Episode #1452

Culture Shock 1913

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Clockwise from top left: Igor Stravinsky; suffragettes photographed in 1913; Bicycle Wheel by Marcel Duchamp; detail from Woman with Pails: Dynamic Arrangement by Kazimir Malevich Clockwise from top left: Igor Stravinsky; suffragettes photographed in 1913; Bicycle Wheel by Marcel Duchamp; detail from Woman with Pails: Dynamic Arrangement by Kazimir Malevich (Malevich c/o MoMA; Duchamp © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp; Stravinsky and Suffragette photo courtesey of Wikimedia Commons)

What a year was 1913! In an exhibition in a New York Armory, American viewers confronted Cubism and abstraction for the first time. In Vienna, the audience at a concert of atonal music by Schoenberg and others broke out into a near-riot. And in Paris, Stravinsky and Nijinsky’s new ballet The Rite of Spring burst on stage with inflammatory results.

Culture Shock 1913 tells the stories behind these and other groundbreaking events that year, and goes back to consider what led to this mad, Modernist moment. "I think in a lot of ways it was just the beginning of a century just of absolute chaos and nightmare, and as so often, the artists heard it and reflected it first," notes the critic Tim Page. WNYC’s Sara Fishko speaks with thinkers, authors, musicians, art curators, and historians about this unsettling era of sweeping change — and the not-so-subtle ways in which it mirrors our own uncertain age.

This Studio 360 episode is an abridged version of a one-hour documentary Sara Fishko produced for WNYC. The original program, videos, and related podcasts can be found here.

Host/Executive Producer: Sara Fishko
Associate Producer: Laura Mayer
Editor: Karen Frillmann
Mix Engineer: Wayne Shulmister, additional mixing by Edward Haber

(Originally aired: December 28, 2012)


Slideshow: Art that rocked the world in 1913

Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 was featured in the landmark Armory Show.

Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913 (cast 1931)
Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art

Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913 (cast 1931)

Umberto Boccioni, Dynamism of a Soccer Player, 1913
Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art

Umberto Boccioni, Dynamism of a Soccer Player, 1913

Constantin Brancusi, Mlle Pogany, version I, 1913 (after a marble of 1912)
© 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Constantin Brancusi, Mlle Pogany, version I, 1913 (after a marble of 1912)

Marcel Duchamp, 3 Standard Stoppages, 1913-14
© 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, 3 Standard Stoppages, 1913-14

Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel, 1951 (third version, after lost original of 1913)
© 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel, 1951 (third version, after lost original of 1913)

Natalia Goncharova, Rayonism, Blue-Green Forest, 1913 (dated on reverse 1911)
© 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Natalia Goncharova, Rayonism, Blue-Green Forest, 1913 (dated on reverse 1911)

Roger de La Fresnaye, The Conquest of the Air, 1913
Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art

Roger de La Fresnaye, The Conquest of the Air, 1913

Mikhail Larionov, Rayonist Composition: Domination of Red, 1912-13 (dated on painting 1911)
© 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Mikhail Larionov, Rayonist Composition: Domination of Red, 1912-13 (dated on painting 1911)

Kazimir Malevich, Woman with Pails: Dynamic Arrangement, 1912-13 (dated on reverse 1912)
Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art

Kazimir Malevich, Woman with Pails: Dynamic Arrangement, 1912-13 (dated on reverse 1912)

Kazimir Malevich, Samovar, 1913
Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art

Kazimir Malevich, Samovar, 1913

Henri Matisse, The Back (II), 1911 (?) - early March or April 1913
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Henri Matisse, The Back (II), 1911 (?) - early March or April 1913

Piet Mondrian, Composition in Brown and Gray, 1913
Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art

Piet Mondrian, Composition in Brown and Gray, 1913

Francis Picabia, I See Again in Memory My Dear Udnie, 1914, possibly begun 1913
© 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Francis Picabia, I See Again in Memory My Dear Udnie, 1914, possibly begun 1913

Morgan Russell, Creavit Deus Hominem (Synchromy Number 3: Color Counterpoint), 1913
Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art

Morgan Russell, Creavit Deus Hominem (Synchromy Number 3: Color Counterpoint), 1913

Comments [19]

Patrick from Toronto

Bravo! I've listened to the Culture Shock podcast several times over the past few days. I surmise that Sarah Fishco is as much a gifted artist as the subjects she reports on in this program. She has me looking at Modernism, with my eyes wide open for the first time in my life.

