank Gehry’s first museum design, the Weisman (129). The MOMAs–San Francisco (109) and New York (146)–made an appearance as well.
Putting Apartheid to rest: “We can’t leave things in the dust without a decent burial.” So say the actors who lived through Apartheid in Farber Foundry’s Amajuba: Like Doves We Rise, being performed through Feb. 11 at Chicago’s Shakespeare Theater before coming to the Walker February 22–24. This theatrical funeral–or exorcism–is “a reminder of the power of the arts to articulate things politicians will not or cannot.” The Tribune gave it a rave review: “It’s masterfully staged. Music, movement and truthful storytelling are integrated with profound integrity and simplicity. The show doesn’t abandon the beauty of visual spectacle — it just takes its own kind of ownership.” (Few tickets remain; order here.)
Street/Sounds: Street Level: Mark Bradford/William Cordova/Robin Rhode, opening March 29 at Duke’s Nasher Gallery, features artists who use found objects, vernacular vocabulary, or performance interventions to explore how “cultural territory is defined and space is transformed in urban environments.” Clamor, opening April 17 at the Serpentine, consists of a bunker/ruin/sound booth (image, top right) from which artists Allora & Calzadilla will sample music used in war, including Twisted Sister’s “We’re not gonna take it” used by the US to annoy Manuel Noriega in the 1989 Panama invasion.
The Green Room: Elsewhere I’ve been writing on green art museums–which are few and far between–but now Eyebeam tips us off to a nice Guardian piece on green theater. Is theater, with its trash-bound sets, high heating bills, and global tours, the “eco-vandal of the entertainment world”? Maybe, but rather than laying blame the piece looks to efforts by the green-minded few, like Graham Eatough, director of Suspect Culture theatre company, who says, “We should champion the beauty of anachronistic artforms. If you asked a green activist to describe the ideal form of entertainment in 2050, it would resemble theatre: natural comings-together of communities to tell stories, without the wasteful production of artefacts.”