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Christopher Marcisz

Williamstown, MA

Christopher Marcisz

Writes, edits, walks the dog, jams econo. Teaches at @WilliamsCollege, writes for the @BerkshireEagle, http://medium.com/@cwmarc

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Helsinki's ground-up model for reviving industrial spaces

I spent a day at "Kaapeli" earlier this summer as part of my research into how old industrial spaces are finding new life and uses. In the Berkshires we've had a few success stories, like seeing the old Sprague Electric plant become Mass MoCA, and a few stories that are still yet to be told. Converting factories to make culture is a long established idea in Europe — according to legend, Thomas Krens had the first spark of the idea for Mass MoCA on a trip to Germany in 1985. But what I found in Helsinki was a completely different way of thinking about these kinds of transformations.
The Berkshire Eagle Link to Story
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Picasso's Cast of Characters at the Clark

It is not just about the artist and his past, but about the depth and fury of his exploration of printmaking, a medium he tackled with the same gusto as he did painting and sculpture. The show includes a dizzying variety of styles — etchings, lithographs, aquatints, drypoint, linocuts. Each were rooted in his own larger-than-life mythos, but also often with the help of professional printers and publishers who were sometimes near co-creators.
The Berkshire Eagle Link to Story
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At Mass MoCA, Nick Cave's "Until" is a challenge disguised as an invitation

The scale of "Until" is a new frontier for Nick Cave for whom dance and fashion were an enduring interest, until the videotaped police beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles in the 1990s changed everyone's focus, including his. Nick Cave's work is going to get your attention. When it works, it invites you into a world familiar but strange, but certainly a place you've never seen before and probably won't again.
The Berkshire Eagle Link to Story
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Two world views intersect in new show at Norman Rockwell Museum

You may recognize Norman Rockwell's 1961 painting, "The Connoisseur," in which a well-dressed, balding fellow inspects a giant Jackson Pollockesque splatter painting. It has Rockwell's signature, closely observed detail and gentle wit. It shows two world views interacting, but since the viewer has his back to you, the painting doesn't actually pass judgment on what at the time was one of the great fissures in the art world.
The Berkshire Eagle Link to Story
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Nude masterpieces from Madrid's Prado at the Clark

This summer's show explores not just the visual pleasure of the nude, but how private taste was often at odds with public morality.
The Berkshire Eagle Link to Story
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Urban myth and reality ignite new opera, "A Marvelous Order"

While "A Marvelous Order" is very much about divergent ideas of what the city could be — Moses' vision of the city as the apotheosis of technological modernity, with its infrastructure and engineering, and Jacobs' vision of an evolving, organic matrix of neighborhoods — as a work for the stage "A Marvelous Order" seeks to locate the meaning of the controversy in the people of the city.
The Berkshire Eagle Link to Story
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Digging Up the Past

In 1962, Soviet police fired on a crowd of peaceful demonstrators in the industrial city of Novocherkassk. It was one of the biggest domestic disturbances over the 70 years of Soviet rule. Yet even today, for Russians, the event is shrouded in misinformation, rumor, and myth.
Russian Life magazine Link to Story
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'Dying of the Light' at MASS MoCA

Film's days are numbered, or are they? "The Dying of the Light" at Mass MoCA features the work of six artists who would like you to reconsider consigning it into the dustbin of history.
The Berkshire Eagle Link to Story
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Poems into songs

A look at how composer John Harbison weaves together the poetry of others and his music to create something new.
The Berkshire Eagle Link to Story
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Mission of Burma: Back Without a Missed Beat

To believe in rock music is to believe in small miracles. Like that two guitars, a bass, and a drum kit is a limitless well of sonic possibility, or that four unassuming working-class kids could change the world of music like the Beatles did. At some level in that category is the belief that a band built on their ability to rock hard and read music could exist just long enough to put its stamp on much of the best music that would come for a generation, disappear for 20 years, and return without missing a beat.
The Berkshire Eagle Link to Story
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Tale of Two Ribbons

I first noticed the orange and black-striped ribbons when I arrived in Moscow in May 2007 — it was impossible to miss this sudden addition to the visual landscape, tied to car antennas, on signs in shop windows, clipped to kids’ school backpacks.
The Berkshire Eagle Link to Story
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The People Behind the Numbers

Whenever Russian and American relations look discouraging, which is very often lately, I think about my infant daughter's late great-grandfathers.
The Boston Globe Link to Story

About

Christopher Marcisz

I'm a writer and editor currently based in western Massachusetts. I'm a frequent contributor to The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Mass., my work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, the International Herald Tribune, The Moscow News, Russian Life magazine, and Williams magazine.

For many years, I was the Eagle's North Adams bureau, while also writing about the arts and contributing editorials and OpEd columns. I began my career with the international editions of Newsweek, and later covered national energy policy in Washington.

I'm originally from western Massachusetts, and went to the University of Pennsylvania, where I studied English and History. I also graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

I'm currently based in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and have also lived in Moscow, where I was the sports columnist for The Moscow News, and in Budapest, where I was a book editor for a university press.

I also teach courses in nonfiction and journalism at Williams College. There's more of my writing at medium.com/@cwmarc

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cwmarc.blogspot.com

Skills

  • Book editing
  • Arts Writing
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Copy editing
  • AP Style