TV & Radio
Cartier opens major modern art exhibition in Tokyo
Fri Apr 21, 9:46 AM ET
The Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art on Saturday will kick off in Tokyo its biggest exhibition overseas with works by 32 artists including France's Raymond Depardon and American Nan Goldin.
The Paris-based foundation has amassed a major collection since it was set up by the luxury goods maker in 1984, boasting 1,500 works by 350 artists, some of which will be on show until July 2 at Tokyo's Museum of Contemporary Art.
But Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, a former novelist known for his blunt and nationalist remarks, took the opportunity to denigrate modern art.
Speaking at an inaugural function Thursday evening, Ishihara told the crowd of 2,000 people that contemporary art was "crap" and praised Japanese culture as better than that of the West, according to several witnesses.
Among the prominent works on display include Ron Mueck's "In Bed," a seven-meter (23-foot) long sculpture representing a woman lying down and fellow Australian Marc Newson's airplane made of aluminum and composite materials.
After Tokyo, the exhibition goes on to Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.
"This is the first time in our history that we are showing such a vast exhibition from our collection" overseas, curator Helene Kelmachter told reporters. "The most outstanding works have been selected."
Depardon will show silent three- to five-minute films in which he walks alone through the world's great cities with a 16-millimeter camera rolling.
The 63-year-old former photojournalist said Tokyo remained at the top of his list of subjects.
"Tokyo is the world's most photogenic city as there are always new things," he said.
"It's an immensely rich city, one of the only ones where residents could just loaf about but nonetheless they don't," he said.
Depardon said it was also one of the easiest cities to work in.
"When Japanese women see me filming they would love to know why, but they seem to be held back by their customs from talking to a stranger on the street," he said.
In contrast, New York has become a much more difficult place to film.
"Cities change. New York used to be a very liberal city but it's been getting paranoid since the September 11, 2001 attacks," Depardon said.
"Twenty years ago, I was used to taking photos from a taxi," he said of New York. "Now it's hard. You can't even photograph bridges."
Tokios Bürgermeister: Moderne Kunst ist "Mist"
Freitag 21. April 2006, 17:41 Uhr
Tokio (AFP) - Tokios Bürgermeister Shintaro Ishihara hat moderne Kunst pauschal als "Mist" bezeichnet. Der 73-Jährige pries bei einem Empfang vor 2000 Gästen zur Eröffnung einer Kunstausstellung der Cartier-Stiftung gleichzeitig die japanische Kultur als überlegen im Vergleich zu der des Westens, wie mehrere Teilnehmer berichteten. Erst im vergangenen Juli hatte Ishihara bei der Einweihung eines Universitätsgebäudes Französisch als misslungene Sprache bezeichnet, "die nicht einmal zählen kann".
Die Cartier-Stiftung mit Sitz in Paris stellt in Tokio ab Samstag 1500 Werke von 350 modernen Künstlern aus, darunter Ron Muecks Sieben-Meter-Skulptur "In Bed", die eine überdimensionale, liegende Frau zeigt. Im Tokioter Museum für moderne Kunst ist die Ausstellung bis zum 2. Juli zu sehen. Danach geht sie nach Sao Paulo und Buenos Aires.
石原慎太郎が現代美術を侮辱 - リベラシオン紙
Diet handed 'patriotic' education bill
Proposed change of '47 law has foes, including teachers, fearing Big Brother
By AKEMI NAKAMURA and HIROKO NAKATA
The Japan Times: Saturday, April 29, 2006
The government submitted a bill to the Diet Friday that will revise the Fundamental Law of Education for the first time since its enactment in 1947 to include fostering "patriotism."
Drafted during the Allied Occupation, the present law does not mention patriotism because the word was associated with Japan's wartime totalitarianism and militarism, according to scholars.
Conservative politicians have long sought to emphasize the concept in school curricula, but Japan "has been sensitive about patriotism, mainly due to memories of the (totalitarian) education before and during the war," said Hidenori Fujita, a professor at International Christian University in Tokyo.
"Patriotism" as stipulated in the bill, however, goes beyond the usual definition of love, loyalty and zealous support of a nation, by requiring people to cultivate "an attitude that respects tradition and culture, loves the nation and homeland that have fostered them, while respecting other countries and contributing to international peace and development."
Against a backdrop of problems at public schools, including bullying, truancy and a breakdown in classroom discipline, the ruling bloc has been pushing for a change in the so-called educational constitution for the past six years.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters that he hopes all the parties will have a productive discussion to get the bill passed by the end of the current session, scheduled for June 18.