Jan. 06 2014 08:54 PM
Edward Phillips from Phelps, NY USA

I came across this program by a simple surf on the web, while staying in and keeping warm on a very wintery blizzard filled day on Jan 02, 2014! As an Executive Director of a local arts center in a picturesque small village of New York State located in the stunning Finger Lakes Region, I am deeply moved by this well executed and concisely stated program, "CULTURE SHOCK 1913".

Not only as the director, but also as a local artist I continually struggle, daily, with a preconceived pre-1913 notion "way of thinking", that art is not meant to shock the world, but conform to the "society's way of perceiving it". I am very deeply inspired by this Studio 360 presentation, to see that 100 years ago the shocking impact that all the arts (written, music and visual arts, etc) had on the entire world then. It sounds like the world was better off because of this "Shock"!

This same shock is still alive today! I say that from my own experience working with exceptional artists and the past exhibitions that I have presented over the last 3 years in this small village and ambitious gallery. My only hope is that the year 2014 will be as transforming as 1913 was, for everyone inside and outside of the art world!

Jan. 02 2014 03:44 PM
Irmgard Dugge from Bethesda, MD

I was absolutely fascinated by this show. THANK YOU -- also for the rest of your programs. I am a radio person, my source of information besides books --- and, OK, google, and can live without TV
My question, is this a coincidence or was this program produced in relation to the book "1913" by Florian Illies?
Regards, Irmgard Dugge

Jan. 01 2014 09:26 PM
Rachel

Great show--wonderfully thought-provoking but help a theoretically not-yet-addled older adult out, here. Is this a *remix* of the show with the same theme I was hearing on NYC last year around this time or the identical item? Because, if the latter, I need to go to the neurologist on the double. Seriously.

Dec. 30 2013 09:09 PM
chris c from reston, va

Loved the show and found it informative and thought provoking. The musical clips in the show were great and it makes me want to look for Rites of Spring influences in other pieces of music in addition to the Godfather. I always love listening to NPR on my long drives home for the holidays- great job Ms Fishco- would love to hear more of this.

Dec. 30 2013 12:37 PM
Janet from New York area

As a teacher of literary modernism, I was eager for the Culture Shock 1913 show. What a disappointment! Sarah Fishko has put together great material, but most of the time the narrators are drowned out by the background music and noise, which was literally way over the top (of the voices). Is this supposed to 'shock' us? Folks, this is radio! Make it loud if you want, but dial up the speakers. I had hoped to use it in class, but finally had to turn it off because it was too much of a struggle to hear.

Dec. 29 2013 03:04 PM
Richard Palmer, MD from DC

While I think this is a very very worthwhile feature for a culture program, I do think this should have been aired the FIRST week of 2014 rather than the LAST week of 2013.

I hope that the next time you produce a culture anniversary you do it AHEAD rather than behind the event.....

(I grant you: BLTN...)

RIchard Palmer

Dec. 29 2013 02:06 PM
Alfred Jeffries III from Providence RI

Sure glad I tuned into WNYC on the way past NYC. The program helped to augment my puerile college education.

Dec. 29 2013 01:43 PM
Ann Kleiman from NYC

Such great commentary from people in music, art, psychology.!! Again Sara Fishko brings excellence to WNYC in her latest on studio 360.....Culture Shock 1913. Please play it again and please give Ms Fisko more and more opportunity to delight and enlighten us.

Dec. 29 2013 12:05 PM

Superb piece about the shattering of a world. I have been a Sarah Fishko fan since the days when she and Steve Post did on-air fund raising together for WNYC. Her Fishko Files on WNYC are gems.

