Eyes on ‘America,’ with hope of drawing more

first_imgA wall is just a wall.Unless it is a work of art hidden in plain sight.That was the message of a lecture Tuesday at the Graduate School of Design — the first in “Then and Now,” a series on the legacy of the iconic architect Walter Gropius, courtesy of the Professor William Breger Fund. Gropius taught at Harvard from 1937 to 1952 and was credited with creating an American fervor for modern design. Introducing the lecture, Dean Mohsen Mostafavi said, “We want to use the series to make that history present.”The messenger was Christopher E.G. Benfey, Ph.D. ’83, a professor at Mount Holyoke and a polymathic historian, memoirist, and literary critic. His focus: a floor-to-ceiling mosaic of yellow masonry brick called “America” (1950). In its Harkness Commons setting, the wall is little noticed despite its intricacy (inspired by the pre-Columbian Mitla ruins in Mexico) and its size (8 feet wide and 11 feet tall). To the casual viewer, Benfey said, it is nothing but “the backside of a fireplace.”The wall’s designer was German-born American artist Josef Albers, a longtime Gropius friend from their days at the Bauhaus. The school, which opened in 1919, inspired a major current in architectural modernism. It was closed in 1933 by the rising Nazi regime, which saw its utopian, communal ethic as a threat to Germanic culture.Both Gropius and Albers decamped to the United States: the architect to Harvard and the artist to Black Mountain College in North Carolina, an experimental, commune-like school (1933-1957) with more than a touch of Bauhaus to it. Albers put fine arts practice at the core of the curriculum. (“The Depression,” Benfey said, was “the last great era of progressive education,” a time of struggle that was mitigated by a sunny “aesthetic of newness.”)Albers directed the painting program at Black Mountain until 1949. His wife, Anni, a fabric artist, was a colleague. Meanwhile, Gropius was eager for his friend to join him at GSD. But despite two decades of periodic teaching visits and a one-year appointment at Harvard in 1949-1950, Albers ended up at Yale.Benfey, it turns out, was uniquely prepared to deliver “A Wall at Harvard,” a lecture about Josef and Anni Albers: They were his great-uncle and great-aunt, and he had recently written a related memoir on his family, “Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay” (2012). It is a dreamlike but exactly detailed rumination on the interweaving of objects, places, and personalities.Albers was at first reluctant to accept Harvard’s wall commission. On the plus side, it was for Harkness Commons, a new complex (five dormitories and a graduate student center) cooperatively designed by his friends: Gropius and others at the Architects Collaborative. But on the minus, Albers had never built a wall — and was not an interior designer, much less an architect.A series of concurrent inspirations and events won the day, said Benfey. For one, Albers had just left Black Mountain, where his last years were spent in a series of artistic experiments, leaving him more open to technique than ever.In the heat of creativity, Albers was also poised to begin his famous series of abstract color experiments, “Homage to the Square.” Anni was in bloom too, in the midst of her landmark exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art — the first of its kind for a textile artist. Most of all, said Benfey, the creatively entwined couple (one observer called them a “two-person religious sect”) was still absorbing the lessons of color, art, and life they had derived from frequent visits to Mexico.Their visits to the Mitla ruins, beginning alongside Diego Rivera in the 1930s, inspired Anni’s textile design — and also awakened a taste in Albers for intricate brickwork, where shadows from recessed pieces could be part of an artistic scheme. The artist took hundreds of photographs of ancient brickwork. Soon after, having absorbed Mexico’s lessons of riotous color, ziggurats of stone, and intimacy with nature, he was open to building a wall that was not just a wall.Of the Harvard project, Albers later wrote, “I decided to make a real mural” — one that would revive the meaning of the word itself. (The Latin murus means “wall,” he pointed out.) As Benfey noted, Albers was critical of the murals of his day, dismissing some of them as “enlarged easel paintings.”The Harvard work is called “America,” in part because of the stark sense of verticality it imparts, as if skyscrapers were jutting into the sky. “The composition represents growth, perhaps structural growth,” Albers wrote. Benfey, who had spent the day on an informal tour of Harvard architecture, compared the wall’s artful brickwork to the exterior of Sever Hall, a “utopia of brick,” he said, where H.H. Richardson strove “to escape