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Showing posts from August, 2013

The Making of The Beat Museum

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In 1968, Jerry Cimino was in the eighth grade when the world exploded. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated. Russian tanks were moving into Czechoslovakia. The Vietnam War was escalating and there were race riots in the streets of America. Cimino grew up thinking that he was going to Vietnam. His high school English teacher read Lawrence Ferlinghetti's poem, “Sometime During Eternity” to the class. Having attended a Catholic school, Cimino had never heard or read anything like it before. Using a hip-bopster language, the poem reinterprets Christ's crucifixion in a shocking way. He was fourteen years old and completely unaware that this Beat poem would influence his life’s direction and work.

Modern Nostalgia

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"Beyond Belief" makes me nostalgic. It’s a current exhibition (the full title is Beyond Belief: 100 Years of the Spiritual in Modern Art). It’s also the opening track on Imperial Bedroom by Elvis Costello. Not the first record I owned. But the first one where I knew every word and thought I was the only one in the world who knew every word.


Beatnik Photowalk

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Every city has its history, which is easy to ignore when you live there. Cultural pilgrimages often end when the urban honeymoon is over, and you complete the transformation from starry-eyed visitor to jaded inhabitant.

But there are stories everywhere, and few stories are as good as those from the Beat Generation, which came of age and influence in 1950s San Francisco.

The Journey to Stillness

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“Jackson Pollock is Jewish?”

“Is this is how you define spirituality?”

“How does it all come together?”

Visitors to The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s (CJM) exhibition Beyond Belief: 100 Years of the Spiritual in Modern Art, co-presented with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), are delighted and/or surprised by what they find. Most have questions; some argue with the categories; others are awed into silence.

And that’s kind of the idea.