Alison Saar on Transforming Outrage Into Art

first_img– Advertisement – Yemoja crops up in my work a lot. I first discovered her when I was living in New York in the 1990s, trying to grapple with being a young mother and having a career — it felt like a real balancing act. I did a piece then called “Cool Maman,” who is balancing actual pots and pans on her head, all white enamelware. I see Yemoja as not only helping me in terms of patience and balance and child rearing but also as a watery, life-giving spirit who nourishes my creative process.For your “Topsy Turvy” show in 2018 at L.A. Louver, you turned Topsy, the enslaved character from “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” into these fierce warrior girls. You even did a mixtape for the show, “Angry Songs for Angry Times.” How would you describe the source of your anger, and was it tricky for you to channel or unleash it?- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Conking is a type of hair processing where a lot of really toxic ingredients strip the hair of what makes it curl. Early on one of the ingredients was lye. By straightening her hair, this woman was eating the “lye” or “lie,” trying to separate herself from her African-American body, and that’s why I show her head separated from her body. I did a lot of severed heads at one point — I guess I’ve had anger in my work for a while.Do you think it’s fair to say that a survey of your work is also a survey of things Black women do to their hair?Yes [laughs]. I’m a little obsessed with hair. I think part of it is being biracial and very fair-skinned, to the point of being perceived as white; my hair is the one thing that feels like a real connection to my African-American ancestry. And much of my young life was spent going with my mother to salons and going through these hilarious, hair-straightening rituals with my cousins in the kitchen. These figures are defiant but tender; they are beautiful warriors. Do you think about that contradiction? – Advertisement – I think it’s always about a balance, and that comes back to the Yemoja character, balancing so much on her head. A lot of my life has been a balancing act between anger and a kind of serenity, and that’s also reflected in my process. I start by thinking about things, dreaming about things, but the actual work involves chain saws and hammers and knives and blades and a lot of bandages — I get cut a lot. The physical grappling with materials is very aggressive.You have a history of using scavenged materials, whether painting on seed sacks or sculpting with ceiling tin. When did you discover ceiling tin as a material, and what does it give you that you couldn’t get from more traditional mediums like stone or wood?When I moved to New York from Los Angeles in the ’80s, I had a job at the Studio Museum of Harlem, working as a sort of registrar before I became an artist in residence there. Walking to the museum, I saw all of this amazing ceiling tin out on the curb from people renovating townhouses. I would drag it into my studio. On the one hand, it covered up imperfections in the wood sculpture underneath — I was using wood from the dumpster that had holes and cracks. But it also created a kind of skin or armor. I loved the pattern because it reminded me of African scarification, which in some ways is an external biographer, telling us who you are married to or what group you belong to. Your new sculpture for Pomona shows Yemoja, the Yoruba goddess associated with childbirth and rivers, carrying a stack of heavy pails on her head. What does Yemoja represent to you?center_img You come from a family of artists. Your mother is Betye Saar. Your father, Richard Saar, was a conservator and ceramist. Your sister Lezley Saar is an artist. Did you ever consider doing anything else for a living?I really wanted after high school to get out from under the shadow of my mother’s reputation. So when I was studying at Scripps, I worked with Dr. Samella Lewis and was looking to be an art historian specializing in the African diaspora and non-Western culture. I did a dual major: fine arts and art history. I just think, at the end of it, I felt I was better suited to making art than writing about it. It was more gratifying. It was something I had been trained to do all my life. Alison Saar likes to make sculptures of strong Black women standing their ground: broad shoulders, wide stance, unmovable in their convictions. She made a bronze monument of Harriet Tubman that presides over a traffic island at 122nd Street in Harlem. She created a small army of enslaved girls turned warriors, inspired by Harriet Beecher Stowe’s character Topsy for a major gallery show in Los Angeles. And now Ms. Saar, 64, has a new public sculpture on the Pomona College campus, commissioned by the Benton Museum of Art there: “Imbue,” a 12-foot-tall bronze evoking the Yoruba goddess Yemoja.“Imbue” accompanies her biggest museum survey yet, “Of Aether and Earthe,” which will be held in two venues: the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, which plans to open its section in January; and the Benton, in Claremont, Calif., where her show is installed and ready to open when the state’s coronavirus guidelines allow. Below are edited excerpts from a conversation with the artist about her new show and ongoing obsessions. You recently made a benefit print honoring Black Lives Matter, titled “Rise,” which shows a woman making a power fist. Was there a particular source for your image?I looked at a lot of images of women from the Black Panther movement with their Afros and fists raised and then contemporized the hairstyle to say we’re still fighting the same battle. I didn’t want it to be one woman. I love Angela Davis, but there are a lot of other women that don’t get recognized, and I’m paying tribute to them all. Some people see the Black Panthers as militant and frightening. To me, the women were very much involved in education, free food, taking care of the elderly, these incredible community practices that are always being erased by the image of the guy holding the rifles. I’ve always wanted my work not to just be angry but point toward some resolution or express some optimism. But it’s been harder and harder to come up with something positive. After Obama was elected, we started seeing these horrible things bubbling up on social media — about growing watermelons at the White House or casting him and Michelle as monkeys.Since then, with Trump and the white supremacists, things have been getting even darker and more frightening. In “Topsy Turvy,” the last piece was “Jubilee,” a figure cutting her hair off and dancing, removing the social shackles and all the pain we are carrying around. But it’s still a painful piece in my eyes. I basically stopped worrying about putting out a positive message anymore; I felt that it was OK to express being furious. Printmaking is one of the most populist art forms, connected historically to ideas of accessibility and, at times, democracy. Do you see printmaking as a political tool?I’ve never really thought of my printmaking as political but very much about it being populist, accessible and affordable. I love the history of broadsides where people would print out a poem and plaster the city with them, and I’ve done a couple with poets. Your Benton show includes a disturbing sculpture, “Conked,” where a woman swallows her own long hair, made of wire. I take it the title refers to the old-school hair straightening process?last_img read more