"Times have changed over the past 60 years. That's why we are considering the importance of education again," Koizumi said.
While it remains unclear whether the bill will clear the Diet during the current session due to time constraints, experts say that if the amendments are enacted, they may have a profound affect on the public education system.
Kimiko Nezu, a teacher at Tachikawa No. 2 Junior High School in western Tokyo, said she could easily lose her job under the revised law.
"Refusing to rise to sing the national anthem (at school ceremonies) would be a violation of the law, so teachers like me could be fired," said Nezu, who has ignored instructions from the Tokyo metropolitan board of education requiring all teachers to stand and sing "Kimigayo" at school ceremonies since October 2003.
Nezu and 32 other metro-area public school teachers who refused to rise from their seats at graduation ceremonies in March were slapped with penalties ranging from pay cuts to three-month suspensions by the school board.
"This situation will likely spread to other regions in a few years once the revised law is enacted," she warned.
The Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, New Komeito, agreed on the amendment bill earlier this month after lengthy debate. Its provisions also stress the importance of educating children at home and lifelong education.
Language dealing with religious education remains virtually unchanged in the bill. It stipulates that education must be tolerant toward religion, general religious knowledge and the status of religion in society. It also states that public schools must not teach any religious doctrine.
Still, the article with the new definition of patriotism remains the most contentious part of the bill.
If the bill is passed, other laws on education and academic guidelines for elementary and junior high schools are expected to be revised to incorporate its principles, education ministry officials say.
Although many educators are skeptical of the changes, such opposition is not universal. Seishiro Sugihara, a professor of education at Musashino University in Tokyo, said the legal revisions could improve public education.
"Patriotism has been mentioned in academic guidelines (for elementary and junior high school social studies) but (schools) have not emphasized it very much," he said. "With the revised law, however, (Japan) can nurture patriotism as other countries have done."
Sugihara said developing respect for the country and tradition may help children become more interested in society and increase their sense of right and wrong -- elements he believes schools have neglected.
Sugihara said he is disappointed the proposed changes do not stress the importance of religious education, because general religious knowledge could also help students develop peaceful views on the world.
Such arguments do not sway critics, who fear children may be coerced into patriotic displays and that this could affect how they are evaluated by teachers, said Hiroshi Nishihara, a professor of law at Waseda University.
"(Under the revised law), the state might decide what kinds of attitudes are 'patriotic.' If such a situation arises, it might try to force students to accept its judgments on other issues," he said. "Children would not be allowed to be critical" of the state, he added.
Although Nishihara voiced concern that the new law could revive the militant nationalism of the past, Musashino University's Sugihara called such fears "ridiculous" and said they were the legacy of a mind-set born under the Occupation.
For non-Japanese studying at public schools, the revisions may be difficult to accept.
Lim Young Ki, 29, a third-generation South Korean resident in Japan, said that although he thinks foreigners living here should feel an affinity toward the country, emphasizing patriotism at school may make foreign students uncomfortable.
OTTAWA, April 28, 2006 – Nominations are being sought for the seventh annual Justicia Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
The Justicia Awards recognize outstanding broadcast and print stories that foster public awareness and understanding of any aspect of the Canadian justice system, or the roles played by institutions and participants in the legal system. They are sponsored by the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Commission of Canada and the Department of Justice Canada.
Two prize winners, one in each category, will be selected by an independent judging panel. The awards will be presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Bar Association in St. John’s, NL on August 12.
The deadline is June 2, 2006 for entries covering stories that were published or broadcast between May 16, 2005 and May 15th 2006. Entry forms may be obtained online at http://www.cba.org/cba/awards/justicia/ or by contacting Emily Porter, Canadian Bar Association, at 1-800-267-8860 ext. 155 ( firstname.lastname@example.org).
Last year, the prize for excellence in the print category was awarded to Shannon Rupp for her February 2005 feature “Duelling Rights” published in the Georgia Straight. The story looked at a case involving a transsexual who wants to be a volunteer counsellor in a women’s centre in Vancouver.
CBC News Canada Now/Newsworld was the winner in the broadcast category for its program “Crime on the Street,” produced by Scott Moore and Ian Hanomansing. This television program was broadcast March 31, 2005 live from the cells of a federal penal institution.
Canadian Bar Association
(613) 237-2925 or 1-800-267-8860 ext. 155
Department of Justice Canada
Appel de candidatures pour la septième présentation des prix annuels Justicia
OTTAWA, le 28 avril 2006 – Un appel de candidatures est lancé pour la septième remise des prix annuels Justicia d'excellence journalistique.
