MAY 8, 2018
THE INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO SINCE 1892
VOL. 129, ISSUE 46
Sexual Assault in I-House Yates: “I would not change anything I did” BY TONY BROOKS DEPUTY NEWS EDITOR
Eric M. Heath, associate vice president for safety and security, said the University is re-examinaing its procedures after widespread backlash to a security alert that described a rape as “sexual intercourse,” though he did not apology for the wording. The Friday alert said that a student “went to sleep in her unlocked room at International House, 1414 East 59th Street. She was awoken sometime later by an individual known to her who was on top of her having sexual intercourse.” Outrage at the use of the term “sexual intercourse” to describe the assault, and the choice not to include a content warning about the explicit material prompted the University to issue the follow-up message Sunday morning. “We appreciate the concerns that have been communicated about the information and wording of the alert, including
with respect to the characterization of the crime,” the e-mail from Heath and Bridget Collier said. “ We welcome your feedback as we continue to refine and improve the way we communicate about reports of sexual misconduct to our community.” The University rarely sends security alerts for cases of sexual assault. According to the University’s policies, alerts are only sent if a crime presents a continued threat, and “the goal of sending a timely security alert is to give members of the campus community information that will allow them to adjust their behavior to protect their personal safety.” According to the University of Chicago Police Department’s incident report, the Department of Saefty and Security was notified by a mandated reporter that a student was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance at around midnight on May 3. There was no police investigation, and the case was referred to the Title IX office.
BY DAKSH CHAUHAN SENIOR NEWS REPORTER
Former Acting Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates spoke at a Monday Institute of Politics (IOP) event about her refusal to carry out President Donald Trump’s travel ban and warned about the administration’s efforts to attack key democratic institutions. NPR Justice Correspondent Carrie Johnson moderated the event, asking about the decision to not carry out Executive Order 13769, which would have barred people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. “While I was fired because of my decision to not follow the President’s order, if I had the opportunity to change any of the decisions I made, I would not change anything I did,” Yates said. Yates recalled that Trump signed the travel ban on a Friday afternoon. The ban prevented lawful permanent residents and visa holders as well as the Continued on page 3
Courtesy of the IOP
Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired by Donald Trump for refusing to enforce his travel ban.
College Alum Fatally Stabs Father in Hyde Park
Matthew Luchins, charged with murder, is pictured at graduation.
BY JAMIE EHRLICH NEWS REPORTER
A 2014 University of Chicago graduate has been charged for the fatal stabbing of his father in Hyde Park that occurred on
Wednesday. The victim was an emeritus professor at the University. Matthew Luchins (A.B. ’14), 26, a former public policy studies major, was charged with first-degree murder on Friday,
May 4 at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse and was denied bail. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Luchins and his father got into an altercation around 3 a.m. on Wednesday and Luchins stabbed him multiple times. His father, Daniel Luchins, was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:41 a.m. According to the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Luchins arrived back at the home he shared with his parents on the 5300 block of South Shore Drive around 3 a.m. after a night out with friends. The prosecutors said that Luchins’s parents were asleep in bed when he arrived home. After a conversation, Luchins went into the kitchen and retrieved
a knife from a knife block and started stabbing his father repeatedly. Luchins’s mother ran into the apartment building hallway to call for help. One witness entering the apartment saw Luchins stab his father in the abdomen and slit his throat. According to prosecutors, Luchins said “It’s done,” after he finished attacking his father. Luchins’s father Daniel, a longtime University of Chicago geriatric psychiatry researcher, was affiliated with hospitals such as the Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He was an associate professor emeritus at the University of Chicago. Daniel Luchins first came to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center after treating mentally ill inpatients, primar-
San E and Mad Clown Bring Korean Hip-Hop to Chicago
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Dear Bartlett: A Tale of A Dining Hall Page 4 Kukucka: Here’s how Bartlett can “regain the trust of the people” after it failed a health inspection.
ily middle-aged Vietnam veterans. While at the University of Chicago, Matthew Luchins was a sports reporter with T he M aroon and a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, according to his LinkedIn. Luchins also worked in the admissions office. He was on Dean’s List all four years and attended the University of Chicago Lab School. Luchins was active on political campaigns and most recently served as the campaign manager for Mayor Matt Bogusz’s reelection as mayor of Des Plaines, Illinois. He was also planning to attend New York University Law School in the fall. Luchins’s next court date is set for May 23. CPD could not be reached for comment.
