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SundayArts News 9/19/2010
Posted: September 20th, 2010

Artists-in-Residence at The Studio MuseumIn this year’s installment of the much-anticipated artist-in-residence exhibition, Mequitta Ahuja, Lauren Kelley and Valerie Piraino present diverse projects in a range of media, which together address the construction of history and memory. Ahuja makes lush paintings in which mythological warriors and demigods move between landscape, self-portraiture and abstraction. Kelley crafts stop-motion animations, photographs and sculptural installations that speak to notions of material and emotional excess. Piraino repurposes family artifacts to create installations drawing attention to the metaphorical frames that shape experience and memory. This exhibition is on view until October 24.Julie MehretuTen years ago, Ethiopian-born artist Julie Mehretu was an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Through October 6, you can see an exhibition of her works on display at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. “Julie Mehretu: Grey Area” is a suite of semiabstract works inspired by a multitude of sources, including historical photographs, urban planning grids, modern art, and graffiti. The “Grey Area” suite was initiated during Mehretu’s residency at the American Academy in Berlin in 2007. The artist was struck by the ever shifting profile of Berlin, a historically charged city where vestiges of war coexist with new architectural development. Seeing the evidence of destruction and recovery on the streets of this city, reminded the artist about the physical aftermath of war around the world. As a result, the painting believer’s palace references the partially destroyed palace that sat atop Saddam Hussein’s Baghdad bunker. “Atlantic Wall” renders the interiors of bunkers built by Germany along the Western European coastline during World War II.Roadkill ConfidentialThe main character of a new play presented at 3LD is also an artist who deals with violence and brutality. “Roadkill Confidential” addresses how we normalize cruel behavior in order to distance ourselves from its impact. Trevor has made a name for herself in her local art scene by taking the corpses of unlucky animals from their roadside graves and transforming them into pieces of artwork. As the plot twists and turns, the FBI investigates Trevor for bio-terrorism and the people close to her have their own questions about the motivations and implications behind her art. With style, humor and high theatricality, the play tackles mediated violence and the numbness it produces, and whether in art or in global politics, the ends can justify the means.Met OperaThe 2010-2011 season of the Metropolitan Opera opens on September 27 with a much anticipated production of Wagner’s “Das Rheingold.” This is the first new “Ring” at the Met in almost 25 years. James Levine, celebrating his 40th anniversary with the company, conducts a stellar cast that includes two extraordinary artists in their Met role debuts: Bryn Terfel as Wotan and Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde. This production was directed by Robert Lepage who is known for his visually stunning and technologically advanced theater works. “Das Rheingold” is the first installment in Lepage’s Ring Cycle. “Die Walküre,” the second installment, will open on April 22, 2011, and the complete cycle will be presented the following season. The opening night performance will be transmitted live to large outdoor screens in Times Square and at Lincoln Center, which the public can attend for free.Maa: A Ballet by Kaija SaariahoOn September 22, Miller Theatre at Columbia University opens its new season with “Maa: A Ballet by Kaija Saariaho.” This is the American Premiere of the composer’s only ballet. Luca Veggetti’s striking choreography is performed by some of the finest young dancers from the Juilliard School. It is paired with an electrifying live performance of Saariaho’s score by the incomparable International Contemporary Ensemble. Saariaho is one of the most original composers of our time, whose music is at once opulent and mysterious.

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SundayArts is made possible in part by First Republic Bank and by the Rubin Museum of Art. Funding for SundayArts is also made possible by Rosalind P. Walter, The Paul and Irma Milstein Foundation, The Philip & Janice Levin Foundation, Elise Jaffe and Jeffrey Brown, Jody and John Arnhold, and The Lemberg Foundation. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional funding provided by members of THIRTEEN.

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