Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

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Jonathan Taylor writes:

Martin will be here with his weekly Wednesday events report, but I wanted to mention a couple of things myself.

Enough praise has been afforded to Christian Marclay's 24-hour montage of time as a character in cinema, The Clock, at Paula Cooper Gallery. The lines were long this weekend. But it's worth the wait: both exhilarating and magically relaxing. It suggests the wealth of human experience that has been represented on film, and even when the representation falls into repeated patterns, it only highlights the bristling variety of their expression. It ennobles every actor in every movie, no matter how bad, by turning them all into game walk-ons in a much greater project. (Update: As I left, I lamented that I was unlikely to see The Clock again anytime soon, once the show closes, and noted how odd that felt, given the ubiquity of video as a medium now. Felix Salmon has more on just this.)

Speaking of which, I was surprised how tremendously affecting I found John Adams's Nixon in China at the Met—perhaps amplified by the inevitable resonance between the opera's meditations on the ordinary makers of history, and events unfolding simultaneously in Egypt. As Nixon stammers early on, "News has a kind of mystery"—an immediate introduction to Alice Goodman's way of working the mundane into the poetic. I had read about Pat Nixon's intervention into Madame Mao's play within a play—a ballet choreographed here by Mark Morris—but had no idea how it would unfold into a nightmare of history.

As for lickspittles so urgently concerned about the mocking treatment of Kissinger—if this is his worst fate, then that really is unjust.

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