Award Winning Author David Goldblatt on History of Soccer and the Olympics; Hungarian-Jewish artist László Moholy-Nagy Featured at Guggenheim
Goldblatt’s Guardian feature is written about Uganda, presenting an in-depth examination of the ways in which team spirit and disciplined athleticism has led to, among other positive outcomes, an effective and powerful self-governance by inmates of the Luzira prison, who must endure harsh deprivation, but who are inspired to recreate their lives from their love and commitment to the institution’s soccer teams and clubs. Goldblatt assisted the men in many ways during his time with them, including the procuring of a goat as one of the prizes for the winners. Here is the author’s take on the men’s transformation:
…Through football, its members have been trying to turn themselves into citizens ready to rejoin a society they damaged. You can read it in their words (referencing the text of a constitution written by the prisoners) and you can see it in their play. Dissent, football’s code word for slagging off (demeaning) the referee, is almost entirely absent. Unsporting behavior of any kind is frowned upon. A red card means a two-month ban from football—an agonizing punishment for any player here
Published by W.W. Norton this summer, “The Games: A Global History of the Olympics” is Goldblatt’s latest contribution to sports studies. Spanning more than 500 pages, the book focuses on the intersection of sports with international events in politics, punctuated by constantly evolving social change, from the first competition organized by French aristocrat Pierre de Coubertin in 1896, up to the present, with the travails faced by the gifted men and women who are participating in the Rio games this summer. Any reader with an interest in history will be eager to learn about the events that transpired while amazing athletes suffered the indignities of gender discrimination, and racial and religious prejudice, but were still able to triumph.
There is little time left to see “Moholy-Nagy: Future Present,” the summer show at New York’s Guggenheim Museum on view through Sept. 7. This fascinating retrospective, devoted to the multi-talented Hungarian Jewish artist László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946), focuses on all aspects of his works in highly diverse media including film, his own variations of the photographic process, collage, constructions and works on paper—and is highlighted by primary source documents which shed light on his life as graphic and stage designer in Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna and London, as well as Chicago, where he was director of the New Bauhaus, today known as the Institute for Design.
Influenced by modern European movements including Constructivism—typified by the use of floating geometric form—Moholy-Nagy (pronounced Mo holy Naj) invented new processes for making art, and employed what were then considered cutting edge materials, including Plexiglas, for his delightful sculptures which are displayed suspended in the air, as he intended.
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