September 9, 2005
Johnson Museum Thrills Again
| September 9, 2005
The heading of the Johnson Museum’s Egon Schiele exhibit is quite noteworthy. Titled Passion: The Watercolors of Egon Schiele, it is interesting to examine the discernible dispassion in many of the exhibited paintings. While both portraiture and poster art are showcased, the collection of Schiele’s nude drawings is most stimulating, presenting a provocative juxtaposition of eroticism with indifference; the unashamed human body with the vacant soul. It is in this juxtaposition that the title Passion holds its irony. In the small, intimate room that houses the display, the eerie allure of Schiele’s art can be grasped in a glance. Aside from the exhibit’s bold orange poster piece, “Standing Figure with Halo (Cardinal)” (1913), color is used lightly, creating a faint, watery look that appropriately mirrors the absence of expression and emotion in the eyes of his figures. This is prominently illustrated in “Nude with Green Turban” (1914), where a woman lies with parted legs, touching herself. While this alone is stirring, it is the woman’s face that makes the piece particularly intriguing. Not only is it devoid of the sensuality that characterizes her body, but it is devoid of any expression at all. This vacancy is similarly apparent in “Kneeling Nude” (1915) as it is in all of Schiele’s nude women showcased in the exhibit, for while they are all posed provocatively, their eyes speak nothing of sex. While in the nude female paintings section of the exhibit, there is an evident contrast between sexual bodies and asexual expressions, the nude male paintings are simply not sexual. Their figures are drooping, their eyes vacuous. In “Two Seated Nude Boys” (1910) the figures are listless; in “Male Nude” (1910) they are lifeless and in “Standing Male Nude with Arms Crossed” (1911) they are soulless. It is only in a sampling of Schiele’s self portraits that the figures hold any facial expression, but even these are indecipherable. In the “Self-Portrait with Arms Spread” (1912), the figure is distorted, inhuman, almost possessed. In the exploration of these self portraits, it is necessary to consider the darker fragments of Schiele’s life while questioning what he grappled with. Unlike artists whose nude paintings glorify beauty and the body, Schiele’s work glorifies the grotesque side he sees in human form. If one understands his Expressionist style, this is not surprising. His “Newborn Baby” (1910) for example, is monstrous and misshapen, and like the rest of the art shown, the only thing that keeps it from vulgarity is the absence of sentiment. This exclusion is what makes the exhibition title so curious. When viewing Schiele, the question remains, when faced with emptiness, where does one find passion?
Archived article by Ilana Papir
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September 12, 2005
Thirteen teams comprised of chapters from the Panhellenic Association, InterFraternity Council and Multicultural Greek Letter Council will participate this week in the 4th annual Greek Week competition. The teams will compete in a variety of athletic and service-related events and festivities from Sept. 12 to Sept. 17, promoting Greek life at Cornell. Erica Kerman ’07, vice president of programming for Panhel, Sameer Mittal ’07, vice president of programming for the IFC, and Nicole Clark ’06, vice president of programming for the MGLC, are co-chairs of the week’s events. “Greek Week is a great way to unify the Greek community and celebrate all of our successes over the past year. It’s a week to relax and have fun in a safe environment where everyone is welcome,” Kerman said. “It’s also a perfect way to get the word out to potential new members-freshman and transfer students-and tell them about all of the things we do in the community.” Greek Week provides a forum for friendly competition alongside a chance for chapters to unite as a council. “This year, we hope Greek Week will promote tri-council unity. There is so much we don’t know about the chapters in other councils,” said Kerman. “Hopefully this week will foster new relationships between various groups on campus.” Kerman said the teams were chosen randomly to ensure an “equal playing field.” “We made sure every Panhellenic chapter had an IFC and MGLC chapter that was the same size as the other teams,” Kerman said. “We thought that it would be good to change the way the competition works and combine chapters from the three councils to compete with each other all week,” Mittal said. “By combining four to five chapters into teams, new chapters to campus interact with other members of the Greek community as well.” “The IFC would especially love to emulate the spirit of the Panhellenic chapters. They are much more enthusiastic about Greek Week, and we’d love to step it up this year,” he said. Greek Week begins this afternoon with a kickoff barbeque and banner competition on the North Campus fields at 4:30 p.m. The week’s other events include a volleyball tournament and Greek Olympics on Tuesday, basketball tournament on Wednesday, Greek Letter/Ribbon day on Thursday, comedian Aaron Karo in the Statler Auditorium on Friday and the Greek day of service and awards ceremony on Saturday. “The three councils are hopeful to increase the participation of its members this year,” Mittal said. “I want lots and lots of people to come. Participation can be anywhere between 300 to 1000 people, depending on the level of enthusiasm from the chapters.” “Each year Greek Week has gotten bigger and bigger. We added the banner competition to Monday’s kickoff and a volleyball tournament this year to make the week even more exciting,” he added. “The basketball tournament had the highest attendance last year and was the most popular. We expect it to be a great hit again,” he said. Thursday is “Greek Letter/Ribbon day” where students can wear their Greek letters in exchange for Greek Week points and a ribbon supporting various foundations and causes. “The free ribbons will be distributed on Ho Plaza for all students wearing their Greek letters. This effort will show how the Greek system supports numerous causes and is proud to support them.” Mittal said, “The point of Greek Week is to bring together the entire Greek community incorporating fun, philanthropy, and the rest of the Cornell