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THE CHICAGO MAROON - MAY 8, 2018
Events 5/8 – 5/10 Today Special Olympics: 50 Years of Leading the Charge to Build a Unified World Through Sport Ida Noyes Hall, 12:15.– 1:15 p.m. David Evangelista, president & managing director of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia, and Special Olympics Athlete Zinyra “Z” Ross will discuss the Special Olympics movement and its goals for social inclusion, followed by a panel discussion with students and faculty. Lunch will be provided. Embodying Diaspora: Rueda de Casino Arts Incubator, 301 E. Garfield Boulevard, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. A rts + Public Life / Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture Artist-in-Residence Arif Smith will lead guests at this iteration of his monthly dance workshop in the African-rooted Cuban dance style, Rueda de Casino. Tomorrow Courtside with The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin The Quadrangle Club, 5:30 - 6:45 p.m. The IOP will host Jeffrey Toobin, a staff writer for The New Yorker and the chief legal analyst for CNN Worldwide for a conversation on this year’s Supreme Court term. Thursday Springfest: Performance Night Logan Center for the Arts, 7 – 9 p.m. A nother night of FOTA’s weeklong Springfest, the event features an array of student performances, from vocals to guitar to dance to Blue Maroon. Cinema 53: Quar tier L ointains: Emerging Afro-French filmmakers Harper Memorial Library, 7 – 9 p.m. There will be four short film screenings followed by a conversation with curator Claire Diao and filmmaker Josza Anjembe. The films and discussion will address self-image creation and its relationship to fractured family histories. Tea Time Concert: Vocal ShowcasFulton Hall, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. The weekly Tea Time Concert Series includes a wide variety of musical genres, instruments and repertoire selections featuring both student and faculty performers from the University of Chicago as well as professional musicians from the Chicagoland area. Complimentary tea and cookies will be served.
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Doudna and her colleagues at Berkeley began researching CRISPR as “a very small scale project.”
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Lead CRISPR Scientist Talks Research Origins, Ethics BY EMMA DYER DEPUTY NEWS EDITOR
On Thursday, RNA structural biologist and pioneer of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) genomic editing technology Jennifer Doudna spoke to students and faculty on the fundamental processes of CRISPR pathways and potential biological innovations with CRISPR-associated (Cas) genes. Now often associated with ethical debates over man’s power to control nature, Doudna’s discovery of CRISPR genomic editing techniques began from a small project. Jill Banfield, Doudna’s colleague at the University of California at Berkeley and a geomicrobiologist and biogeochemist, inspired Doudna’s lab to begin research on CRISPR after proposing a suspicion she had regarding the interactions between RNA and CRISPR. Seeking out experts in RNA structure and function, Banfield turned to Doudna, who had already made immense strides in the RNA field by being the first person to categorize previously undefinable catalytic structures. This research revealed RNA’s multiplicity of functions, including its folding and catalytic capabilities. Doudna assigned a small group of scientists to further develop a project investigating Banfield’s premonitions of CRISPR arrays, which are structures containing viral integrated DNA flanked by Cas genes. “For all the students here, I think my career is really a testament to the value of curiosity in science, because this [CRISPR research] began as a very small scale project in my lab,” Doudna said. CRISPR is often thrown around as a general term to refer to genomic editing, but it is the coupling of CRISPR and the Cas9 system that allows for selective DNA deletion. Cas9 is a part of a whole family of Cas genes, many of which have indeterminate functions. Doudna’s research continues to investigate the Cas gene family, recently focusing on Cas1 and Cas2. “Genes responsible for adaptation are remarkably conserved across these different pathways, and these are two genes called Cas1 and Cas2, which you probably haven’t heard of unless you’re a CRISPR aficionado,” Doudna said.
