20120315_192608Emmanuel Witzthum, a Jewish artist, went from embassy to embassy trying to get in touch with different artists from different cultural backgrounds. When he reached the American embassy he was told “Sorry, we don’t support culture.” Oh god, our cowboy hats and spurs are showing as some old kranky guy yells from a bar, “We don’t take too kindly to your type…” Luckily, this image faded, or dissolved really, through Witzthum’s artistry.

On a Thursday night at the Magnes museum, another barrier was broken: the barrier between young students and old Jewish art enthusiasts. Everyone turned out for a chance to hear from the great Emmanuel Witzthum. He is a famous composer, violist, curator and lecturer, who is the artist behind the piece Dissolving Localities (details here). It is a mix of sounds, and sites from Berkeley and Jerusalem that is a pleasure for the senses. This night was particuarly special because we got to see how this masterpiece was created. read more »

5731102289_5c25ee9523We went to the famous Magnes exhibit put on by the Bancroft library knowing very little about Jewish art. For some reason we imagined we would find Old Testament scrolls, archaic headdresses, clay jars ready to crumble and other ancient pricey pieces of biblical proportions, but nothing that would be relevant to today’s fast-paced, iphone based, ADD lifestyle. However, we are guilty of blaspheme because this exhibit would pique the interest of even the 10 statuses daily Facebook addict.

At the back of the exhibition room is a lonely door and once we entered it, our ears were the first to transition into a strange world. read more »


Ah, Proust. A landmark novelist, a brilliant thinker, a famous French guy. OK, so some of us here at the Clog may not have actually read him  – in fact, we know him as the guy Steve Carell’s character was studying in “Little Miss Sunshine” but we know he’s a big deal. So the fact that there are going to be three free lectures on Proust at 4229 Dwinelle starting Tuesday, Sept. 28 from 5-7 p.m. doesn’t really surprise us.

The first lecture is entitled “Enchantments.” This could be because of one of Proust’s quotes (translated into English, so yeah, French majors, it doesn’t truly capture the essence). “Habit is a second nature which prevents us from knowing the first, of which it has neither the cruelties nor the enchantments.”

Our little English major brains are whirring like a hamster on an exercise wheel. For the curious, the next two lectures are on the following Tuesdays. And if you’re the least bit curious about all things Proust-y, you should definitely go to this lecture in the bibliothequeToute de suite!

Image source: LWY under Creative Commons
Three Lectures on Proust [UC Berkeley Events Calendar]