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Berlin show uncovers Stasi photographs
  14th Aug 2011

Spies from East Germany demonstrate the art of disguise by donning wigs, fake moustaches and dark glasses in a Berlin exhibition of recently uncovered and once highly classified pictures. Artist Simon Menner, who put together the exhibition Pictures from the Secret Stasi Archives, said it should show how something that seems harmless, such as these images that could be shots from a spy film spoof, can harbour danger.

Latin jazz musicians sue Grammys

An attempt by the Grammy Awards to simplify its annual prize-giving extravaganza by cutting down the number of eligible categories has hit unexpected legal complications — a group of Latin jazz artists, who have seen their own section eliminated, has filed a suit claiming the change will cause them irreparable damage. The move has come in for criticism from some legends, including Paul Simon, who said it was “a disservice to many talented musicians”. The complaint is driven by the truism that nothing generates record and concert sales like being able to attach ‘Grammy-winner’ or ‘Grammy-nominated’ to your name.

Katy Perry close to Jackson’s record

Pop star Katy Perry has beaten Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga to become the second artist after Michael Jackson to make it to the top of the US charts for the fifth straight time with her latest single Last Friday Night. Perry will have to wait a little to see whether she can break the record set by Michael Jackson with his album Bad. Gaga and Timberlake’s four tunes from a single album had landed at No. 1 on the chart.

Alkazi to promote photography as art

After passionately promoting fine art for more than two decades, the gallery set up by legendary theatre-personality-cum-art-connoisseur Ebrahim Alkazi now ventures into photography through a new exclusive space. Art Heritage, established in 1978 by Alkazi and his wife and renowned for showcasing works by upcoming contemporary artists, is now establishing a permanent gallery space in the capital to promote photography as an art form. The new gallery, Photo Room, is scheduled to be inaugurated at the Triveni Kala Sangam on 19 August. The first exhibition is titled In Secrecy and showcases the work of three contemporary photographers.

Jagger, Rahman release Satyameva Jayathe

Rolling Stone legend Mick Jagger has sung in Sanskrit thanks to A.R. Rahman, who has collaborated with the rocker for Satyameva Jayathe, their second single from band SuperHeavy. The Oscar-winner, who has collaborated with Jagger and three other international artistes, had earlier released Miracle Worker, the first song from their album.

Musicians are being backmailed: Union

Professional musicians are being ‘emotionally blackmailed’ into performing for free at charity concerts, Britain’s Musicians’ Union said. “It is wrong that many performing artists are expected to work for nothing when they are engaged for charitable and fund-raising events,” the union said. “It is extremely unfair to put professional musicians into a situation where they are blackmailed into working for no fee and are asked to give their services to a good cause. This is particularly unjust when others associated with the event, such as venue staff, lawyers and caterers are being paid.” The union intends to put a motion to the annual Trades Union Congress next month.

Bolshoi celebrates Cuban ballerina

Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre recently celebrated the 90th birthday of Cuban dancer Alicia Alonso with a gala performance of Russian classics performed by her pupils and countrymen. Alonso, who turned 90 last December, received a standing ovation at the packed theatre where she was honoured alongside Russian dancers — such as Vladimir Vasiliev and Azari Plisetsky.

Arty mugs in aid of stray animals

After hand-woven carpets sporting art from Indian masters, People for Animals, an animal welfare NGO turns to art again for its annual fund-raiser. A limited edition collection of porcelain mugs featuring artworks by top 50 artists is expected to be launched and go on sale on 19-21 August. “There is no reason why art should be confined to canvas or limited to a few. Every year, PFA introduces a new and wonderful way to enjoy art,” said Maneka Gandhi, the PFA chairperson. Proceeds of the sale are expected to go towards building animals shelters in Mysore and in Ghaziabad. Artists, whose works are featured include Raja Ravi Varma, Jamini Roy, F.N. Souza, amongst others.

Khans collaborate with US artist

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, who has collaborated with his sons Amaan and Ayaan, and American artist Carrie Newcomer on his new album, says it is a unique blend of folk music and the sarod. The album is releasing in India in October. “Everything is Everywhere, is a project of the three of us and the American folk artiste. We hope to make it a listening experience,” Khan said.

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