These two genes are from CRISPR integrase, a vitally important part of CRISPR’s genomic insertion properties. “They are part of the system that is responsible for capturing and inserting the new pieces of DNA into the CRISPR array, providing a mechanism of genetic memory of infections that have occurred in the particular bacterial cell in a time,” Doudna added. According to Doudna, studying the integrase complex proved nearly impossible without first finding a way to create a stabilizing mechanism that would allow the determination of the complex’s crystal structure and digital modeling. Doudna’s lab was able to overcome this difficulty by successfully designing a mediator, giving them the ability to model integrase when it is attached to a target DNA sequence. While her lab continues to study the Cas genes and their associated complexes, Cas9’s role in genomic editing leaves much to be investigated. The discovery of Cas9’s programmable quality was a breakthrough moment for Doudna’s lab. “I think for us when we did this experiment which showed that you get programming of Cas9 to cut any desired DNA sequence by simply changing the sequence on the end of the single guide RNA that it was sort that proverbial moment when we realized this project was going in a very different direction from where it began,” Doudna said. Looking for Cas genes that might have similar properties as Cas9, Doudna’s lab noticed the Cas12 class of genes that had similar RNA guided DNA cleaving proteins. Janice Chen, a graduate student researcher in Doudna’s lab, conducted initial experiments to compare Cas9 and Cas12. “She did an experiment that was really set up as a control experiment, where she designed a guide RNA for Cas12 that could base pair with a single stranded DNA substrate,” Doudna said. But the results of this experiment left them with unexpected results. T he ex per i ment was mea nt t o confirm Cas12’s ability to recognize and cleave a specific location of double-stranded DNA. The experiment did confirm what Chen hoped, but it also showed something peculiar. Not only was Cas12 cleaving one location of the DNA, but it appeared to perform many cleavages, degrading DNA to the point
that it nearly diminished. A fter further investigation, Chen discovered that Cas12 does have the ability to recognize and cleave double-stranded DNA, but once this cleaving event occurs Cas12 becomes an active cleaver of single-stranded DNA. Doudna likened this activation to the Looney Tunes cartoon character the Tasmanian Devil—after the first double-stranded DNA cleavage, a f lip is switched and Cas12 cuts every single-stranded DNA in its path. Doudna’s team eventually used Cas12 as a detection mechanism for human papillomavirus ( HPV ). They programmed RNA to guide Cas12 to cleave a particular portion of HPV and incorporate a single stranded DNA with fluorophores—proteins that will release detectable f luorescence if the DNA is cleaved. If HPV is present in a cell, the Cas12 will cleave the DNA and will subsequently be activated to cleave any single stranded DNA. This means that it will cleave the single stranded DNA that has been added, allowing the presence of HPV to be detected by the f luorescence caused by the cleavage. Conversely, if HPV is not present, the first cleavage event will not occur, the Cas12 flip will not be switched, and no fluorescence will occur. The accuracy of this technique was remarkable, Doudna said, as it was able to identify 25 of the 25 HPV 16 strain signals and 23 of the 25 HPV 18 strains. With slight editing to the RNA guide protein for the HPV 18 strain, Doudna’s lab has been able to increase its accuracy to 25-for-25 correct signal identification. This technique is much faster and potentially more accurate than current polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques, which involve multiple stages with varying temperatures. In concluding her lecture, Doudna touched brief ly on the importance of responsible stewardship with genomic editing technology. “So you can sort of imagine my journey as a simple RNA biochemist suddenly sort of realizing that the work we were involved in had these profound implications that we needed to engage with other people to discuss and try to ensure the responsible use of this work,” Doudna said. “And it’s an ongoing process.”
THE CHICAGO MAROON - MAY 8, 2018
Obama Foundation Announces Library Branch, Community Commitments, and Design Changes for Presidential Library
Courtesy of the Obama Foundation
BY OREN OPPENHEIM NEWS REPORTER
In a document published last Friday, the Obama Foundation outlined its plan for the Center to provide a “net gain of parkland,” adding more land to the Chicago Parks district than it would occupy. According to the document, only 2.6
acres of the Center’s 19.3 acre site will be taken up by buildings. 1.6 acres of that space will be roof spaces “totally accessible” to the public and the 16.7 acres not occupied by buildings will also be “open and publicly accessible.” The Center’s plans also call for the closing of a section of Cornell Drive, a busy six-lane highway which runs alongside Jackson Park.
Three Professors Elected to National Academy of Sciences
The closure is intended to provide additional parkland. The document also includes a short section listing ways the Obama Foundation will work to prevent residents of the area around the Center from being displaced. The Foundation says it will support “neighborhood stabilization efforts” and strive to build communication between residents and local government officials concerning vacant land use and preserving affordable housing. According to the document, “[the Obama Foundation] will support policies that ensure residents who wish to stay in the area will be given the tools that allow them to do so.” The document does not describe how this or any other of the Foundation’s commitments will be funded, however. On Monday, the Obama Library Community Benefits Agreement Coalition held a press conference at the South Shore Cultural Center, and the organization issued a statement in response to the document’s promises. “We share the goals in this document: of community members not being
Sally Yates Sounds the Alarm on Trump at Institute of Politics Continued from front
Courtesy of the University of Chicago
From left to right, Professors Joy Bergelson, Olaf Schneewind, and Richard Thaler.
BY HESHAM ALBAHARNA NEWS REPORTER
The National Academy of Sciences announced on May 1 that University professors Joy Bergelson, Olaf Schneewind, and Richard Thaler are among 84 newly elected members to the Academy. Joy Bergelson is the James D. Watson Professor in Ecology and Evolution and chair of the department. Much of her work is centered on the coevolution of the f lowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana and its bacteria. Bergelson explained that her research looks to understand how Arabidopsis plants maintain their resistance to pathogens in natural systems, in contrast to agricultural systems where pathogens quickly overcome resistance. She hopes that her findings will promote sustainable agriculture. Bergelson told T he M aroon in an interview that she was driving when she got the call and was so stunned that she had to pull over. “ T his isn’t something I thought would ever happen,” she explained, comparing the experience to “winning the lottery.” Olaf Schneewind is the Louis Block Professor of Microbiology and chair of
the department. He is best known for his discovery of sortases, which are enzymes that modify surface proteins in cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria. His research has helped further the field’s understanding of how bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus avoid detection by the immune system, aiding the development of vaccines. Richard Thaler is the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the Booth School of Business. He is a founder of the field of behavioral economics, a field that bridges the gap between economics and psychology. He has authored the best-selling book Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics and co-authored Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness. In 2017, Thaler was awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit society of distinguished scholars, established by Congress in 1863. It provides independent advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Members are elected to the Academy by their peers.
