ARTS & CULTURE
02/23/2013 08:42 am ET

The Week In Arts & Culture: Shia Quits, Marina's Opera And Pussy Riot Anniversary

This week on Huffington Post Arts&Culture we got excited for Marina Abramovic's death opera, cracked up over Portlandia's hilarious take on conceptual art and honored the high priestess of soul, Nina Simone.

pussy riot

We could hardly believe it was the one year anniversary of Pussy Riot's protest this week. Blogger Gordy Grundy expands on the landmark date.

Also this week, we celebrated the birthday of Eunice Kathleen Waymon, better known as the high-priestess of soul, Nina Simone. The great American crooner, a broad-ranging jazz and blues singer with a contralto like no other, would have turned 80 years old if she were still alive.

To celebrate the noted singer's 80th birthday, fellow American singer-songwriter and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello has unearthed another song made famous by Simone -- "Black Is the Colour (Of My True Love's Hair)." The Appalachian folk song became a part of Simone's standard repertoire, sung in the deep and muddled rhythms she mastered throughout her career. Read more here.

Whether you are a performance art die-hard, an opera buff, a champion of the strange or a friend of unlikely artist collaborations, you'll most definitely want to check out "The Life and Death of Marina Abramović" at the Park Avenue Armory in New York this December.

Robert Wilson's quasi-opera takes the shape of a bizarro funeral procession starring the "grandmother of performance art" as herself. The three-hour stretch of anti-theatrical theater, which chronicles Abramović's life from her childhood struggles in former Yugoslavia to present day, premiered at the Manchester International Festival in 2011. Wilson has since restaged the piece to fit the Armory's expansive 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall, and we can't wait to see the results. Read more here.

PHOTO GALLERIES
Alex Merto'Effing Typeface'

Generally speaking, when we think of fonts we don't think of sex, but that doesn't mean that typefaces don't know how to get down and dirty sometimes. New York-based graphic designer Alex Merto showed us just how graphic his designs can get with "Effing Typeface," an alphabetic revelation in which your favorite letters show their kinky sides.

In an email to The Huffington Post, Merto explained he embarked on "Effing Typeface" for a typography show called Fan Letters, where designers were called upon to give an ode to a letter of the alphabet. "We chose to do F, the F***ing typeface," he writes.

shia

The producers of the Broadway play "Orphans" announced this week that leading man Shia LaBeouf has opted to leave the cast due to "creative differences."

LaBeouf's exit immediately sparked rumors as to what was behind his bold move, and whether it involved co-stars Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge or director Daniel Sullivan. But LaBeouf fans didn't have to wait long to solve the mystery, as the former "Transformers" star took to Twitter to settle the score, posting several emails exchanged with his fellow "Orphans" collaborators, reports Playbill. Read the dramatic Twitter conversation here.

BONUS:

We've been waiting for the day when Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen would tackle the hazy boundaries of conceptual art on Portlandia and the most recent episode did not disappoint us. The beloved hipster satirists pick up where Marcel Duchamp left off, challenging what can be considered "Art" with a capital A.

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

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