and Ithaca community.” The Greek Day of Service uses On Site Volunteer Services to provide projects for each Greek Week team to compete at the end of the week. There are 10 different projects which call on 10 to 15 volunteers from each team. “Hopefully, the chapters will send two to three people to collaborate together on a project in Ithaca,” Kerman said. “Maybe this will spark a friendship between the chapters and eventually they will work together on other philanthropy or service related projects later in the year,” she said. “Hopefully they will want to do co-sponsorships with each other later in the year.” Freya Bellin ’07, member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, helped sell Greek Week T-shirts on Ho Plaza last week. “We helped promote the events and sell T-shirts to members of the Greek community,” Bellin said. While selling t-shirts, Bellin even met a Tulane University student who was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. “She was immediately drawn to our Greek Week table and talked to us about becoming involved in the Greek system here at Cornell,” Bellin said. “This just shows how important the Greek community is, bringing together a group of diverse, enthusiastic students.”Archived article by Allison MarkowitzSun Staff Writer
September 12, 2005
A documentary on a troubled inner-city family inspired a symposium held last Friday at the Africana Studies and Research Center on clinical and social policy issues in America. The 2002 documentary, Love and Diane, chronicles “five years in the life of Diane Hazzard, a recovering crack addict; her troubled young daughter, Love, an unwed mother; and Love’s attempts to reunite with her HIV-positive son,” according to the Cornell news service. The film “stimulated a lot of conversation, but among a limited circle. [We’re] expanding the conversation to include a larger set of constituencies, people like the people in Love and Diane,” said Amy Villarejo, director of Cornell’s Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the symposium’s primary sponsor. Film producers, local psychotherapists and academic professors converged on Friday for three roundtable discussions: “Psychoanalysis Hits the Streets,” “Families and Children: Changing Theory and Practice” and “Politics of Documenting.” The focus was on the “-issues of [clinical] treatment and the approaches to getting psychoanalysis out of the office and into the streets,” Villarejo said. In “Politics of Documenting,” panelists delved into the purpose and impact of documentaries, with a focus on Love and Diane. With Villarejo as moderator, the roundtable discussion featured Dworkin; Monika Treut, a visiting filmmaker at Cornell; Michele Wallace, a visiting professor of English, Women’s Studies and Film Studies from CUNY Graduate Center and the City College of New York; and Prof. Patricia Zimmerman, cinema and photography, Ithaca College. The panelists praised Dworkin’s documentary for highlighting critical problems in America’s social policy. “I learned that in this country, there’s so much money out there-[but] the more institutions there are, the less problems get solved,” Treut said. A German filmmaker, Treut produced a comparable documentary about children living in the impoverished slums of Brazil. “No one comes in who does anything,” she said about the situation in Brazil. She went on to voice her sadness over the similar situation depicted in Love and Diane: “with all its intellectual resources, America is not capable of dealing with the problem.” Prior to the roundtable discussion, Villarejo raised similar concerns, pointing out the “need for addressing diminishing social service programs, [which have been] privatized, de-legislated” and the “need for money and training in order to keep healthy families together.” Unemployment, drug addiction and social services are portrayed in many contexts in the documentary, as Dworkin follows the family to their talks with social workers, lawyers and other service workers. “The quality that makes the film interesting for professionals is that you get to see what happens, what [patients] say and think when they’re not in your office,” she told The Sun. Dworkin continued by observing that after making the documentary, she became “more aware of the ways that children are harmed by social welfare.” Although Americans know a great deal about how children form attachments, “all of the knowledge is ignored in the child welfare system,” she said. One “heart-wrenching” scene in the film, Treut mentioned to The Sun, is when “the little baby who was taken away from his biological mother, Love, and handed over to a foster mother finally – comes back.” “The baby boy sees the foster and biological [mother], not knowing where to belong,” she said. “Already the damage is done.” The panelists went on to praise the documentary itself. Zimmerman called Love and Diane a “critical ethnographic film-[with] whole bodies and full events.” She noted that Dworkin tries “to be transparent, a fly on the wall,” and uses “this style to tell the story that is not told.” Wallace described the documentary as a therapeutic film “we need to see, which makes us feel in ways we need to experience.” There is “rarely any adult behavior in the society we live in,” said Wallace. She contrasted the “childlike behavior or … narcissism” of most of the world with the “many adults in the film – Diane, Love, the lawyer, social worker [and] most importantly the filmmaker herself.” Audience members enjoyed the symposium’s emphasis on inter-disciplinary collaboration. Local psychotherapist Joan Lovejoy said, “Individuals [and] some groups are thinking about and trying to develop programs where people in welfare system can get help from the therapeutic community.” In addition, she said that she hopes for exchanges between welfare workers and therapists so that “people who work with families have some place to talk.” The symposium was also sponsored by the Cornell Law School, the Institute for Social Sciences’ Evolving Family Project, the Africana Center, Family Life Development Center, Gender and Global Change Program, the Society for the Humanities, the departments of government, human development, philosophy and theatre, film and dance, and the Ithaca Therapists Association.Archived article by Xiaowei Cathy TangSun Senior Editor