displaced and thriving,” the Coalition said in its statement. “In order to make these goals happen we need a legally binding City Ordinance, especially because the University of Chicago and City are involved, and their history of pushing people out threatens the intent of what the foundation is calling for. If we are going to stop displacement we need a City Ordinance that specifically includes: a 30% set aside of new housing for low income and working families, a property tax freeze, and independent monitoring of commitments.” Also on Monday, the Foundation announced changes to the Center’s design, which it said were in response to community feedback. The changes include the removal of a 10-foot curb extension into Stony Island Avenue and of a sunken courtyard in the plaza between the Center’s buildings. The new design moves the children’s play area closer to Stony Island Avenue and reshapes the Athletic Center — which will be 20-feet tall, instead of 18—to be more in keeping with the style of existing buildings in Jackson Park.
non-citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. “I thought that it was unconstitutional and unlawful, and I felt that the Department of Justice shouldn’t do something unconstitutional like that,” Yates said. She was later dismissed by the Trump administration. Although she was upset about being fired, Yates expressed more surprise toward Trump’s constant attacks on major democratic institutions. “Issues about the rule of law, courts, and press are bipartisan issues, and I find the attack on these institutions [to be] particularly disturbing,” Yates said. Yates elaborated that institutions like the courts are not self-sustaining and require the efforts of the entire nation to stay intact, and she believes that undermining these institutions can have consequences. “A president is supposed to be protecting the rule of law and the constitution, but his tweets and actions so far—like attacking federal courts—seem to imply otherwise,” Yates said. She later argued that democracies accept and even encourage disagreements with judges on certain issues, but belittling and undermining a court cannot be
defensible. Johnson later asked Yates if it is worthwhile to pursue a career in public service under the current administration, even if it does not represent one’s beliefs and core values. “While I might advise against going for a Cabinet position,” she joked, “…we need dedicated people in public service serving as the foundation of a well-functioning government.” She argued that public service and serving a particular administration are two completely different areas, and people working outside the government can often have a greater impact on the nation. “If we can have dedicated people going into public service, we will feel that impact much more strongly that the Trump administration will have,” Yates said. Toward the end of the event, Johnson asked Yates if she would run for office in the near future. Yates responded that while she is passionate for public service, she has no interest in running for office. “ What I really missed under the Obama administration was being a lawyer,” she said. “I want to get back to being a lawyer but I also want to work on criminal justice issues that currently affect our country.”
Courtesy of the IOP
THE CHICAGO MAROON - MAY 8, 2018
VIEWPOINTS Dear Bartlett: A Tale of A Dining Hall Cats, a Sauna, and a Magical Fountain Are the Key to Getting Bartlett Back Up to Standards
Katia Kukucka We’ve all heard the hot (or, should I say, the mandatory, food-safe temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit) news — Ba r tlett has fa i led us once again. The tried-and-tribulated dining hall nearest to the quad failed its April 16 health inspection due to insufficient temperature maintenance, cleanliness, and pest-control measures, according to the report posted on EveryBlock Chicago, ultimately earning a risk-category rating of 1 (“High,” or the equivalent of a D or lower for those with academics on their minds). This is not Bartlett’s first rodeo when it comes to health violations: It failed a health inspection in 2013 for similar reasons. While it passed its reinspection on April 23, 2018, both faith in Bartlett and the general morale of its frequent diners have never been lower as this shocking and moderately terrifying news makes its way through campus. With no comment from the University News Office coming any time soon, I would like to humbly suggest some solutions with which Bartlett may be able to regain the trust of the people and prevent any more of the health crises that plague it so. Problem: Mouse droppings in the kitchens. Solution: Cats. So many goddamn cats. Support the local animal shelters by giving their cats a strong, fulfilling career: freeing Bartlett from its rodent problem. Nothing would restore faith in the dining hall like being able to witness the carnage wrought by the Bartlett Cats, in addition to their potential as emotional support for UChicago’s stress-addled population. Sure, exterminators are an option, but that method pales in comparison to the spectacle of a mouse tearing out of the kitchens tailed by a miniaturized apex predator. Critics may point out that this presents a new sanitation problem, but as any cat owner knows, this is far more easily remedied than Bartlett’s rodent issue.
