Aki honored: The Reykjavik International Film Festival opened last week with a concert by Sigur Ros and the awarding of the 2007 Creative Excellency Award by Iceland’s president Olafur Ragnar Grimmson to Aki Kaurismaki, subject of a 2004 Regis Dialogue and Retrospective at the Walker.
The Loneliest Icelander: Iceland has already withdrawn its two troops from the “Coalition of the Willing” in Iraq, and today it announced that next month it will bring home its final citizen, a Crisis Response Unit member who’s been working with NATO to train the Iraqi army. The news inspired this (Icelandic-techno-rap-laden) video of that last, lonely Icelander’s tale.
Artists call for fuller, fairer look at MASS MoCA: On September 16, the New York Times’ Roberta Smith wrote on the conflict between artist Christoph Bchel and MASS MoCA; she called it a “depressing spectacle” and compared it to the 1989 cancellation of the infamous Robert Mapplethorpe show at the Corcoran. The first line of her story: “When a museum behaves badly, it’s never pretty.” The piece has inspired a flurry of letters to the editor, including, on Sunday, one from Yale curator Jock Reynolds, who was involved with the Corcoran’s Mapplethorpe show, calling for a “fuller and fairer” look at MASS MoCA’s conduct in this case. Also showing support in the Sunday letters: artist Laurie Anderson and Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe of Bang on a Can.