The Diary: Yayoi Kusama; Stephen Unwin; Charles Dickens; Other Cinema; Julian Barnes

 

Spot the difference

The 82-year-old Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama, who was Andy Warhol's "friendly rival" in 1960s New York, now claims that the father of Pop Art copied her idea. "When Andy papered the ceiling and walls at the Leo Castelli Gallery with silkscreen posters of a cow's face, it was plainly appropriation or imitation of my One Thousand Boats Show," she claims. Her show was staged in December 1963, with an installation of stuffed and sewn phalluses that covered a rowing-boat, while the ceilings and walls were emblazoned with black-and-white poster-sized replica images of it. In her autobiography, Infinity Net, published to coincide with a retrospective at Tate Modern, she says: "Andy Warhol came to the opening and shouted, 'Yayoi, what is this?' His next words were 'It's fantastic!'" Warhol isn't the only one who is outed for imitation. Claes Oldenburg falls foul too, when it appears that his famous soft sculptures appeared as new works very shortly after a group show at Green Gallery in New York at which she had shown her soft sculptures. So blatant was Oldenburg's source of inspiration that his wife apologised. "When I went to see some new works by Oldenburg and his turned out to be numerically themed soft sculptures, his wife, Pat, pulled me aside and said, 'Yayoi, forgive us!'" Kusama will be coming to Britain for the first time in 12 years from Japan, where she voluntarily lives in an institution due to long-term mental illness.

A rosy future

Stephen Unwin, the artistic director of the Rose Theatre in Kingston on Thames, has caught a serious case of Ibsenistis. Unwin is making it his life's ambition to direct 12 seminal Ibsen plays. "I have this ridiculous dream to do his 12 realistic plays, from Pillars of Society toWhen We Dead Awaken. I wouldn't mind it said in my obituary. I think he is the second greatest writer after Shakespeare," he says. At the age of 52, Unwin is already halfway there, having directed five and currently on his sixth – The Lady from the Sea, starring Joely Richardson, which continues Ibsen's "endless exploration of how men and women live together", and which he has even translated himself from its original Norwegian. He also just co-wrote A Pocket Guide to Ibsen, Chekhov and Strindberg (Faber &Faber). And in surprisingly good cheer, given all the exposure to early 19th-century doom and gloom.

Grave expectations

The great and good will be at Westminster Abbey, beside Charles Dickens' grave, to mark the day of his birth – 7 February 1812. The Prince of Wales will lay a wreath on the grave while the Archbishop of Canterbury will give an address. Rowan Atkinson and Stephen Fry will be among "well-wishers" as well as over 200 Dickens descendants. Ralph Fiennes will read from Bleak House; Mark Dickens, his great-great-grandson, from The Life of Our Lord, written for his children.

Cinema straight from the heart

The success of Secret Cinema has led its organisers to embark on a new mission: the Other Cinema, which will bring back the great community tradition of "picture palaces" that had Britons of old huddling in church and scout halls to watch films, a projector on wheels at the back and flasks to provide sustenance in the cold. Films will be played in churches, student unions and former flax mills in London, Norwich, Leeds, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Bournemouth, while usherettes will be there to meet and greet. The Other Cinema's launch will take place at London's Troxy (opened as a luxury cinema in 1933 and now an events venue) with a screening of Brief Encounter on Valentine's Day.

Sense of a beginning

Julian Barnes is proposing to publish a "second edition" of his 1998 novel, England, England, with a new revised extract, which describes a dystopian future in an England that has gone into sharp decline – the health service is the death service, The Daily Mail is the newspaper of record and libraries have gone underground, books now circulated on milk floats. Barnes's tongue-in-cheek proposal appears in The Library Book, a collection dedicated to the nation's libraries, in which writers muse on their library experiences, real and imagined.

Suggested Topics
Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
tvMartin Freeman’s casting is a stroke of genius

Arts & Entertainment
Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones now
tvMajor roles that grow with their child actors are helping them to steal the show on TV
Arts & Entertainment
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
music

Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
ComedyCollier was once told there were "too many women" on bill
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival

film
Arts & Entertainment
film

Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatre

Review: Of Mice and Men

Arts & Entertainment
art

By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work

Arts & Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio will star in an adaptation of Michael Punke's thriller 'The Revenant'
film

Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar

Arts & Entertainment
Cody and Paul Walker pictured in 2003.
film

Arts & Entertainment
Down to earth: Fern Britton presents 'The Big Allotment Challenge'
TV

Arts & Entertainment
The London Mozart Players is the longest-running chamber orchestra in the UK
musicThreatened orchestra plays on, managed by its own members
Arts & Entertainment
Seeing red: James Dean with Sal Mineo in 'Rebel without a Cause'
film

Arts & Entertainment
TV
Arts & Entertainment
Heads up: Andy Scott's The Kelpies in Falkirk
art

What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?

Arts & Entertainment
artGraffiti legend posts picture of work – but no one knows where it is
Arts & Entertainment
A close-up of Tom of Finland's new Finnish stamp
art

Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings

Arts & Entertainment
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in 2002's Die Another Day
film

The actor has confessed to his own insecurities

Life & Style
Green fingers: a plot in East London
TV

Allotments are the focus of a new reality show

Arts & Entertainment
Myleene Klass attends the Olivier awards 2014

Oliviers 2014Theatre stars arrive at Britain's most prestigious theatre awards
Arts & Entertainment
Stars of The Book of Mormon by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park

Oliviers 2014Blockbuster picked up Best Musical and Best Actor in a Musical
Arts & Entertainment
Lesley Manville with her Olivier for Best Actress for her role in 'Ghosts'

Oliviers 2014Actress thanked director Richard Eyre for a stunning production
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

    The man who could have been champion of the world

    Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
    Didn’t she do well?

    Didn’t she do well?

    Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
    The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

    The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

    In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
    Before they were famous

    Before they were famous

    Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
    Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

    Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

    Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players