Getting as many goddamn cats as humanly possible is truly the only way for Bartlett to demonstrate their commitment to solving this problem and the only method that will last far into the future, much beyond the five or so years it took for Bartlett to earn a new health violation after the last time. Problem: Food rendered “potentially hazardous” for not being stored at proper temperatures. Solution: According to the health inspection report, coolers should be kept below 40 deg rees Fahrenheit, and hot food must be maintained at a minimum of 140 degrees. As such, in order to be sure foods are at their proper temperatures, all of Bartlett should henceforth be divided into two zones: Sauna and Arctic. Sauna rooms would be kept around 158 degrees or higher; not only would the integrity of the food be preserved, but students would also get a convenient spa experience included with their meal. The greenhouse-like heat caused by the dining hall’s skylights give it a great head start on achieving the necessary temperature. A smaller section would then be reserved for the Arctic zone, where all cold foods would be stored, and students not from California could enjoy their meal at a more agreeable temperature. This would assure students that their food is being stored at non-hazardous temperatures, facilitating a worry-free, similarly spa-like dining experience. Problem: Sinks/sanitation stations inaccessible at the grill/taco bar area. Solution: Remove the food stations in violation of sink protocol and replace them with a grandiose fountain of a sink, so that all can bask in its glory and revel in the knowledge that all hands in Bartlett are being properly sanitized. Picture this: spouts of soap and water, all cast in the ethereal glow of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation lights like the medical-grade sanitation
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station it deserves to be. Potential design ispirations include Rome’s Trevi Fountain, the Palace of Versailles’s Latona Fountain, or Moscow’s USSR-inspired Friendship of Nations Fountain. With such an incredible public spectacle of cleanliness, none shall ever doubt Bartlett’s commitment to health and safety protocol ever again. It is my most sincere hope that Bartlett will be able to regain the trust of its constituents in the face of this
slightly horrifying news. No resident of a house with a Bartlett table should be forced to make the trek to Cathey out of concern for the cleanliness of their food, or, God forbid, stoop to eating at Baker. Katia Kukucka is a first-year in the College.
THE CHICAGO MAROON - MAY 8, 2018
Smart Museum Exhibit Explores Identity Through Space BY ALEXIS FRANCISZKOWICZ MAROON CONTRIBUTOR
Curated by Alison Gass and Jennifer Carty, The Figure and the Ground is the first of three exhibits in the Smart Museum’s new ser ies: “ Expand ing Narratives.” It charts the relationship between figure and ground through major art movements such as surrealism, cubism, abstract expressionism, and material expressionism. True to its title, the exhibit begins with Kerry James Marshall’s “Slow Dance,” a mixed media and acrylic depiction of a black couple slow dancing in a living room. The piece puts the viewer in the headspace of the exhibit before taking them through very traditional, naturalistic depictions of European bodies in paintings by Regnault and Gerome to more modern works. The gallery space was recently expanded in order to house the new exhibition, connecting the Landes and Gray galleries to allow the viewer to walk chronologically through many centuries’ worth of art depicting the relationship between figure and ground. Composed of art from the Smart Museum’s collection as well as works on loan from UChicago alumni and Chicago collectors, the main room exhibits the move into abstractionism and the eradication of the figure. In earlier pieces, the relationship between figure and ground is fairly distinct, but as the viewer progresses through the gallery, it becomes more muddled. T he material abstraction section of the exhibit represents the deterioration of the figure, as paintings like Virginia Jaramillo’s “Green Dawn” play with the idea of the figure moving and bending around the canvas of the painting. While women artists are typically underrepresented in the
field of abstract expressionism, works by three women—Mary Abbott, Joan Mitchell, and Lee K rasner —are on display to represent that artistic movement. These works represent what is traditionally a predominantly male art scene, challenging notions as to whose art is deserving of museum space. This idea is explored further in the section titled “Identity Politics and the Performative Body,” in which the defined figure returns and the viewer must question its place in the art and in society. Most notable is Kehinde Wiley’s “Easter Realness #4.” Known for his rendering of Obama’s presidential portrait, Wiley is famous for his naturalistic paintings of African Americans. In “Easter Realness #4,” he takes influence from traditional western cathedral paintings by replacing cherubs with young black men. As these angels have a different relationship with the ground than we do, and since they are angled upward (as if they could be viewed more properly from the ceiling), the painting complicates the figure-ground relationship and forces the viewer to evaluate the political implications. Another highlight was Nick Cave’s “Soundsuit,” the only wearable piece of art in the museum. From a distance, the suit resembles a bear, but up close it is clearly seen to be made of twigs, wire, and a basket. It obscures the figure that wears it, erasing any physical identifying factor such as gender or race. It plays with the idea of the figure—while it is in the museum it is not worn— so it is therefore both a figure and not a figure. The Figure and the Ground ends with interesting works made of monochromatic film reels and lights like Jim Campbell’s pixelated footage of the 2017 Women’s March and Richard Prince’s “Good Painting (Flowers),” which allows the viewer to conjure an image in
their head. One of the last pieces in the exhibit is Jeppe Hein’s “Why are you here and not somewhere else,” a neon sign previously on view in the Booth School of Business. As first-year gallery attendant Livia Mann said, “It
turns you, the viewer, into the figure, and the museum into the ground,” collapsing the ideas of the figure and the ground and prompting the viewer to question their relation to the art and the museum.