Iwobi: I’m getting better at Everton

first_imgRelatedPosts Pirlo not out to copy anyone after Juventus’ comfortable opening win Super Eagles stars model new national team jersey EPL: Calvert-Lewin treble fires Everton past West Brom Alex Iwobi said he is “getting better every day” under the tutelage of Carlo Ancelotti – and the forward is keen to “get in on the act” after watching fellow widemen Theo Walcott and Bernard score in Everton’s past two games. Iwobi missed six weeks after injuring his hamstring against former club Arsenal back in December and confessed his period out “felt like a year”. He returned for Everton’s rollercoaster 3-2 victory at Watford this month – when Walcott struck the decisive goal in stoppage time – and is aiming for a start at his old Emirates Stadium stomping ground when the Blues tackle Arsenal on Sunday. And Iwobi insisted that the blend of Ancelotti’s individual coaching and the decorated manager’s preference for narrow wingers are combining to unlock the player’s attacking talent. “I have grown up playing on the left or as a number 10 and he has combined the two (in one position),” Iwobi told evertonfc.com. “It feels natural and I am comfortable in the system, it has been bringing the best from me in training. “The way he (Ancelotti) tells me to come inside is helping my body position, so I receive the ball in a better place (on the field). “It means my first touch takes me where I should go and I can come infield at the right time to be free and able to turn and play forward. “He is helping me a lot and I am benefiting in training. “I feel I am getting better every day with him.” Iwobi signed a five-year deal when he joined Everton from boyhood club Arsenal on transfer deadline day back in August. He has made 21 appearances and scored on his first two starts for the Club. The 23-year-old’s bright beginning to his Everton career was disrupted when he hurt himself early in the meeting with Arsenal on the day of Ancelotti’s appointment as boss.Tags: alex iwobiCarlo Ancelottieverton fcTheo WalcottWatfordlast_img read more