Dec. 29 2013 12:05 PM
Suzanne Bruner from Hell's Kitchen

Thoroughly enjoyed Sara Fishco's production of the 1913 Modernism report. Was riveted. I searched and searched to hear this replayed. I love Fishco's voice. She's so intelligent and unpretentious. How great to hear a woman that doesn't sound like a "valley girl", etc. Excellent program. I want to hear more! Bravo!

Dec. 28 2013 09:11 PM
John from Trenton, NJ

I'm not a normal listener to Studio360 but I really enjoyed this show and am grateful you provided the link to the Ara Fishko's webpage. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has a Léger show for the next few days, an interesting tie to this period. I think the inclusion of Armory show was nice as well.

Good comparions might be the Whitney's upcoming Biennial exhibit introducing us to new art on a regular basis, and the Guggenheim's Wool show as well.

Thanks for a good time!

Dec. 28 2013 06:32 PM
Joseph S from Suffern, N.Y.

As a WNYC listener this is the second time I have heard "Culture Shock 1913" and I thought it was great, again! I remember seeing Fantasia over and over (on Videotape) when my children were young, when the "Rite of Spring" became music for the fighting and disappearance of dinosaurs. The contrast of that music to the Beethoven symphony that is also in Fantasia was striking. This radio show filled in some history for me, so I know now that at one time it was shocking. Very interesting.

Dec. 28 2013 05:07 PM
Ralph Palasek from Virginia USA

Not sure that Stravinsky ever claimed that the choreography (and not the music) of "Le Sacre" was responsible for the riot at the Paris premiere. During 1959, I was reading about the Musical Director of Sergei Diaghilev's "Ballets Russes," Maestro Pierre Monteaux. (This was prior to my going to see Monteaux conduct the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood that year.) Here's the anecdotal nugget I recall: In 1913, prior to commencing rehearsals of Le Sacre, Monteaux was playing through the full score at the piano for Stravinsky. The source, whom I cannot remember now, says that Monteaux stopped playing for a moment, and said to Stravinsky, "This music will provoke a riot." Stravinsky was nonplussed.

Dec. 28 2013 03:53 PM
mona el bayoumi from usa

Is a free Palestine still a Culture Shock in America ?

Dec. 28 2013 02:29 PM
Claude van Lingen from Austin Texas

Culture Shock 1913, what a wonderful program. It's exactly what I have been advocating in my teaching and the book I am writing for those who say, "My child can do better!" and ask, "How do I find a style?" See the blog www.artcreativitycontroversy.com for an excerpt. The book is based on the premise that it is within the philosophy and zeitgeist of a period that artists develop new ideas. I'll definitely recommend Culture Shock 1913 for my readers—if and when the book gets published! Please keep it available in your archives.

Dec. 28 2013 02:27 PM
DC

oh my god, I'm on the verge of tears. this is possibly the greatest radio show I've ever heard. I remember studying about 1913, modernism and the revolutionary effect it had on art and culture. that was in college, when I was a much younger man. I remember feeling my soul light up as I was learning about the radicalism of a period I thought was quaint and conservative. hearing this broadcast brought all of those feelings back and more. thank you so much for such an outstanding job.

Dec. 28 2013 02:07 PM

Bravo Sarah, I have been listening to you since your WBAI days!!!

Also: Your 1913 revolution of culture show hugely blew me away -- and for several reasons. Not the least of which is that it enabled me to put beyond-post-modern "wholeness" & "oneness" notions and methods I have been evolving over some forty+ years by now into a cultural context, which until today had totally eluded me.

Indeed, your show has been so helpful to me and will hopefully now be so helpful to my visitors too that I hope you do not mind me linking to your 1913 show from my familycology.org?

Warmest regards,

Dec. 28 2013 01:14 PM
Alan Levitan

Thank you for that excellent radio documentary on the revolutionary nature of the arts in 1913. Very well done.

Dec. 28 2013 10:08 AM

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