Forget #TheDress, Here's What to Read on the Dallas Internet Right Now

Mike Daisey was interview by local performer John Michael on TheaterJones.
Mike Daisey was interview by local performer John Michael on TheaterJones.
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If you're tired of hearing about the dress of many colors, the Internet offers numerous alternatives. Lately, Dallas writers have flooded the Internet with words worth reading. And while I'm obviously biased toward the writing you'll find on the pages of DallasObserver.com, there are some articles out there about the arts that no one on our staff or in our bevy of freelancers has the expertise to write. Rather than waste your time with my take on their take on that one thing, I determined to bring back the artifacts from my last deep dig around the Dallas Wide Web. Here's your reading list for this blustery Friday.

Last week, during a tour of a different show at the Dallas Museum of Art, I found myself wandering the halls of Between Action and Unknown Art with Glasstire's Christina Rees. This two-person exhibition of members of the Gutai, an experimental postwar artist group in Japan, was to me mind-blowing. Today on Glasstire, Rees walks through her views on the show sprinkling history of the group, and also America's recent love affair with Gutai, even shedding some light on why the certain pieces popular among collectors might not be the most engaging or representative of the Gutai at large. It's a fascinating read for anyone who has seen the exhibition, or plans to.

Over on D Magazine's arts blog FrontRow, Peter Simek spells out why we should care that the White Rock Theater will be removed by the city. I've reported bits and pieces of the story, and mentioned in so many words how pissed it all makes me, but Simek writes eloquently of why it matters. He quotes Winston Churchill: "We shape our buildings [and cities] thereafter our buildings [and cities] shape us." And goes on to say, "It's a deceivingly simple quote, but one that strikes right at the inherent value of public art in civic life. Our attitudes towards how to build a better Dallas is an extension of how the already-built Dallas informs our attitudes. Changing our city's civic disposition is synonymous with changing how we build the city." If you care about art and public art in Dallas, or if you want to know why you should, it's well worth your time.

Over on Arts + Culture Texas, the associate editor Jennifer Smart (my slightly older, a little bit shorter, but nearly identical sister), writes about the draining industry everyone on this list has chosen: arts writing. It's a conversation she and I have on a regular basis, and it was interesting to hear her inject what she's reading and watching when we're not hanging out into her column.

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If you're looking for a sincere voice in the Dallas media, you'll find one in the Dallas Morning News' culture critic Chris Vognar. He isn't just an authoritative voice on film and literature; lately, he's been penning these stunningly honest personal essays for both the paper and FDLuxe. His latest, or at least the one I've read the most recently, is in FDLuxe's February issue. He writes about the book that changed his life, and on the surface it's an odd one: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. And because he opens up about why the book mattered so much to him, his essay becomes about the role art has in our lives if we're open to it. The way a novel, a play, a painting, can be challenging and even revelatory.

Then, there's Brittany Nunn over at the Lakewood Advocate (who full disclosure I've known since we were wee, little tots), who had the brilliant idea to ask Deep Vellum's Will Evans what's on his bookshelf. For editors like me, seeing this article made me hit my forehead for not thinking to do this first. Here's hoping she, or her counterpart, pops over to Oak Cliff and asks Wordspace's Karen and Dee what they're reading next. For my part, the books on my nightstand grow faster than I can keep up.

Finally, there's an interview on TheaterJones.com that's worth a gander. Years ago, I spoke with solo performance artist John Michael about his admiration for two artists: Spalding Gray and Mike Daisey. Well, not admiration, obsession. And adventurous editor that he is, Mark Lowry of Theater Jones let John Michael interview Daisey about The Great Tragedies, which is playing at the Winspear right now. It's a fascination conversation between an aspiring monologuist and the professional. The grasshopper speaks to the guru.

Anyway, that's what I've got for you. What are you reading right now?


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