these results: favorite album, “WhitneynHouston”; favorite video single,n”Greatest Love of All” by WhitneynHouston; favorite female vocalist,nWhitney; favorite male video artist,nLionel Richie; and, outrageouslynenough, to borrow a turn of phrasenfrom Mr. Richie, he also picked upnthe favorite male vocalist award. Ofnthe total 18 awards given in the combinednpop-rock and soul-R&B categories,nthose two received nine.nThis is not a case of enlightenednliberal listening by those who determinenthe winners. It is, rather, evidencenthat we may be losing the soul-nR&B form to a type of music with allnthe edge of a slug of Maalox.nPresently, we have Tina Turnernback, though it’s her Rod Stewartinspirednhairdo and still-extraordinarynlegs that put her where she is (butnwhere are the Ikettes?). Even ArethanFranklin is being recycled as somethingnother than she once was; I’mnawaiting — with fear — a duet withnPhil Collins.nPerhaps the lyric on a 1980 SteelynDan tune, “Hey Nineteen,” an ironicnexamination of rapid intergenerationalnchanges, best sums up my positionnvis-a-vis the eviseration of soul:nHey Nineteen / That’s ‘RethanFranklin / She don’t remembern/ The Queen of Soul / It’s hardntimes befallen / The solensurvivors / She thinks I’m crazyn/ But I’m just growing old.n(Becker and Fagen)nGary Vasilash is editor of Productionnmagazine.nARTnNotes on ArtnRestoration: ThenSistine Chapelnby Thomas MolnarnThe present controversy around thenrestoration of the Sistine Chapel’s ceilingnprompts the following reflectionsnon restorative work in general, andnthat of our time in particular.nOur age will be known by futurenhistorians as one in which all certitudesnwere questioned, while the Truenand the Good were on the defensive.nBeauty, also tottering, still rallies thenlargest number of enthusiasts. Thenonslaughts against it—tasteless monuments,npurposeful wrecks in metal andncement in public parks, puzzles onnmuseum and exhibit walls—are violentlynresented by lovers of art, at leastnthose bold enough to go against popularnapproval. The restoration work onnancient masterpieces also begins tonattract attention because of its increasingnabuse.nPaul Valery spoke of civilizationsnbeing mortal; we are now aware thatnthe art of the past, safe from “death,” isnnevertheless vulnerable to cleansing,nthe use of new chemicals, to the indiscriminatenremoval of layers on painting,nto retouching, as well as thensearch for the alleged original linesnand colors. Although motivated byngood intentions, many restorers arentempted to play the demiurge andn”know better” than the work’s creator,nwhether Leonardo, Rembrandt, ornMichelangelo. The trouble is that misappliednzeal carries them away, asnrestorers become competitors againstnthe artist whose work they ought tonserve. This is how we get statementsnlike: “Emotional and subjective considerationsnmust not be permitted tonintrude upon science!” This by GianluiginColalucci, chief restorer nownworking on the Sistine Chapel.nBefore anything else, a cultural misunderstandingnshould be dispelled:nThe great masterpieces are not embodiednonly in the work themselves, asnthey appear, localized and dated. Theynhave also evolved a life of their ownnduring the centuries or millennia,nsince their coming into existence. Then”search for the original” is merely anmodern prejudice, although it maynlook like a reasonable and an attractivennotion to which we all are impelled,npartly by curiosity, partly by the desirento meet the illo tempore. Yet, thisnsearch may also be an ill-conceivednenterprise, considering the probabilitynthat the artist himself foresaw the effectnof passing time, and would be the firstnto protest against a periodic return tonan increasingly hypothetical “original,”nor to what his work was like innnnthe exact moment he put down hisnbrush or chisel.nEach gothic cathedral was built overnthe decades, indeed centuries, by successivenpatrons, master-masons, teamsnof architects and workers. It was thencommon religious inspiration of mergingncenturies that created unity ofnconception and style, not this or thatnmaster. Appropriately, no one individualnsigned the work—the final productnmay not have exactly conformed tonthe first blueprint. Similarly, Michelangelonplanned the lunettes and thenbarrel vault ceiling of the SistinenChapel to serve as transcendent inspirationnat religious ceremonies fornmany centuries. He knew that whatnpopes and priests would see whennlooking up and around would not benquite the same in the second decade ofnthe 16th century as in remote futurentimes and generations. More concretely,nhe knew that there would be thenchemical reactions in his materialsncompounded by candle smoke, thenbreathing of multitudes, and the climaticnand seasonal changes.nWhat Michelangelo could not known— in contrast to us—is that taste notnonly changes but may also one day benso corrupted that it would try to erasentime. Watch indeed the contemporaryninfatuation with hermeneutics — innplain language the search for hiddennmotives (like “investigative journalism”nin Washington): What did thenwriter, artist, scholar, thinker reallynwant to express? Did he know exactlynwhat he wanted, was he aware that itnwas not he who wanted it, but hisnsocial class, degree of wealth, his race,nhis hidden interests, the structure ofnthe language he spoke? The gamenaround the “masters of suspicion” fascinatesnour contemporaries, thenMerleau-Pontys, the Gadamers, thenFreuds, the Ricoeurs. Was ShakespearenShakespeare? Did Leonardonpaint a self-portrait under the featuresnof Mona Lisa? And now: Was Michelangelonresponsible only for the fresconpainted on the walls, while an unknownnsuper-Michelangelo painted,ndecades later, the musculature, thengradation of light and shadow, thenwrestiing of God and man?nThe theory about this mysteriousnOther, which in a way authorizes thenpresent restorers to erase perceivednnon-Michelangellian layers and layersnJULY 1987/47n