The artist takes up a new residency in London

“It’s hard to believe that Kemp, known for his extravagantly dramatic performances combining mime, kabuki and cabaret, could experience stage fright. Yet the man who famously mentored Bowie and Kate Bush before they were stars insists he stills feels terror at the thought of disappointing an audience. After a life more or less lived on or near a stage, he has no need to worry, but his desire to please an audience is what keeps him dancing, choreographing and touring in spite of his 78 years. “I don’t miss a day of stretching. As Isadora Duncan says, ‘Never rest, never rust’.””

More at AnOther.

A television interview with the African-American scholar, first broadcast in 2000

“This year marks the fifth anniversary of Frieze New York, the stateside instalment of Frieze’s multi-media celebration of art, offering a showcase comprising 200 galleries from 31 countries worldwide. Encouragingly, the line-up champions more women artists than ever before – so, who better to give us a guided tour than Olympia Scarry?”

More at AnOther.

Alison Flood (The Guardian) reports

Philip Roth
Looking back over his half-century career, The Wrap asked Roth which of his books he considers to be the best-written, and the author picked Sabbath’s Theater, “which a lot of people hate”, and American Pastoral. “I think it’s got a lot of freedom in it,” he said of Sabbath’s Theater. “That’s what you’re looking for as a writer when you’re working. You’re looking for your own freedom. To lose your inhibition to delve deep into your memory and experiences and life and then to find the prose that will persuade the reader.” [Read More]

Natalie Rigg (AnOther) talks to the British artist about her new sculptures, currently on exhibition in London
Sarah Lucas, The Female Gaze (2016)

Sarah Lucas shot to art stardom in the late 1980s with her bawdy, sexually charged works depicting body parts crafted from mundane, ‘found’ objects. A lemon for a breast; an errant mattress for a body; flesh-coloured tights stuffed to the seams to resemble a jutting phallus, a leg (or both) – Lucas’ art, which brazenly comments on contemporary gender tropes, death and sexuality, played a pivotal role in the rise of Young British Artist movement of the 1990s.

During that explosive period – where Lucas and her fellow YBAs (Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume et al) partied like rock veterans – her provocative aesthetic frequently divided opinion, as did her so-called stance on feminism. Today, despite swapping her native north London for a more rural life in Suffolk, the British artist is still unwaveringly relevant. Her latest exhibit, titled Power in Woman, is currently on display inside the North Drawing Room of Sir John Soane’s museum, London. Pitched against egg yolk-yellow walls and classical furniture, the show presents three grey plaster-cast mouldings of her muses, Yoko, Michele and Pauline, affixed to chairs or tables in various positions. (more…)

Euan Monaghan (LitHub) talks to the American writer, in an interview originally published in Structo Magazine
Ursula K. Le Guin, by taros
It’s not hard to see why Ursula K. Le Guin is best known for her early novels. In the space of six years came A Wizard of Earthsea (1968), The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), The Lathe of Heaven (1971) and The Dispossessed (1974). These books and many others—including Lavinia (2008), an astonishing take on Virgil’s Aeneid—have been a steady influence on authors of the imagination, notably Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, David Mitchell, Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith, who said that “Le Guin writes as well as any non-‘genre’ writer alive.” We talked at Le Guin’s home in Portland, Oregon.


Tenor saxophonist reflects on a career spanning more than 65 years
Sonny Rollins

One of the last in a generation of jazz greats, Sonny Rollins once thought music could change the world. His optimism about humanity has since vanished but, at 85, he still has much he wants to say.

The “Saxophone Colossus”, a nickname that was also the title of his seminal 1956 album, is among a handful of sax players including John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins who defined the instrument, with Rollins creating a heavy-charging, mordant style that was also readily experimental.

The hard-working tenor saxophonist has taken several extended sabbaticals, most famously when he temporarily retired – yet would practice on New York’s Williamsburg Bridge. He later moved to India and Japan to explore spirituality. (more…)

“Birth was the death of him”

Samuel Beckett Summer School 2016 • The Samuel Beckett Estate: An Interview with Edward BeckettGet a Master’s Degree in Samuel BeckettSamuel Beckett and Chess • The Samuel Beckett Theatre Project OxfordSamuel Beckett’s Writing Advice • Samuel Beckett and Barbara Bray: A New DocumentaryOverbeck on Editing Samuel Beckett’s LettersDan Gunn on Finding Time for LiteratureSan Quentin and Samuel Beckett: An Interview with Rick ClucheyBrian Evenson on Beckett’s MolloyNew Publication Series: Samuel Beckett in CompanyWalter Asmus on The Art of Beckett