Art of the self, but not just

first_img Related Hutchins Center honors 8 medalists who have made a difference At a recent reception, an eager crowd followed MacArthur “genius” and 2015 W.E.B. Du Bois Medalist Carrie Mae Weems as she wound her way through the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, stopping frequently to explain the thinking or inspiration behind her work. Many posed for pictures with the artist standing next to her images.Taken from her “Roaming” and “Museums” portfolios, the black-and-white prints show Weems, in a long black dress, standing with her back to the camera before a number of Roman landmarks and grand European museums. In the pictures she uses her body “as a vehicle for pointing at structures of power,” she told her listeners, and “to understand something about space, something about the power of architecture, how it rules over us … seduces us.”She also uses her body as a stand-in for the masses, she said, and as a way to guide viewers through history.“There’s something for you — to move past me into that space and begin to imagine what that space might contain. What it is. What it means.”Layers of meaning have always been central to Weems’ work, which addresses critical issues within the African-American experience and interlinked themes of family, gender, cultural identity, class, sexism, racism, and history. Within those concerns viewers can always find a common humanity “as a linchpin of engagement,” said gallery director Vera Grant, who curated the new show “Carrie Mae Weems: I once knew a girl …”Weems’ work transcends the “siloed conversations” that can limit art to certain groups or individuals, opening up a type of universal dialogue, Grant said.“She brings out this sense that everyone can participate in this art; to see it, to enjoy it, to listen to it, to reflect upon it.”Through the years Weems has branched out from her early black-and-white photographs to embrace video, staged productions, the spoken word, and painting. The new exhibition, the first solo-artist show at the Cooper Gallery, captures that range. New pieces and older works are among the 52 prints, video installations, and paintings organized around the themes of beauty, legacy, and landscapes.Nikki Greene (left), assistant professor of art at Wellesley College, and Carrie Mae Weems are pictured during the opening event. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe show opener is a wall covered with the recent “Sites of Production,” a color print of the artist again facing away from the lens. Clad in her black dress, she is gazing out over a virtual balcony on the set of the hit TV show “Empire.” It’s a striking introduction, and a clever counterpoint to one of the last works in the exhibition. “When and Where I Enter — Mussolini’s Rome” shows Weems again in front of a balcony, once more with her back to the camera. The work was created in the Italian capitol’s Cinecittà, the famous film studio constructed during the Fascist era to help revive the country’s film industry.Blurry images of African-American artists such as Lena Horne and Josephine Baker from the artist’s “Slow Fade to Black” series, along with intimate black-and-white shots of Weems alone and undressed in her bedroom from the series “Not Manet’s Type,” line the walls along the gallery’s opening ramp. The works explore the tensions, said Weems, “between the way women have often been imagined and/or used in cinema or in photography or in painting.” They also reveal Weems’ biting humor, her refusal to be overlooked, and her self-described fascination with the space between “seriousness and play.”“It was clear I was not Manet’s type — Picasso who had a way with women — only used me & Duchamp never even considered me/But it could have been worse/Imagine my fate had De Kooning gotten hold of me,” reads the text accompanying the selection of images from “Not Manet’s Type.” Videos in the show include “The Obama Project,” on the racism endured by the nation’s first African-American president, and “History Repeating,” Weems’ take on “the killing of black men that has been devastating the country.”Since her earliest days with a camera she has grappled with how to make images in which “the vastness and the complexity and the richness of our lives will be understood, not typecast, not passed over,” Weems said. Her art is focused on putting a “carefully constructed humanity on display,” she added, in the hope that her viewers will “see something about themselves reflected in the work.”Weems is again center stage in the show’s final installation. Three evocative videos, in which she makes several appearances, are an “inventive celebration and insightful commentary on black beauty, fashion shows, and sexuality,” the exhibition text notes, and are an example of the joy Weems finds in shifting power relations, said Grant.“No matter how solemn, no matter how it’s head-on addressing the trauma found within these intimate kinds of personal spaces, her work carries this very strong, powerful, joyful presence,” the curator said. “And that just really changes the conversation.”“Carrie Mae Weems: I once knew a girl …” is on view at the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art through Jan. 7, 2017.SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave Black lives, in focuslast_img read more

Aaron Tveit Will Headline Assassins in London

first_img Featuring a score by Sondheim and a book by Weidman, Assassins is a revue-style musical that examines the people throughout American history who have attempted, whether successfully or not, to assassinate the president of the United States. The cast will now also include Stewart Clarke, Harry Morrison and Jamie Parker, along with the previously announced Carly Bawden, Simon Lipkin, Mike McShane, Andy Nyman, David Roberts and Catherine Tate. Broadway favorite and Hollywood hottie Aaron Tveit is crossing the Pond to star in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Assassins! Directed by Jamie Lloyd, the Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman musical will run from November 21 through March 7, 2015. Opening night is set for December 1. Tveit made his Broadway debut as Link Larkin in Hairspray in 2006 and later appeared in Wicked, Next to Normal and Catch Me If You Can. Screen credits include Graceland and the Les Miz movie. This will be his U.K. stage debut.center_img View Commentslast_img read more

