Visual Arts

Deceiving Appearances

Peter Wächtler's first solo U.S. museum show embraces indecision

Courtesy of the Renaissance Society

Peter Wächtler’s Secrets of A Trumpet is on display at the Renaissance Society, mostly. The exhibition’s lone outlier—a bronze statue of an otter in a baseball uniform—stands a few hundred feet outside on the University of Chicago quadrangle. The oddly charming piece is a nice bit of publicity for the rest of the Brussels-based German artist’s work, commissioned specifically for the Renaissance Society. But after viewing the rest of the exhibition, one can’t help but wonder if its displacement carries some higher significance. One leaves Wächtler’s exhibition in a state of giddy confusion; it is the kind of art that makes you think deeply about art.

Lit

A Delicate Balance

The UofC’s history from a scholar and administrator

On the whole, Boyer manages to walk the line between scholarly objectivity and administrative obligation better than one might expect. Rather than undermining the book’s project, the tension between the two serves as an animating force, perhaps as interesting as the content itself.

Lit

Beat Poetry

A new anthology “by and for the Hip-Hop generation”

Breakbeat Poets

In some poems hip-hop is the central object of meditation, while in others its beat pulses unobtrusively in the background.