Les Prix Justicia récompensent les reportages exceptionnels de la presse écrite et des médias radio et télédiffusés, qui réussissent à sensibiliser le public et l'aident à mieux comprendre les composantes du système de justice canadien ou les rôles respectifs joués par les institutions et les intervenants du système de justice. Ces prix sont commandités par l'Association du Barreau canadien, la Commission du droit du Canada et le ministère de la Justice du Canada.
Deux lauréats, un dans chaque catégorie, seront choisis par un panel indépendant de juges. La remise des prix aura lieu dans le cadre de la réunion annuelle de l'Association du Barreau canadien, le 12 août, à Saint-Jean (TN).
La date limite pour poser sa candidature est le 2 juin 2006 et les articles ou reportages doivent avoir été publiés ou diffusés entre le 16 mai 2005 et le 15 mai 2006. On peut se procurer des formulaires d'inscription au http://www.cba.org/abc/prix/prix_justicia/ou en communiquant avec Emily Porter, Association du Barreau canadien, au 1-800-267-8860, poste 155, ou par courriel à email@example.com.
L'an passé, le prix d'excellence dans la catégorie écrite a été remis à Shannon Rupp pour son article vedette « duelling Rights » publié dans le Georgia Straight. Il s'agissait d'un cas dans lequel un transsexuel voulait devenir conseiller bénévole dans un centre pour femmes à Vancouver.
L'émission de nouvelles de la CBC, Canada Now/Newsworld, était la lauréate dans la catégorie des émissions télévisées, pour son programme Crime on the Street produit par Scott Moore et Ian Hanomansing. Cette émission a été télédiffusée le 31 mars 2005 en direct depuis les cellules d'un pénitencier fédéral
Coordonnatrice des médias
Association du Barreau canadien
(613) 237-2925 ou 1-800-267-8860, poste 155
Ministère de la Justice du Canada
Gay travel guide to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The editor of a new gay and lesbian travel guide to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia said Thursday he hopes the book will foster more acceptance of homosexuality -- which is outlawed in all three conservative Southeast Asian nations.
The "Utopia Guide to Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia," launched last Friday, is the first such guide for the three countries, said Utopia Guides editor John Goss.
"We are simply shining a light on an aspect of society that exists in every country around the globe, but one that has been mostly in the shadows here in Asia," Goss told The Associated Press via e-mail from the Thai capital, Bangkok.
"I am hoping for positive repercussions (in the three countries)," Goss added. "The more that all aspects of human nature are discussed, the more at ease everyone becomes."
In majority-Muslim nations Indonesia and Malaysia, gay sex is punishable by jail. Islamic hard-liners in Jakarta have carried out their own raids on events considered un-Islamic and once attempted to shut down a transvestite beauty pageant.
Singapore also outlaws homosexuality, saying it violates conservative Asian norms, but prosecutions are rare in the city-state and Malaysia.
Goss said Bangkok-based Utopia was careful to market its US$28 guide as "a travel book," rather than a gay guide.
"As the cover only has gentle references to the subject matter, it should be able to be sold without fanfare in even very uptight places," he said.
He did not directly respond to a query on whether the book will be sold in the three nations featured.
Despite Malaysia's conservative stance on homosexuality, Utopia says it is has the "hottest gay scene going," based on surveys conducted from Singapore.
There are also hints on where to "cruise" -- to hook up with other gays -- and it lists enterprises owned by gays and lesbians. Massage and travel services are also highlighted, but venues fronting for prostitutes are not featured, he said.
"The intent of this particular guide, by grouping all these three countries together, is to encourage tourism and patronizing of gay-friendly businesses that are beginning to flourish in Southeast Asia," he said.
Utopia also prints gay and lesbian guides to China, Thailand, and one grouping Korea, Taiwan and Japan.
The book is sold through the company's Web site and can also be downloaded for around a quarter of the cost of a hard copy. (AP)
On the Net:
April 30, 2006
NHK-FM 放送時間 13：00～25：00
'Democratizing' classics: La Folle Journee au Japon director hopes to bring classical music to everyone
Kumi Matsumaru / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer
(Apr. 13, 2006)
Rene Martin says he is pleased to see that an upcoming annual Tokyo event he launched last year to familiarize the public with classical music has already begun to put down roots, especially as he himself did not know the splendor of such music until he encountered the work of Bartok at the age of 16.
La Folle Journee au Japon, which means "Exciting Days in Japan," will be held from May 3 to 6 at the Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho, Tokyo. It is the Japan version of an annual classical music festival Martin has organized since 1995 in Nantes, France, with the aim of bringing classical music to everyone by offering concerts at reasonable prices.