the idea of uniform units deployed in a grid.”Searching for the meaning of “America” today is complicated by the fact that the Albers creation of 1950 is barely seen. “I can’t emphasize enough,” said Benfey, “how invisible this work is in its current setting.”He widened that thought to the fate of Harvard’s Bauhaus footprint, now almost 65 years old. In an era of bigger Harvard buildings, built in “a glorious boardroom, corporate style,” he said, “the whole Gropius complex feels like it’s been ingested.”To the packed-in audience at Stubbins Room in Gund Hall — students, artists, architects, and historians — those were fighting words. “It’s time for us to look very closely,” said Lynette Roth of Harvard’s unseen artistic treasures — and that process has begun already. Roth is the Daimler-Benz Associate Curator at Harvard’s Busch-Reisinger Museum, a partner in the Harvard Art Museums, which has significant holdings by Anni Albers, as well as by Josef Albers.At the end, Mostafavi spoke up with a wish: that 65 years ago Albers had joined Harvard instead of Yale, bringing with him an approach to learning that is all the rage again, not only at GSD: one that blends the cerebral world with the world of arts practice, twin pillars of thought and action that long ago characterized both Bauhaus and Black Mountain College.Meanwhile, said Mostafavi of the new lecture series, inspiration is there to be had from Gropius, from the friends he had, and from the past he inhabited. A look back, he said, might encourage Harvard at large to embrace “a different kind of reflection.”last_img read more

Poet defies, redefines gender norms

first_imgThe Gender Relations Center kicked off its annual StaND Against Hate Week with the event “Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood with Carlos Andrés Gómez” in the Carey Auditorium on Monday.Gómez, an award-winning poet, actor and writer, shared his confrontation with society’s rules of manhood through personal story and poetry.According to his website, “Gómez urges men of all ages to break society’s rules of male conformity and reconsider not just what it means to be a man, but what it means to be a good man.”Gómez said his initial awareness of society’s rules of masculinity came when he was told to “man up” by his soccer coach after falling during a game.“If I’m running full speed in front of 200 people, I do a tooth plant in the middle of the field — it’s miraculous that I didn’t lose all of my top and bottom teeth — if I can’t cry there, when am I allowed to express any emotion?” Gómez said.Gómez said he was sensitive as a child but strove to fit the mold of a masculine man after interpreting hints from those around him that valued men most when they acted hard and tough. He said the image was hard to keep up because it denied his natural self.“If you ever try to act like someone you’re not, it’s like the worst feeling in the world,” Gómez said. “It’s exhausting. I was conflicted, I was in anguish, I was hurting. … I was screaming for a reprieve from this person I had built myself into.”Gómez said there were two major turning points in his life that redefined masculinity for him. He said the first came in high school during an open mic night for poetry where he learned about the idea of a gender spectrum — a concept that transcended the traditionally perceived dichotomy of gender.Gómez said the second crystallized moment of redefinition occurred when he accidently bumped up against another man as he exited a nightclub. The man initially incited a fight, but after tears welled in Gómez’s eyes, the man jumped away, Gómez said.“What makes us live in a world where the narrative, the dominant narrative of masculinity, the one-dimension, toxic, patriarchal narrative of masculinity that so many of us … are familiar with in some way … when two men who don’t know each other [have] their bodies unexpectedly bump against each other, we all know that the next thing they have to do is to fight, and it’s over nothing,” Gómez said.Gómez said that day he made a decision to spend the rest of his life challenging that toxic notion of masculinity.“I started to practice breaking the conformity of how I learned to be a guy,” Gómez said. “It was action and it was written; it was rethinking the way I thought about relationships with women, with my other guy friends, with my family.”To communicate his point, Gómez also performed several poems about masculinity, women and beauty.Tags: Gender Relations Center, GRC, StaND Against Hate Weeklast_img read more

Week 4 FanDuel Picks: NFL DFS lineup advice, strategy for GPP tournaments

