but with the right guides, what riches we can find

'David Bowie Is' and the dangers of 'theme creep'
The Museum of Contemporary Art is going all out for David Bowie some 400 objects, a gala, a Tumblr blog, a sponsorship from Louis Vuitton. This is understandable; the exhibit, organized by cheap louis vuitton bags from china London's Victoria Albert Museum, is making Chicago its only United States stop on a "David Bowie Is" world tour. If you're a serious stateside replica designer handbags Bowie groupie, you likely are hopping a plane to Chicago, tongue dry and cash in hand. No wonder Tuesday is David Bowie Day in Chicago, courtesy of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
From a performance point of view, of course, there is a unique challenge in the lack of an actual performance by the famously reclusive man himself. "David Bowie Is coming in 4 days, 19 hours." reads the countdown clock on the MCA website. Only Bowie is not coming. Well, he might show up semi incognito and sneak in, or whatever, but barring some MCA miracle, you will not see him doing a formally announced show in the MCA's superb basement performance space.
And thus the performance crew at the MCA has, instead, booked a whole variety of acts in tribute to Bowie and his repertoire this fall, including several prime time events wherein Chicago musicians "shake down the Bowie songbook." I've no doubt some of those aaa replica designer handbags events will be fascinating riffs on the Bowie oeuvre, albeit occasions to some degree defined by the absence of the still living artist. And I'm not claiming that the MCA performance series has forgotten the non Bowie universe this fall. Nonetheless, the fall season for one of Chicago's most important presenters of progressive music, dance and theater from around the world has, to a large extent, been taken over by all things Bowie when we'd otherwise be watching a plethora of global performing arts.
Perfect Quality Louis Vuitton Replica There are dangers in what I'd call theme creep and they are by no means restricted to those at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary 1:1 replica handbags Art. You can see them at nonprofits all over town.
They revolve around the interesting question of whether the mission of a performance program at the MCA or at the Art Institute, Field Museum replica louis vuitton bags from china or any other venue should be subservient to the mission of the larger nonprofit institution. In the broadest sense of the question, the answer has to be yes. Like the galleries upstairs, the performance space has a fiduciary and spiritual duty to follow the museum's investment in excellence, accessibility and risk taking, just as a talk at the Arts Institute of Chicago must be relevant to that great museum's place in the city.
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But in an era when engagement generally defined by time and quantity, rather than intensity is paramount in the cultural economy, big, themed events are ubiquitous. The marketplace for enrichment talks, panels, debates replica louis vuitton is now both substantial and increasingly competitive, especially given the demographic bulge in young retirees with time, money and curious minds. For any institution with many arms, the ability to deliver on a blockbuster notion like, say, "madness" or "Bowie" carries all kinds of advantages when it comes to attracting additional funding. Funders love multiplatform blockbusters. So do the media, including, on many a past occasion, this newspaper, aiding in a work's promotion. Thus once a commitment is made to the theme, the boss puts out the word all hands on deck. Departmental heads are told to find stuff that fits. Put off the rest.
Take, for example, the man who runs the performance series at the MCA, Peter Taub. Over many years, I've learned that Taub is an excellent curator of international performance, a person of taste. If Taub has seen a dance company or fake louis bag a particular new music ensemble and decided to book that company in Chicago, then it has almost always been worth seeing, with very few exceptions. That's not to say that the work in question has always been a success that is a different set of criteria but my idea of what the performance series at the MCA high quality designer replica handbags should be is, to be frank, whatever Taub thinks it should be. It does not need to have anything to do with what the rest of the museum is doing, anymore than the Chicago Symphony Orchestra should turn down the chance to present a great visiting orchestra because its program is at odds with some perceived theme at Orchestra Hall.
I don't praise Taub's past choices out of personal regard, and he had nothing to do with this column. It is a response to years of artistic data, tried and tested. It's not unlike trusting your doctor to know which of the pharmaceutical trials out there are worth the risk of joining. There are high quality designer replica handbags other cultural leaders in Chicago and beyond who've earned the same respect. They can be trusted to know a lot, see a lot and bring the best without too much worry over what does and does not fit into some bigger institutional priority. The smartest cultural institutions have invested wisely in experts, and even more wisely in trying not to get in their way.
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The other issue worth thinking about when an institution goes whole hog over a "Bowie" like endeavor is that great art and potent cultural experience usually resist "blockbuster ization" or external themes. There is a lot to be said for the deep, cross disciplinary, Chicago Humanities Festival style dive, assuming you have time for such a plunge. For those of us who are frantic in our daily lives, incorruptible human cultural curators of eclectic taste mean the world to us. Alone, we can only scratch the surface. But with the right guides, what riches we can find on our precious nights of discovery.

Many arts centers book whoever will pay their rental fee or choose work with all the precision of a dart lobbed in the darkness. The weaker festivals do the same. But I most admire those places, series and events that pick and choose with loving care and thus can be trusted. And if cheap louis vuitton bags from china uk they want to do Blondie when the rest of their joint is pushing Bowie, I say the smart boss just nods his or high quality replica handbags china her head in agreement. 


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