During the Tokyo event, most concerts will last for about 45 minutes and will be priced at about 1,500 yen each. A total of 200 concerts, including 57 free ones, are expected to be held.
According to the event organizer, 110,000 tickets have already been sold as of April 11, although 60,000 more tickets still are available. "We are now worried about whether we can provide enough seats for visitors," the French music producer and artistic director of the event said in a recent interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun.
The 2006 theme of the event is "Mozart et ses Amis" (Mozart and his Friends) as this year marks the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth. Last year, the festival's inaugural version took Beethoven as its theme, selling more than 116,000 tickets for 120 paid concerts during three days.
'Revelation,' thanks to U2
Martin said he came up with the idea to found the unique project when he went to a concert of the rock group U2.
"In 1993, I went to a U2 concert and found 35,000 people were there, enjoying the music," Martin said. "I realized, although I had done many music festivals [over the previous] 15 years by then, I was not able to draw such a number."
To attract people to classics, Martin thought, the most important factor would be ridding such concerts of their elitist image. "It led me to come up with the concept of La Folle Journee--cutting prices and playing times. I also found it was necessary to provide concerts where children can enjoy classics along with adults."
Martin said the idea struck him like a "revelation" as a way to "modernize classics."
"Every one of us is made to enjoy artistic expression, and that is triggered by artistic works themselves," he said.
While introducing novel ideas, however, Martin sticks to a very basic policy--providing quality performances. "Thus I always need to gain the support of artists to lower their fees to make less expensive tickets possible," he said.
His idea seems to have struck gold. Back in Nantes, the festival drew 120,000 people in 2004, about 60 percent of whom said in response to a questionnaire that they had never been to a classical concert before. The Tokyo version drew 130,000 visitors, including 17,000 children, last year.
Martin said working in Japan has given him a new experience, making his works in France even more productive. "Holding an event in a city with a population of 13 million required a new approach," he said. "The experience in Tokyo may also be useful for things I may do seven or eight years later."
The classical music events pro confided he was not interested in classics until he was "awakened" when he was 16.
"I grew up just like an ordinary boy, listening to rock music. I used to play percussion in jazz and rock bands," said Martin, whose favorite group is Pink Floyd. "By the time I became 16, I had gotten into jazz bassist Charles Mingus, who later died of cancer. One day I read his biography, which says Mingus thought he finally found what he had been looking for throughout his life when listening to the radio in his hospital bed. And the music was a piece of Bartok."
A classical 'awakening'
Strongly moved by this story, the young Martin hurried to a shop the following day and bought a "whole collection of Bartok albums."
"It was the moment of awakening. Deeply moved by the music, I bought Beethoven's whole collection the next day."
This classical "awakening" led Martin to enter the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique in Nantes two years later. "I took all classes about musical theory. I wanted to learn everything about music as quickly as possible," said Martin, who studied business administration afterward.
The Nantes festival is now considered one of Europe's major classical music festivals, and a huge source of publicity for the city. La Folle Journee has also been held in Lisbon since 2000, and Bilbao, Spain, since 2002.
Martin said he was determined to establish a fourth one in Tokyo. "Why? It is because of the importance of culture in Japan," he said.
"Japan is one of the countries with the deepest understanding in Western music. The reaction of the audience, for example, is just the same as that in Vienna or Paris," Martin said.
Speaking of this year's theme composer, Martin said the way Mozart contains emotions in his music is applicable to Japanese culture.
"When expressing emotions, Mozart does so in a sort of modest tone. When he cries [in his music], he does not do so with big drops of tears," Martin said. "In his piano concerto, for example, you can find sorrow and other emotions expressed elegantly. But [subtlety] doesn't mean the expression is weak. In that respect, I find Japanese people share the same attitude."
According to Martin, there is no plan at the moment to expand La Folle Journee to other parts of the world, although it may spread to other cities in Japan in the form of smaller projects.
Martin, who loves Japanese films and literature--he boasts a video collection including complete DVD sets of films by legendary Japanese directors Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa--says he hopes to work in the future with young filmmakers in Japan.
"I recently watched the film Nobody Knows [directed by Hirokazu Koreeda]. It would be interesting to work with people like him to make a film on the [Folle Journee] event from a different viewpoint."
Along with the concerts, there will be a number of related events around the time La Folle Journee au Japon is held. They include an exhibition of a Mozart expert's collection of manuscripts and a number of side concerts to be held at nearby facilities.
