Art that makes you think
Ifirst came across the Instagram page Art of Resistance in May, when Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead by Israeli forces. An acquaintance had shared powerful posts from it on her social media accounts. As I scrolled, I realised the page had a curated mix of memes, cartoon strips, paintings, illustrations, images of art installations and movements related to resistance worldwide. These ranged from an installation related to the school shootouts in the US to an illustration expressing solidarity with the Sri Lankan people, and an artwork related to the recent bulldozing of activist Afreen Fatima’s home in India. One of my favourite works from Varunika Saraf’s We, The People series, in which the artist uses embroidery to chart an alternative timeline for the nation, was there too. It is undoubtedly a page that makes you think.
Discovering new sounds
Iam a passive listener of music. On morning walks, I randomly select something on Spotify. For the past few days, though, I have been listening to Japanese-American pop star Hikaru Utada’s album Bad Mode, which released in January. They have been around for over two decades but I discovered them after watching their studio concert, Hikaru Utada: Live Sessions From AIR Studios, on Netflix. Utada, who identifies as non-binary, switches effortlessly between Japanese and English. The lyrics touch on love and loss; the music has a dance vibe—the kind where you want to hum along. Hope I don’t f*** it up/ Hope I don’t f*** it up again, they sing in Bad Mode. In Face My Fear, they say: Breath, should I take a deep? Faith, should I take a leap?—how can you not nod in agreement? Spotify is suggesting Tokyo Super Hits now. Yes, it’s a rabbit hole.
A piece of tennis history
As Wimbledon’s Centre Court turns 100, the All England Lawn Tennis Association & Croquet Club has launched 10 NFTs (non-fungible tokens), each capturing a decade’s worth of moments on it. I have two favourites. High Contrast (1980-89) has an image of the 1980 final between John McEnroe and Björn Borg, Anne White’s controversial catsuit, and Pat Cash’s 1987 “celebration in the stands”, the first such, after he defeated Ivan Lendl. The New Generation (2000-09) has Goran Ivanišević as the iconic underdog, Pete Sampras’ graceful backhand, the retractable roof installed in 2009...and an image that breaks the green-white-blue palette: a golden trophy in the hands of Roger Federer. An online ballot, open till 3 July, will decide if you can purchase each £500 (around Rs.47,800) piece. On Wimbledon.glorious.digital
Magic comes to Hollywood
Following the success of the documentary series The Last Dance (Netflix), a number of basketball titles have popped up on streaming platforms. The pick of the bunch is the series Winning Time: The Rise Of The Lakers Dynasty (Disney+ Hotstar), created by Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht for HBO, with the pilot directed by Adam McKay. Season 1 looks at the start of a fabled era at the Lakers, with Magic Johnson joining the team and Dr Jerry Buss remaking the franchise in his own flamboyant image. Like most McKay projects, there’s plenty of manic editing and fourth-wall breaking, but the real fun is watching a terrific ensemble cuss its way through the 10 episodes: John C. Reilly as Buss, Quincy Isaiah as Magic, Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, along with Jason Clarke, Adrien Brody, Sally Field and Gaby Hoffmann.