Turkey acts to address auto-enrolment opt outs

first_imgOf the 11.9m pension savers, 6.9m are saving for pensions within the voluntary individual pension scheme (BES), and 5.2m have auto-enrolled via the OKS system, which started operating in January 2017.The reform was a part of the New Economic Plan presented by treasury and finance minister Berat Albayrak in September. The plan stated that the regulation on the individual pension system would be restructured to make it more sustainable.High opt-out rateAutomatic enrolment of all Turkish public and private sector employees into pension saving vehicles launched in 2017. It increased the total number of pension savers in the individual savings system from 6.6 million in 2016 to 10.3 million in 2017.Auto-enrolment applies to all employees under the age of 45. It was initially applied only to firms with more than 50 employees, but from July 2018 companies with 10-49 employees were included. From this month, the OKS will cover companies with between five and nine employees.However, some 54% of those who were brought into the system during the first year exited the system during the two-month opt-out period. The three most common reasons given for opt-outs were high expenses or indebtedness (71%), lack of affordability (56%), and lack of confidence in long-term investment (35%), a report from the Insurance Association of Turkey (TSB) stated. In addition, during 2018 the number of participants in the voluntary system declined from 6.92m at the end of 2017 to 6.87m.At the end of December 2018, Turkey’s private pensions system had TL86.7bn (€14.4bn) in assets under management, invested in 406 funds by 18 pension insurance companies, according to TSB data.Between January and November 2018, assets in the sector achieved a return of 8.7%. Funds investing in precious metals yielded the best returns, gaining 28.2%.Expanding membership in the system is necessary as Turkey’s pension system is expected to face new pressures in the next decade. According to the OECD, while Turkey is one of the few of its member countries that still enjoys a “demographic window” – the working age population is growing more rapidly than dependent age cohorts – this window is rapidly closing.“Even if the current trend increase in labour force participation – notably by female workers – and the increase in effective retirement age will partly alleviate the immediate impacts, both pension and health systems will face new pressures within less than a decade,” noted an OECD survey in July .Further reading The Turkish government has updated rules for its auto-enrolment pensions system in an attempt to reduce the high proportion of workers opting out of retirement savings.The country’s Resmi Gazete reported on 27 December that, employees who have used their right to exit from the auto-enrolment system would be automatically re-enrolled into it within three years.In addition, Turkey’s finance ministry reserved the right to either reduce the period before re-enrolment to one year, or extend it to five years.The measure aimed to maintain and grow the membership of the country’s private pensions system, which currently covers only 11.9m of Turkey’s 81m population.   Credit: silebezi Istanbul, TurkeyTurkey: Rethinking auto-enrolmentSeda Peksevim – a PhD student at Boǧaziçi University in Istanbul and a researcher at its Center for Applied Research in Finance, as well as a recent recipient of a grant from the IPE Pensions Scholarship Fund – explores the background to Turkey’s relatively new auto-enrolment system and the challenges it has faced so farIreland: Drive is on for auto-enrolmentAuto-enrolment is one of the main goals of the Irish government’s pension reform plans. Gail Moss delves into the country’s ambitious planAuto-enrolment still faces acid testMillions of workers have joined workplace pension schemes under auto-enrolment but there is still some way to go before full adoption, reports Gill Wadsworthlast_img read more

Travelers describe suspected abduction attempt at Batesville rest area

first_imgBatesville, In. — A Zionsville-area woman is warning people to be alert when stopping along the highway while traveling. The woman described the incident that happened at the I-74 rest stop near Batesville and has sent a message of caution to others.Here is her account of what happened:Abby Sue19 hrs ·PSA: so we are driving home from Cincinnati and got off at a rest stop for a quick bathroom break. Just my daughter and I went inside (i didn’t have my phone or purse on me). As we were walking in some lady who appeared to be on something, was trying to talk to my daughter, I held her hand the entire way in and walked swiftly ahead. As the lady was trying to talk to us she was also lighting a cigarette which she immediately extinguished upon us entering building. We went to far end handicap stall and went in together. I heard the lady enter and she was talking to another lady about us heard her say “the little girl”, I told my daughter we weren’t washing hands and I was going to carry her out. As we leave I passed both women and the one that I originally saw had changed clothes and started to leave after us leaving her bag on the floor of the stall she was in. The other lady with her was probably 6’. I then made a dead sprint to the car, threw my daughter in and locked doors. Once we were safely in car I noticed 3 foreign men standing in front of a gold minivan with all the doors open…We called 911 and reported it and I have this terrible feeling that had I not been aware of my surroundings my daughter may have been taken from me. It is a terrifying world we are living in  I wanted to share to try to remind everyone to be aware of your surroundings, hold on to your children and stay off your phones so you are not distracted!!!This was at a rest stop around mile marker 151 (Batesville) heading west on I -74last_img read more