first_imgLast week’s FanDuel core plays disappointed. Stefon Diggs struggled, and Kyler Murray didn’t live up to the hype despite finally being let loose with his legs. It was also beyond disappointing that Ezekiel Elliott didn’t score a touchdown against Miami, but at least Nelson Agholor had a big volume day at his value price. We’ll hope for better luck in our Week 4 NFL DFS picks for GPP tournaments on FanDuel.If you’re new to this article, we pick four players every week we’ll be overweight on in our lineup builds. Then, we give an example of how we’d fill in around them in tournaments. Our “Core Four” this week is Russell Wilson, Austin Ekeler, Tyler Lockett, and Phillip Dorsett. This isn’t an “optimal lineup”, but it’s an example of one you could build if you start with our “Core Four”. If you’re looking for more great NFL, NBA, or MLB, or PGA DFS advice, give me a follow on Twitter (@DFSBenj). Kirk is a correlation play against Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett. Kirk has been a volume machine, with 32 targets over the first three weeks. While most of his targets have had a low aDOT, the Cardinals could opt to stretch the field a little more this week against a bad Seattle secondary. D/ST Carolina Panthers @ Texans ($3,500)The defense looks gross with the Panthers, but there really isn’t an obvious defense play unless you want to spend way up for the Chargers or Patriots. I’m prioritizing getting Ekeler and McCaffrey into my cash game lineup so a punt on the position is in order. Carolina should get a few sacks at least against the Texans’ brutal O-line. WEEK 4 DFS LINEUPS:DK cash | DK GPP | FD cash | FD GPP | Y! cash | Y! GPPFanDuel Picks Week 4: NFL DFS example lineup CORE PLAY: QB Russell Wilson, Seahawks @ Cardinals ($7,800)The Seahawks have by far the best matchup on the board this week playing at Arizona. The Cardinals have the perfect combination of a bad defense that can’t stop anyone through the air, and an uptempo offense that allows opposing offenses to also run more plays. Wilson is my top overall play this week, and while his price tag is high, it’s still tolerable at $7,800 on FanDuel. Wilson was a garbage-time hero for fantasy owners last week, throwing for more than 400 yards with two passing and two rushing touchdowns. That resulted in a monster 41.34-fantasy point outing. While I normally try to take advantage of recency bias and fade players coming off big weeks, the matchup and game environment for Wilson are just too good to overlook. Expect Wilson to be one of the most popular quarterback plays on the slate, but he is by far the best high-end value at the position. MORE WEEK 4 DFS: Top values | Stacks | Lineup BuilderCORE PLAY: RB Austin Ekeler, Chargers @ Dolphins ($8,100)We have been blessed with three straight weeks that featured a deep pool of viable running back options. However, Week 4 is a different type of challenge with Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Le’Veon Bell, and Alvin Kamara not on the main slate. This leaves us with a choice between Christian McCaffrey, Ekeler, and Dalvin Cook as our best options. I like all three and will have exposure to all of them, but for my core play, I’m going with Ekeler. Not only do you get a nice price discount with Ekeler at $8,100, but you also get the best possible matchup for a running back against the Dolphins. Ekeler has perhaps the highest touchdown equity on the slate with Los Angeles coming in as 16-point road favorites. Even if Ekeler doesn’t score a touchdown, he is getting more than enough volume in the passing game to pay off his salary through yards and catches alone. He has seen 20 targets through the first three games, and I don’t see that volume dropping as long as TE Hunter Henry is out of the lineup. Ekeler is the home run cash game play and is a player you should get some exposure to in GPPs given his upside if he is able to get into the end zone a few times. WEEK 4 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerRB Dalvin Cook, Vikings @ Bears ($8,300)Going with Cook at running back over McCaffrey is a great leverage play. Cook is likely to be half the ownership of McCaffrey but comes in at a nice price discount of $700. The matchup with the Bears is tough, but we know that the Vikings are going to feed Cook with 20-25 touches, and his talent is such that he can smash in any matchup. CORE PLAY: WR Tyler Lockett, Seahawks @ Cardinals ($6,600)There isn’t a player on the slate this week that is as underpriced as Lockett, and I’m going to take advantage by slamming him in my lineups in all formats. I already ran through why I love the matchup for the Seahawks, and all of that information applies to their clear-cut WR1. Additionally, the Cardinals have one of the worst groups of defensive backs in the league as long as Patrick Peterson is still suspended. While we certainly can’t expect Lockett to see the type of volume that he saw last week against the Saints (14 targets), we can still project him for at least nine targets given the projected pace