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Required reading


In fact, Cullors did not buy the properties with funds from the BLM Global Network, which said she had only received a total of $120,000 since the group’s inception in 2013 and nothing after 2019.

She points out that she’s had two lucrative book deals, one of which produced a bestselling New York Times memoir in 2018. She’s signed a production deal with Warner Bros. in 2020 to develop programming “for children, young adults and families”.

Cullors has another deal with YouTube, speaks in public, operates an art gallery in South Los Angeles and teaches at Prescott College, a private liberal arts college in Arizona.

“One of the biggest dreams of black people is owning land and real estate,” Cullors said. “I knew that in order to have some stability, I wanted to be a landlord and I also wanted the people in my life to have access to property. That means I’ve co-financed homes and helped people get into home ownership. It’s not new. Black women are often the primary breadwinners and supporters of our family members and community members.

Although the first three masterful volumes of Richardson’s biography supersede any other version of the painter’s life in the years before 1933, this last volume, about half the size of the others, can be read very usefully alongside Josep Palau i Fabre. Picasso 1927-1939: From the Minotaur to Guernica (2011). It was also the fourth volume of a study of Picasso’s work and was published after the author’s death. Like Richardson, Palau had been a friend of Picasso. His approach tended to be more intuitive and less analytical than Richardson’s. Because, unlike Richardson, he could use color illustrations on every page, his books offer a more concrete and graphic account of Picasso’s progress.

We see more clearly in Palau’s book Picasso’s obsessive engagement with Marie-Thérèse. What is strange is that the very day he created his Dream and lie of Franco, a sort of anti-fascist comic strip, he also painted, in soft tones, an oval portrait of her. What is also strange is that some paintings that seem distant from each other in style and texture, such as Marie-Thérèse with a garland of flowers and Portrait of a woman with a beret, were actually made on the same day.

Both of these paintings dramatize the sitter’s eyes and pale skin, but the first is a naïve suggestion, soft colors, the soft face surrounded by a single black line from left eye to right ear, while in the second, with a red background and a red beret, his gaze is more worldly and sophisticated, like the painting itself. The two could have been made decades apart or by different artists.

Strip away the confusing celebrity names and what’s left is just a museum exhibit of a corporate collection. Corporate art collections are not a rare thing – although this format is certainly unusual – but exhibitions of them in major museums are. There are many reasons why. On the one hand, the outsourcing of art selections to corporate executives usurps the role of museum curators. Curatorial independence disappears.

Other potential landmines are even more significant.

Chief among them: when a corporation pays funds to a museum that exhibits its collection, the museum’s exhibition program appears to be for sale. Interscope Records underwrites part of “Artists Inspired by Music: Interscope Reinvented”. (Neither Interscope nor LACMA spokespersons would disclose the amount.) The specter of pay-to-play should be of considerable concern, particularly to the board of supervisors overseeing the county’s establishment.

This is the principle of Yanagihara: if true misery exists, then true love could be too. This simple idea, childish in its brutality, informs all of his fiction. Indeed, the author seems unable, or unwilling, to conceive of love outside of life support; without suffering, the inherent monstrosity of love – its greed, its destructiveness – cannot be justified. This concept is incomplete in people in the trees, which features several characters held on the brink of death and ends with a rapist’s declaration of love. In A little life it blossoms in the anguished face of Jude and in the holy circle of friends who adore him. In Yanagihara’s new novel, In Paradise, which tells three stories of people fleeing one shattered utopia for another, the principle of misery has become airborne, passing like an aerosol from person to person while retaining its essential purpose – to allow the author to insert as a sort of sinister guardian, poisoning the characters in order to care for them with love.

  • Is the internet overrun with things that demand answers? For Dame magazine, Kate Harding writes:

That’s why we humans have a long tradition of teaching literature – in other words, how to read carefully and think deeply – instead of just dropping our youngsters in a library and hoping for the best. Those of us who love books learn as much as we can and pass that accumulated wisdom on to students who, for the most part, don’t give a damn. ‘Twas always so. But along the way, we create a chain of language lovers and snoopers that connects us – you, me, Birkerts, Didion, Woolf, James, all of us – through time to Gutenberg; in front of him the manuscript letters, the stone tablets and the oral tradition; before that, to the best-crafted series of grunts; all of which makes death a little less terrifying, a little less final.

The Internet has made the whole world a library without exits or supervisors.

  • Laura Spinney of Guardian writing about “post-theory science” and what it might mean. He asks the following question: does the advent of machine learning mean that the classic methodology of “hypothesize, predict and test” has had its day?

Compare how science is growing today. Facebook’s machine learning tools predict your preferences better than any psychologist. AlphaFold, a program built by DeepMind, has produced the most accurate predictions yet of protein structures based on the amino acids they contain. Both are completely silent on why they work: why you prefer this or that information; why this sequence generates this structure.

You can’t lift a curtain and look into the mechanism. They offer no explanation, no set of rules for converting this into that – no theory, in a word. They just work and do so well. We witness the social effects of Facebook’s predictions daily. AlphaFold has yet to make its impact felt, but many believe it will change medicine.

Somewhere between Newton and Mark Zuckerberg, theory took a back seat. In 2008, Chris Anderson, then editor of Wired magazine, predicted his demise. So much data had accumulated, he argued, and computers were already so much better than us at finding relationships within them, that our theories were exposed for what they were – oversimplifications of reality. . Soon the old scientific method – hypothesis, prediction, test – would be relegated to the dustbin of history. We would stop looking for the causes of things and we would settle for correlations.

Required reading is published every Thursday afternoon and includes a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.