Photos by Alexandra Zimmer
Joffrey Puts a Spin on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream BY JADE YAN MAROON CONTRIBUTOR
T he Joffrey Ballet’s Midsummer Night’s Dream provides its audience with an aesthetically pleasing, technically brilliant embodiment of the sentiment “What is going on?” T he ballet takes its name from Shakespeare’s popular play, but this is where its similarities with Shakespeare end. This, of course, was intentional: The company repeatedly warned in its advertising, “This is not Shakespea re’s Mi d summer ” a nd “ T h i n k Shakespeare? T hink again.” T hese hints only make one wonder how different their Bottom (the donkey) might be from Shakespeare’s version of the character. There is no Bottom. Nor is there anyone else easily identifiable: The cast consists of nameless men and women wea r ing clothing in muted shades, reminiscent of characters in a dystopian film. The program labels the dancers in vague terms: the Dreamer or the Lovers. The characters are any-
thing but ordinary—there is the Chef en Pointe, who appears early on in the first act, naked but for an apron, grilling sausages in pointe shoes, sunglasses, and a chef ’s hat. The Chef en Pointe is just one of the many bizarre people on stage, and possibly the most amusing. The audience is presented with two headless, suited men, a moving ball of hay, and a couple seemingly unable to stop getting with each other. The props are similarly nonsensical. Random tuna fish keep appearing at odd moments, lowered down from the ceiling or sidling in from the sides of the stage. There is a cross made out of hay and a woman posing confusingly with a toy shark. At one point the dancers all rush together holding different props, with an urgency implying that the objects will finally make sense when placed together: When all is still, the only thing that has changed is that all the weird objects are now in one place. However, rather than alienating the audience, this bizarreness prompts a desire to understand. Moreover, Alexander Ekman’s seamless choreography
and adherence to traditional ballet technique results in an exceedingly professional performance that demands to be taken seriously. The ballet centers on the Dreamer, confidently portrayed in all his hesitation by Temur Suluashvili, who welcomes the audience filtering into the auditorium as he sprawls asleep in a
bed placed in front of the drawn stage curtain. Suluashvili is woken by his real-life wife, Victoria Jaiani, and the ballet begins, with the curtain opening to reveal a gleeful scene of dancers quite literally rolling in the hay, signifying the day of joyful summer activities to Continued on page 6
Courtesy of Cheryl Mann
Joffrey’s Midsummer choreography featured classical technique and a modern plot.
THE CHICAGO MAROON - MAY 8, 2018 Continued from page 5
come. Throwing hay into the air and rolling around with cries of “ Wee!,” their actions would seem completely spontaneous if not for fact that the hay is thrown at exactly the same time and the rolls are completely synchronized, creating such a f luidity of movement that the dancers appear to be one. This marks the beginning of Act One, which depicts a day of intense celebration and ends in a salacious dinner
at a long table. In what is possibly the world’s most stunning depiction of a sesh, the dancers knock back shots in slow motion, dance on tables, and take their clothes off. Act Two begins the dream, or more accurately, nightmare, sequence. The Dreamer awakens once more in his bed to nightmarish lights flickering on and off, each time revealing a different horrific scene: maniacal laughter, jarring screaming, dancers twitching wildly on
the f loor. The scenes are reminiscent of the Blumhouse horror company’s logo of f loating furniture and a bloodstained girl. Despite all this, there is comedy to be found in the Dreamer as he awkwardly tiptoes around these sights with his bed in tow, uncomfortably trying to find a way out. Similar moments of bizarre comedy permeate the piece. More than once, the dancers gather at the front of the stage and stare at the audience, as if
waiting for them to speak. Throughout all of this, Swedish pop star A nna von Hausswolff wanders through scenes, half-narrating the events on stage in haunting vocals. As she hangs in a melancholy fashion over the Dreamer’s bed or weaves through jeté-ing dancers, she brings coherence to a production that might otherwise seem too disjointed.