Study reveals dual effects of new osteoporosis therapy on bone tissue

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 26 2019Sclerostin is a protein produced by osteocytes in the bone that inhibits bone formation. A recent analysis of results from a clinical trial reveals the beneficial effects of romosozumab, an antibody therapy that targets sclerostin, on bone tissue in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. The findings are published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.Romosozumab increases serum markers of bone formation and decreases those of bone breakdown, or resorption. This is associated with an increased bone mineral density and a reduced risk of bone fractures.Related StoriesEarly exposure to antacids could put infants at risk for bone fractures during childhoodResearchers examine strains between bone and graft from animal modelsJefferson researcher discovers a population of bone cells that subdues cancerThis latest analysis included 107 patients with osteoporosis who were enrolled in the multicenter, phase 3 clinical trial called the Fracture Study in Postmenopausal Women with Osteoporosis (FRAME) study and who underwent bone biopsies. The analysis showed that at the tissue level, romosozumab produced an early and transient increase in bone formation and a persistent decrease in bone resorption. This led to significant increases in bone mass and improved bone microarchitecture (Figure) after 12 months of therapy. These effects contribute to the reduced fracture risk previously reported in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis treated with romosozumab. Source:WileyJournal reference:Chavassieux, P. et al. (2019) Bone‐Forming and Antiresorptive Effects of Romosozumab in Postmenopausal Women With Osteoporosis: Bone Histomorphometry and Microcomputed Tomography Analysis After 2 and 12 Months of Treatment. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.3735. Romosozumab is the first osteoporosis therapy with a dual effect on bone tissue, increasing bone formation and decreasing resorption.”Lead author Dr. Pascale Chavassieux, of the University of Lyon, in Francelast_img read more

Monsanto CEO and others to leave after Bayer takeover

Citation: Monsanto CEO and others to leave after Bayer takeover (2018, May 7) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-monsanto-ceo-bayer-takeover.html Monsanto Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant will leave the company after it’s acquired by Germany’s Bayer AG. The St. Louis company said Monday that Grant will work to see the $57 billion deal through and oversee operations before it closes. Bayer expects the deal to close in the second quarter.A number of Monsanto’s top executives will depart with Grant as well.Monsanto shareholders approved a bid from the pharmaceutical and chemical business in December.Monsanto sells seeds and crop protection chemicals to the agricultural sector. Monsanto shares jump on report of US approval of Bayer deal This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. read more

New app offers interactive experiences for Disney guests

first_img Citation: New app offers interactive experiences for Disney guests (2018, June 29) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-app-interactive-disney-guests.html Explore further With the opening of Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studies, Walt Disney World is also offering guests a new mobile app called Play Disney Parks. The app debuts Saturday, the same day that Toy Story Land opens to the public.Entertainment options include interactive themed games, Disney trivia, digital achievements and music playlists.Scott Andress is vice president of Digital Guest Experience for Disney. He explains that the app is designed to give people an alternative to a “heads down” cellphone experience. The idea is to turn wait times for rides into engaging entertainment for families and friends. It is available for iOS and Android platforms. It is free to download and use.The app can be used at the four parks just outside Orlando and two at Disneyland Resort. Want to see Disneyland without going there? Try Street View © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

UK fracking firm produces first shale gas

first_img Citation: UK fracking firm produces first shale gas (2018, November 2) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-uk-fracking-firm-shale-gas.html Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road drilling site near the village of Little Plumpton in northwestern England last month © 2018 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. UK fracking firm Cuadrilla pauses drilling after tremorcenter_img Explore further UK energy company Cuadrilla said Friday it has extracted a small but “encouraging” amount of shale gas for the first time since resuming fracking in Britain less than three weeks ago. The 11-year-old private firm has borne the brunt of protests for trying to test whether fracking—a process in which water and chemicals are used to blast apart rock formations—can unlock natural gas deposits in the UK.The method has transformed the global energy market but is only developing slowly in Europe.Cuadrilla released a 12-second clip showing a bright yellow flame light up inside one of the chimney-like structures that stand over a web of pipes drilled deep into the ground.The gas flare was Cuadrilla’s evidence that fracking at the site was possible. The company said the question now was whether the entire process was commercially viable.”The volumes of gas returning to surface at this stage are small,” Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said in a statement.”However it provides early encouragement that the Bowland Shale can provide a significant source of natural gas to heat Lancashire and UK homes and offices and reduce our ever growing reliance on expensive foreign imports.”Cuadrilla produced small amounts of shale gas at the same site in 2011. It was then forced to halt operations because two small earthquakes were soon registered in the northwestern part of England where its operations are based.It resumed work on October 15 after adopting more stringent safety and regulatory measures that environmentalists said were still insufficient.The company has since been forced to briefly halt drilling on three occasions because minor tremors began being detected deep underground.Cuadrilla stressed at the time that none of them could either be felt or cause physical damage on the surface.”This Preston New Road site is being monitored to an unprecedented level,” Egan said in Friday’s statement.”If we are able to fully test these wells, without compromising on safety, we have the potential to make a major difference to UK energy supply, security and economic prosperity.”The company said on its website that its tests from 2011 suggest that it can produce 6.5 billion cubic feet (185 million cubic metres) of gas from the Bowland Shale well over 30 years.last_img read more

