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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 6, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

    Culture Shots: Lewd Facebook pics worth millions, and Van Gogh’s letters

    Laurence Mackin

    HERE IS an ambitious and odd art project that could build into something much more substantial than the sum of its part. The Core project is looking for one video entry for each country from around the world to build a single work of art that will be broadcast globally.

    It was devised by Irish artist Matthew Nevin, the co-curator of Mart Group. The idea is that 200-odd individuals will be chosen from around the world. They will be placed in front of a camera, and handed a question that they have two minutes to answer. It’s an interesting idea that could work out brilliantly or crash and burn like a half-baked viral ad. Watch this space.

    idea that is well worth checking out is the 24 Hour Play Project at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin. Six playwrights, six directors, and a cast of more than 20 will have 24 hours to write, rehearse and perform six plays. The event, in aid of Dublin Youth Theatre, will be anything but amateur, with the likes of Gary Duggan, Deirdre Kinahan, Pauline McLynn, Paul Meade, Elaine Murphy, Tom Swift, Veronica Coburn, Wayne Jordan, Annie Ryan, Alan Stanford, Willie White, Amy Conroy, Derbhla Crotty, Peter Daly, Maeve Fitzgerald, Philip Judge, Louis Lovett, Aonghus Óg McNally, Rory Nolan, Mark O’Halloran, Hilary O’Shaughnessy, Paul Reid, Karl Shiels, Don Wycherley and more involved – and they’ve roped in New York’s 24 Hour Company to get the show on the road. Creative chaos ahoy. It takes place on February 19th.

    THE FACEBOOK IPO is set to make many millionaires in the coming months, but artist David Choe might be the most unlikely. He was employed by the company to paint sexually explicit murals at its head office in 2005 (your office doesn’t have some? How uncool.) Choe got paid in shares rather than cash, which at the time might have seemed like a typical fob-the-artist-off move by the fledging company. Now, though, Choe could make up to $200 million for his shares – making his murals (a sample of which are below) some of the most expensive works of art today, albeit in a very convoluted way.

    IT MIGHT not be in the millions, but the Sky Arts bursary could make a massive difference to any Irish artist. It is offering five young artists £30,000 each to fund their work for a year. It’s across all artforms, be it dance, theatre, music or modern interpretative mala sculpting, and the winners will also get mentoring. There are 18 days left on the current funding round, so click here for more information on how to get an application in.

    HERE IS something very special indeed. The Vincent Van Gogh Letters Project is a remarkable resource. It contains all Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo, and to the artists Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard, and much more besides. Many are richly illustrated and teem with information and insight. The book edition contains more than 4,300 illustrations, comes in six hardback volumes, and was designed by Wim Crouwel, one of the world’s best book designers. If you don’t have the £450 that Thames and Hudson are asking for it, you can search through the archive online here. An astonishing art history archive, that is freely available? It’s what the internet was built for. Well, that and amusing cat videos.

    ONE FOR all the actors out there: if you haven’t read the interview with Brad Pitt from last week’s Guardian, it’s well worth checking out. Short on celebrity, with little scandal, it reads more like an on-the-money analysis of his own performances throughout his career. Refreshing honesty.

    THIS ISa typically punchy, riveting bit of short fiction by Allegra Goodman in the New Yorker magazine. Barely a word is wasted.

    AND FINALLY: sometimes you watch music videos and think, that must have cost an awful lot of money. Secondly, you think, these people have way too much time on their hands to be devising nonsense like this, but I’m glad they are out there doing it. This video, from – who else? – OK Go, triggers all of these impulses. 1,000 instrument. Two miles of desert. Some not very subtle car product placement. Huzzah.

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