of this game. The Cardinals currently rank 28th in DvP against wide receivers, and Seattle will likely look to lean on their passing game with Chris Carson having fumbling issues and fellow running back Rashad Penny struggling with a hamstring injury. Lockett, like Wilson, will be a chalky option, but the matchup, price, and projected volume is too much to pass up in any format.WEEK 4 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endCORE PLAY: WR Phillip Dorsett, Patriots @ Bills ($5,900)We will need to find some value at the wide receiver position if we want to get Wilson and two of the high-end running backs in our lineup. The guy that I’m looking at is Dorsett at $5,900. Some of Dorsett’s value is dependent on the status of Julian Edelman, who is questionable to play with a rib injury. If Edelman is forced to miss this week’s game against Buffalo, then Dorsett slides into the valuable WR2 option in the Patriots passing game besides Josh Gordon. The matchup with the Bills is notable, as well, because they have one of the best cover corners in the league in Tre’Davious White. The good news for Dorsett is that White will likely shadow cover Gordon on the outside, which leaves Dorsett with the much better individual matchup against Levi Wallace or Kevin Johnson. Dorsett is a tough sell when Edelman is in the lineup because he becomes very touchdown-dependent, but he could push for upwards of eight targets with Edelman on the sidelines and Gordon dealing with White. WEEK 4: Waiver pickups | FAAB planner | Trade values | Snap countsWR Julio Jones, Falcons vs. Titans ($8,500)Jones is continuously overlooked by the DFS community. There has been a narrative around Jones that he doesn’t score touchdowns, but with four TDs this season and the longest running touchdown streak among wide receivers in the league going back to last season, that narrative is completely untrue. He has a plus matchup against the Titans at home and should be sub-10-percent owned.TE T.J. Hockenson, Lions vs. Chiefs ($5,200)The tight end spot will go to rookie Hockenson, who has a great matchup against the Chiefs. Hockenson has struggled the past two weeks but is in a nice breakout spot with the projected volume bump for the entire Lions passing game.FLEX Christian Kirk, Cardinals vs. Seahawks ($5,900)last_img read more

Mukangula late strike lifts Thika over Wazito

first_img0Shares0000Thika United forward Eugene Mukangula vies for the ball against Wazito FC’s Mark Odhiambo during a Kenyan Premier League clash at the Camp Toyoyo on May 6, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, May 6- Eugene Mukangula struck two minutes from time as Thika United picked a massive result beating Wazito FC 1-0 at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on Sunday afternoon to ease their relegation fears barely five days after their head coach Nicholas Muyoti resigned.Goalkeeper trainer Joseph Rutto picked up on interim basis and he inspired the side as they won only their second match this season. The first half was devoid of chances as the two teams sized each other in midfield. Wazito came close to opening the scoring in the 14th minute, but Thika’s Collins Okumu made a superb goal-line clearance to thwart Piston Mutamba’s effort after the lanky forward had lifted the ball over the keeper.Three minutes later, Thika had their first chance when Dennis Odhiambo’s long ball landed behind the defense, but a chasing Eugene Mukangula had a weak connection with the keeper off his line to easily pick the ball.Two minutes later the visitors tried the same move to plant the ball behind the defense but Hansel Ochieng’s control inside the box from a Michael Mutinda pass was poor, the keeper coming off to pick the ball.Emmanuel Tienan had a great chance with 10 minutes left before halftime when Kennedy Ayacko’s freekick from the right landed on his path unmarked at the edge of the six yard box but his header was wid.Five minutes to the break the hosts thought they should have had a stone wall penalty after Mutamba was hacked into the box but the ref waved play on much to the chagrin of the players and technical bench officials.The pace picked up an inch in the second half and six minutes in but Samson Ndegwa saw his shot from the right one on one with the keeper saved and from the resultant corner, Mutamba headed wide.The hosts had another great opportunity with a free kick in the 57th minute from a good goal scoring range but Mutamba’s curling effort was fisted away by keeper Eliud Emase.On the other Thika had a chance from similar circumstances and Mukangula’s effort evaded the target by a few inches with keeper Peter Odhiambo left rooted to his spot.Wazito continued pressuring for a goal and they almost got it in the 65th minute when Marvin Onyango’s shot from range deflected off Dennis Odhiambo, but the ball came against the crossbar with the keeper beaten.Thika were soaking in the pressure and they had an opportunity 15 minutes from time when Shami Kibwana’s shot from range attracted a full stretched save from Odhiambo.They picked the all important goal in the 88th minute when Mukangula headed home from Shami Kibwana’s cross after his initial effort was saved by the keeper.0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Spurs sink Leicester to stay in title hunt