Wheres the bus UW students new web tool tracks transit through the

first_img Explore further ©2019 The Seattle Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. University of Washington junior Kona Farry has, so he built a website, that lets transit users to track the whereabouts of all the buses, ferries, streetcars and light-rail trains in service in the Seattle region.The goal is to provide more real-time transit information to riders.His website, called the Puget Sound Transit Operations Tracker—or P-Track for short—uses GPS and other data publicly available from local and regional transit agencies to plot the positions of buses, trains and ferries along their routes.His page automatically updates every 30 seconds so users have up-to-date information.”It was born out of a desire to be able to see all the buses all at once and know what’s going on with the system,” said Farry, 21, who studies community, environment and planning at UW.For hard-core transit enthusiasts, information about each vehicle’s make and model, unique identification number, and even the size of the vehicle is available in the website.The site is free, and Farry does not make money off it. But users can support his work by making a one-time contribution or paying for a monthly subscription that supports ongoing development and server costs.P-Track differs from other transit trackers like King County Metro’s OneBusAway in that riders can see how individual buses are moving along a route as opposed to getting an estimate of when the bus will arrive. It also says whether a bus or train is running behind or ahead of schedule.For example, if you’re waiting for a bus on Third Avenue downtown, you can use OneBusAway or the Transit App to see that your bus is scheduled to arrive in 4 minutes. Then, you can open up P-Track, input the route you are tracking and see that your bus is still making its way through Pioneer Square.That can provide riders with additional information: Your bus is on its way, but it might take 5 or 6 minutes to get to your stop, not 4 as the other apps might say.”If a bus misses a light cycle or hits traffic, suddenly that estimate is off by several minutes,” Farry said. “You don’t watch that number slowly tick upward. You get a much better feel when you can say, ‘Oh the bus is right there, but it’s not moving. That’s why it’s not here yet.’ ” Credit: CC0 Public Domain Math explains why your bus route seems so unreliable On his site, Farry considers a bus on-time if it arrives between 2 minutes early and 5 minutes late. That’s the same as Metro’s definition.The website also can tell you how often buses on a particular route are late, very late, on time or early. Late buses are those that arrive between 5 and 15 minutes after they are expected. Very late buses come more than 15 minutes later than scheduled, and early buses come more than 2 minutes sooner than scheduled.Farry started working on the idea in December and, with limited coding experience, developed the website in less than four months, he said. He tapped Google, people on various internet forums and his roommate, a computer-science major, to help build the system.”I pretty much had to learn everything as I went,” he said.Farry said he became a self-described “transit geek” in the fall of 2016 when he moved from Marysville to Seattle for school and got to thinking about how to make transit work better.”That opened up this whole new world of riding the bus and going places for me,” he said. “I thought it was fascinating how there were so many buses out there going all over the city.”He regularly takes Metro’s Route 45, which runs between Loyal Heights and the University of Washington light-rail station. Farry also rides the Sound Transit Express Route 512 to Everett, where he then switches buses to get home to Marysville. And he sometimes rides Community Transit commuter buses between Snohomish and King counties.Over the summer, he plans to develop the website into an app for Apple phones. Android users could continue to view the platform on their mobile browser.In future versions, he’d like to add a traffic overlay so riders can see traffic conditions that could delay their trip.Farry would also like to collect timeliness information over time so passengers can see which routes tend to be early or late. Citation: Where’s the bus? UW student’s new web tool tracks transit through the Seattle region (2019, April 10) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-bus-uw-student-web-tool.html Have you ever run to a bus stop just in time for its scheduled arrival only to end up waiting for the bus to show up? This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more