Heroes and Galaxies Converge in Avengers: Infinity War BY WLAD SARMIENTO MAROON CONTRIBUTOR
I remember watching the first Iron Man in theaters, almost exactly 10 years ago. At the time, Iron Man was not a mainstream figure, so my expectations were not too high. Like every kid who watched it, however, I came out of the theater a full-blown Iron Man fan; a single movie elevated a previously B-list superhero into the elite ranks of more popular characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men. Marvel Studios and Disney have been able to carry that success into the present, bringing together obscure and well-known Marvel characters to create a cinematic universe unrivaled in both the zeitgeist and the box office. The critical and financial success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is unprecedented in cinematic history, and whatever happens to it going forward sets an example that will impact the movie industry as a whole. Long story short, Avengers: Infinity War, the latest movie directed by the Russo brothers (who previously directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War), has a lot riding on it. It’s the beginning of the end for this era of the MCU: It has the seemingly impossible task of doing justice to 18 movies’ worth of characters while simultaneously creating a coherent movie franchise. I am glad to say that the team at Marvel has more than lived up to these expectations, crafting an enjoyable action film that handles its narrative with respect and emotional maturity. Its plot revolves around Thanos (Josh Brolin)—a character who was more behind the scenes in other Marvel movies—attempting to collect all six Infinity Stones. Doing so would
give him almost unlimited power, with which he intends to wipe out half of the universe’s population. The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and basically every other hero in the MCU must come together to stop him from doing so. This is a very simple premise. The success of Infinity War lies in the strength of its characters and the execution of its plot. The execution of its story is incredibly well done. As the film proceeds, it introduces complications to the initial premise that keep it from drifting into a generic end-ofthe-world plot. These complications are often surprisingly emotional; Infinity War is undoubtedly the darkest and most dramatic Marvel film to date. Thankfully, the writing team never forgets that they are writing a Marvel movie instead of a film from an incompetent comic-book movie studio, so there is a surprising amount of humor to break up the emotional scenes. They also respect the distinct writing and shooting styles of the movies from which the characters originate; the writing and introductory scenes featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy feel like James Gunn’s handiwork, whereas the Avengers scenes feel more like the Russo brothers’ movies (if more colorful and visually interesting). The merging of these different styles keeps Infinity War engaging throughout its lengthy 160-minute runtime without ever feeling too disjointed. Thanos is the real standout among the characters, thanks to his fleshedout motivations and relationships. This means that he never becomes just a giant walking doomsday plot device (see: Doomsday and Steppenwolf from one of the aforementioned incompetent comic-book movie studios). Like all the best villains, he believes he is the good guy, and you understand why he
believes it. Of particular importance is his relationship with his stepdaughter, Gamora (Zoe Saldana). As a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora grounds Thanos—a character who we really meet for the first time in this movie—with the better-known characters in the MCU. Both Brolin and Saldana demonstrate their emotional acting chops throughout the film, and they are able to credibly depict a complicated relationship that might otherwise come off as unbelievable. Everyone else in the cast is great, too, as expected. The standouts from the returning cast were Tom Holland as Spider-Man and Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Both bring much-needed moments of levity to the film’s sometimes-grim plot, as well as expressive emotional outcries when necessary. That said, because of the balancing act the Russo brothers had to perform to include over 40 characters in a single feature-length film, some inevitably get less screen time than others. Without spoiling
anything, there were a couple of characters in particular who fans might be disappointed to see do not have a bigger role in the movie. Infinity War is a visually enthralling film supported by a villain with strong characterization and a large, wellbalanced ensemble cast. I suspect even reviewing this film is unnecessary, since fans of the MCU will watch it regardless of any critic’s opinion. And, as the box office results show, the cinematic might of Disney is such that many people are interested in the MCU. If for some reason you are not one of those people, however, I think it goes without saying that this is not the film for you; you will be extremely confused since the film assumes you’ve at least somewhat followed the MCU. For the rest of us, especially those that have been watching since Iron Man, Infinity War lives up to the hype and provides an unexpected and thematically interesting conclusion to 10 years of the MCU.
