Here’s the deal. Both of the events I’m about to mention fall on a school night. Between getting everyone fed, homework finished, and teeth brushed before bedtime — I know you’ve already got a lot to do. But this week there are a couple of especially intriguing arts happenings worthy of taking a special weeknight out to see.
On Wednesday evening, Carleton College is hosting a free, public lecture by noted cultural critic Lawrence Weschler. In a talk entitled, “Two Giants of Contemporary Art with Conflicting Ideas about How to Best Illuminate Human Perception,” the award-winning author will speak on a lively, decades-long dialogue between acclaimed contemporary artists Robert Irwin and David Hockney, both of whom explore the intersections of art and the vagaries of human experience in their artwork.
Weschler’s lecture springs from two newly published collections of essays, “Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: Over Thirty Years of Conversations with Robert Irwin” and “True to Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations with David Hockney.” These books document 30 years’ worth of Weschler’s conversations with the two artists, whose spirited debate with one another played out over the years in print rather than in person. (Read an interview with Weschler about the background of both books here.)
If you’ve read Weschler’s intriguing nonfiction titles (“Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder,” “Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences”) or his essay contributions to magazines like the “New Yorker” or “The Believer,” you don’t need me to tell you this promises to be a fascinating, far-ranging discussion of big ideas and even bigger personalities in contemporary art.
Lawrence Weschler will appear Wednesday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Boliou Hall Auditorium on the Carleton College campus in Northfield.
Informal panel discussions about art
If you’re free tonight, why not stop by Salon Saloon: Twin Cities Art and Culture Review? This evening’s event is the latest in a new series of panel conversations about art, hosted by Andy Sturdevant at the Nomad World Pub.
These weeknight symposia are informal, even raucous affairs — more like happy hour with friends than an art lecture. Salon Saloon brings together a variety of artists and thinkers, from a number of fields of interest, to explore a given theme: this time, it’s “Fancy Feast,” where panelists will take various angles of approach on the entanglements of food and art.
Featured speakers include: The Heavy Table‘s founder, food critic James Norton with food stories and recipes; local artist and playwright Molly Balcom will talk about eating as a communal affair and food as a medium for performance; the Twin Cities’ ‘best bartender,” Nick Kosevich, will whip up a special Salon Saloon cocktail; Chris Olson, creator of the intriguing “Paired” series, which marries art and dinner, will talk about matching artists with diners.
In addition to the panel conversation and Q & A from the audience, there will be live music by Old Man Orville, food and drink, art-scene gossip and sing-alongs. It’s sure to be a hoot.
The fourth and final Salon Saloon of the spring season, “Fancy Feast,” is tonight, May 5 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Nomad World Pub in Minneapolis.