first_img0Shares0000Davinson Sanchez put Tottenham on course for victory over Leicester © AFP / Daniel LEAL-OLIVASLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 10 – Mauricio Pochettino saluted Tottenham’s fighting spirit as they kept alive their bid to gate-crash the Premier League title race with a 3-1 win over Leicester on Sunday.Pochettino’s side took the lead through Davinson Sanchez’s first goal for the club, but they were indebted to Hugo Lloris for saving Jamie Vardy’s spot-kick after the interval at Wembley. Christian Eriksen netted moments later and although Vardy got one back, Son Heung-min’s late strike ensured third-placed Tottenham clinched a fifth win in their last six league games.The north Londoners are five points off the top of the table as they try to catch pace-setters Liverpool and Manchester City.While Tottenham are still outsiders to win their first English title since 1961, their ability to stay in contention, despite injuries to key players Harry Kane and Dele Alli suggests they shouldn’t be completely written off.This gritty success was the ideal preparation for hosting Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last 16 first leg on Wednesday.“Sometimes you can win games not playing your best. We conceded more chances than usual, but I think the victory is fair,” Pochettino said.“The effort was fantastic, with the circumstances that happened in this game and also this season. I’m so proud.”Leicester have lost four of their last five league games, increasing the pressure on under-fire boss Claude Puel.Puel has reportedly lost the support of several influential players, including England striker Vardy, who was left on the bench for the first 60 minutes before coming on to miss a penalty with his first touch.Insisting he was happy for Vardy to take the penalty, Puel said: “I gave him the opportunity. I said if he felt good he could take it.“Maybe it was not a good thing, but we had a lot of chances, not just with this penalty.”Fernando Llorente was caught napping early on when Harry Maguire evaded the Tottenham striker’s marking and met James Maddison’s free-kick with a towering header that Lloris tipped over.Then, Leicester’s Harvey Barnes was allowed too much space in the penalty area as he raced onto Youri Tielemans’ pass, but a poor finish wasted a gilt-edged chance.Finally piecing together an incisive raid, Tottenham were furious when Son’s penalty appeal ended in a booking for diving after Maguire stuck out a leg to halt the South Korean.Still angry about the decision after the match, Pochettino fumed: “It’s unbelievable. I am a person who accepts the mistakes, but today it was so clear. I told Michael Oliver.“If we are being targeted (by referees), I don’t understand why. We are nice people.”Pochettino’s men channelled their frustration into a sustained assault on the Leicester goal.– Protests in vain –Tottenham were rewarded with a well-worked 33rd minute opener.Trippier’s short corner found the unmarked Christian Eriksen and he whipped a pin-point cross towards Sanchez six yards from goal.Leicester called for offside, but their protests were in vain as Sanchez launched himself into a diving header that flashed past Kasper Schmeichel.Replays showed the Colombia defender was just onside as he scored his first goal for Tottenham since his 2017 move from Ajax.Leicester’s positive start to the second half brought a golden opportunity to equalise with their 60th minute penalty.A rapid exchange of passes opened up a chance for Maddison, prompting Jan Vertonghen to rashly bundle over the midfielder.Vardy had been warming up in preparation and was immediately introduced, jogging forward to take the ball from Maddison.But Lloris came to Tottenham’s rescue, plunging to his right to keep out Vardy’s spot-kick.Tottenham made the most of their escape as Eriksen doubled the lead three minutes later.Llorente pounced on Ricardo Pereira’s poor clearance and teed up Eriksen for a superb strike from the edge of the area for his first goal since January 1.Vardy gave Leicester hope in the 76th minute, pouncing from close-range to convert Pereira’s cross in typically predatory fashion.But Son had the last word in the 90th minute as the winger raced clear to slot past Schmeichel for his 15th goal of the season.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more