"I believe the event will work like a theme park of classical music where even people who have never been to classical concerts will enjoy the music in a casual manner," Martin said. "Through La Folle Journee au Japon, I wanted to share with thousands of people the experience I had when I was 16."
Next year, the event is expected to be held with the theme of ethnic harmony.
La Folle Journee au Japon events will be held May 3-6 at the Tokyo International Forumin Yurakucho, Tokyo, (03) 5221-9100.
More musical events, just slightly offstage
Kumi Matsumaru / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer
Concerts, exhibitions and various other projects tied in with La Folle Journee au Japon will be held in Yurakucho, Tokyo, and the nearby areas of Otemachi, Marunouchi and Ginza from April 29 to May 6 to contribute to the festive mood of the May 3-6 classical music festival at the Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho.
One of the events will be an exhibition of historical artifacts related to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the composer whose work is the theme of this year's festival. From May 3 to 7, the collection, including Mozart's musical notes, his portrait and other items, will be shown on the seventh floor of the Marunouchi Building.
A women's choir, most of whose members are office workers in Marunouchi, will sing Mozart numbers under the baton of Hikaru Ebihara at the Marunouchi Oazo building May 3-4.
Photographer Akira Kinoshita, known for his portraits of musicians, will exhibit his works at Wako Hall, on the sixth floor of the Wako building in Ginza, under the title Dear Maestros. The works will include a photograph of Leonard Bernstein, bearing his autograph.
At Tokyo International Forum, Mozart-related films--Amadeus and Trollflojten--will be shown May 3-6, free for anyone with a ticket to an official La Folle Journee au Japan event.
Such ticket holders also can enjoy a free concert to be held all day long during the same period in the forum's exhibition hall. Various workshops designed for children also will be open to ticket holders during the period.
In the plaza in front of the forum building, food stalls will sell dishes from around the world, while showing ongoing performances from the exhibition hall on a gigantic screen.
Visitors will be able to buy Mozart-related products, including those imported from Vienna and Salzburg, in Exhibition Room A at the forum building.
For those coming from outside Tokyo to enjoy the event while staying in the city, the Imperial Hotel, the Palace Hotel and Hotel Okura are offering special accommodation plans that come with concert tickets.
To support the festive mood gastronomically, special menus will be offered by various bars and restaurants in the Marunouchi area from April 29 to May 6.
Music lovers with a sweet tooth will be especially glad to know that Wako Tea Salon at the Wako annex building in Ginza and the Chianti confectionery in Marunouchi will serve desserts specially created for the event from April 29 to May 6.
In Marunouchi, domestic and international street performers will compete at showing off their skills on April 29, while the streets will be decorated with flowers arranged in containers until May 7.
The Los Angeles Times
A blessing in disguise?
April 27, 2006
IN THE WORLD OF SECULAR POLITICS, it would be called a trial balloon. Last week, Cardinal Carlo Martini, a Jesuit theologian and runner-up in the last papal election, told an Italian newspaper that condoms were the "lesser evil" when used to stop the transmission of AIDS.
The cardinal's comments, which elicited praise from inside and outside the Roman Catholic Church, were followed up a few days later by reports that the Vatican was taking a new look at the issue of condoms and AIDS. A pronouncement from Pope Benedict XVI agreeing with Martini would be a blessing.
The church still teaches that the use of birth control by married couples is a violation of natural law and morally wrong. According to "Humane Vitae," a controversial 1968 encyclical by Pope Paul VI, "each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life."
This teaching is honored in the breach by many Catholic couples in Western Europe and the United States, with the tacit approval of some local pastors. But it has stood as an obstacle to an endorsement by the Vatican of the use of condoms to help contain the transmission of the virus that causes AIDS. Individual cardinals have differed on the matter.
But this week, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, the head of the Vatican office for healthcare, told Vatican Radio that "we are conducting a very profound scientific, technical and moral study" on how to deal with married couples when one is infected with HIV. Coming after Martini's comments, that statement seems to indicate that the Vatican is engaged in a genuine reassessment of the condom issue, at least where married couples are concerned. (An unmarried couple that had sexual relations would be violating church teaching whether or not they used contraceptives.)
There is a precedent in Catholic teaching for allowing the use of condoms to prevent disease. A doctrine known in moral theology as the "double effect" says that an individual may engage in an act that has both good and bad effects if the good effect compensates for the bad effect and the act itself is "morally good or at least indifferent."
The use of condoms to contain the spread of AIDS seems to fit squarely into that doctrine. If birth control is an evil (a proposition that even many Catholics question), it is certainly a lesser one than contributing to the scourge of AIDS.