One of the smaller, but very compelling, exhibitions currently on view at MoMA focuses on… kitchen design. “Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen” uses the continual redesign of the kitchen as a barometer of changing aesthetics, technologies and ideologies spanning the 20th Century. The exhibition features almost 300 works from the MoMA collection. Its centerpiece is the iconic “Frankfurt Kitchen”, designed in the late 1920s by Margarete Schutte-Lihotzky. The contribution of women, as consumers, reformers, architects and designers of the domestic kitchen is a prominent element of this exhibition.
The Language Archive
Women also play some of the most compelling roles in the quirky comedy “The Language Archive.” The keeper of the “archive” is George, who is consumed with preserving and documenting dying languages. But he has a hard time finding what to say to prevent his wife from leaving him or recognizing the deep feelings of his lab assistant, Emma… The comedy revolves around love, as the one language that can leave us at a loss for words.
The Empty Hours
Language, this time used in texts, tweets and other forms of digital-age communication, is one of the themes of an opera that premieres at Lincoln Center on November 19. “The Empty Hours” tells the tale of a lonely woman whose obsession with the Internet fuels an extraordinary fantasy world. French conductor Emmanuel Plasson leads the New York Opera Society Orchestra and the Manhattan Choral Ensemble. Based on a composition by Ricardo Llorca, the production features an international cast, which includes Spanish Soprano Laura Alonso, Brazilian actress Angelica de la Riva, and Spanish pianist Rosa Torres-Pardo.
What is the sound of one hand clapping?
A major retrospective at Japan Society starts with the meditational question: “what is the sound of one hand clapping?” The exhibition is titled “The Sound of One Hand: Paintings and Calligraphy by Zen Master Hakuin.” It showcases 69 scroll paintings by Hakuin Ekaku, an 18th Century painter who is considered to be the most important Zen master of the last 600 years. Humorous word play and a new development in the integration of painting and calligraphy, make Hakuin’s works even more compelling. Some of the most delightful paintings on view are those depicting mundane objects and activities, sometimes in the guise of folk tales and myths.
A European myth is the inspiration for a new collaboration between choreographer Jonah Bokaer and the design firm Harrison Atelier. “Anchises” provides a ritualistic and rigorously meditative interpretation of the centuries-old conflicts between filial loyalty and progress, compassion and expedience. This performance examines changes in the human body’s range and potential as it moves through time and space. The stage design and choreography contribute to a poetic visual and physical expression to the theme of aging. “Anchises” premieres on November 17th at the Abrons Arts Center.