Courtesy of Disney/Marvel
San E and Mad Clown Bring Korean Hip-Hop to Chicago BY LIANA FU MAROON CONTRIBUTOR
The University of Chicago sits adjacent to Washington Park, where rapper Chief Keef grew up. Just five miles south is Chance the Rapper’s hometown of West Chatham. San E and Mad Clown, two rappers from South Korea, performed one of the last shows of their North American tour, titled “We Want You,” 15 miles north of Chatham at Park West. Chicago is no stranger to hip-hop. Along with Chief Keef and Chance the Rapper, other acclaimed artists such as Common and Vic Mensa claim Chicago as their home. And in recent years, Chicago’s grown familiar with
K-pop and K–hip-hop artists. Just last year, K-pop groups and solo artists such as Hyuna, Taeyang, GOT7, and BTS all stopped by Chicago. And on April 27, the same night as San E and Mad Clown’s concert, girl group Red Velvet performed at Rosemont Theatre. “Audiences in the States are more energetic,” Mad Clown (Jo Dong-rim) said in an interview before the show. “He needs to get drunk to speak full English,” San E (Jung San) said with a laugh. “Couple of vodkas, please?” The two play off of each other’s personalities perfectly, so it’s no surprise that they’ve decided to stick with each other for a tour with over 20 shows and to collaborate on multiple songs, such as “Sour Grapes,”
“Lonely Animals,” and most recently, “Butterfly.” Mad Clown’s quiet demeanor reflects the thoughtfulness of his lyricism. He rose to mainstream success after he collaborated with Soyou (of former girl group SISTAR) on a song titled “Stupid in Love,” which won a popularity award at the 2014 Gaon Chart Music Awards in South Korea. “As an artist, I want to tell something about social issues,” he said. “And the way I want to do it is by just expressing myself. I don’t want to use big words or ideas—I want it to be easy to understand and direct.” San E, whose extraversion is accentuated by sitting next to Mad Clown, thrives off upbeat energy
and feel-good vibes. His surge to fame earned him the title of “Rap Genius,” and he’s won multiple Korean music awards. Most recently, his collaboration with Bolbbalgan4, “Mohae,” hit the top 10 for singles on the Gaon Music Chart. The show kicked off with Sobae, an up-and-coming K-R&B artist, introducing Prism Kru, a K-pop and hip-hop dance crew that also opened for Hyuna’s 2017 tour in Chicago. Sobae (who graduated from Northwestern) and DJ Juice have been touring with San E and Mad Clown since their first show in Atlanta. Sobae performed her new single “Homegirl” after the dance act. Several times during the concert Continued on page 7
THE CHICAGO MAROON - MAY 8, 2018 Continued from page 6
San E and Mad Clown asked fans to come on stage. After a dance-off where fans could win merchandise such as hats and T-shirts, San E asked one of the winners who should perform first—San E or Mad Clown. “Mad Clown should go first,” she said. “So we can save the best for last.” Mad Clown, who had appeared reserved during the interview, erupted with passionate rapping. Before performing “Love Is a Dog From Hell,” a song inspired by a Charles Bukowski novel by the same title, he asked the crowd who was married. He was married in 2016, and he told the crowd how a fan had messaged him the other day saying “Love is not a dog from hell, love is love.” He said he nearly cried. “Stupid in Love” had everyone singing sadly along. “I listen to this song when I need a good cry,” Sobae said after singing Soyou’s verses. San E performed next. He was met with glowing phone screens held from overstretched arms and deafening cheers—probably not unusual for him. The energy was infectious. Every song had the audience singing and rapping along, but his more wellknown collaboration with Baek Yerin, “Me You,” and his 2014 single “Body Language,” which was nominated for an Mnet Asian Music Award for Song of the Year in 2014, had everyone dancing too.
Before the show, I asked San E if he presented himself differently depending on what role he was playing. Along with rapping, he’s hosted, judged, and MC-ed for competitive rap shows in Korea such as Show Me the Money and High School Rapper. “There is me, but it changes little by little,” he said. When he MCs for shows, he tries to be more composed, but he lets himself go more on ones like Show Me the Money. “Show Me the Money is closest to the real me—it’s a reality show, and it’s the genre of music I like the most and I’m good at.” When asked what his perception was of hip-hop in America, he said: “It’s about being yourself and accepting others as who they are.” Hip-hop emerged from South Bronx in the ’70s and was influenced by social conditions at the time. “Hip” means “in the know,” which has been part of black vernacular since the late 19th century, and “hop” literally means a hopping movement, so the term hiphop can translate to something similar to a “social movement.” San E lived in Atlanta for 10 years, where he was first drawn to hip-hop as a way to cope with living in a new country where he was resisting racism. And now two Korean hip-hop artists from some 6,500 miles away from Chicago have the ability to perform for American audiences, speaking to
the globalization of hip-hop. It also suggests the need for a careful balance between the historical influence of American hip-hop and the modern-day consumption of Korean hip-hop. “It’s a difficult question,” San E said. “I think Korean hip-hop now has a unique color that differentiates it from American hip-hop. As a genre, I think there’s a bright future. We hope this tour will be a good example for Korean artists touring in America.”
Toward the end of the show, a stage crew member brought a glass of alcohol to Mad Clown, who chugged it down to a chanting crowd. I imagine he felt much more comfortable afterwards. And as the crowd danced to their final song of the night, “Butterfly,” they knew the duo would fly back to South Korea very soon. As for when San E and Mad Clown will return to America, it’s only a matter of time. And a few thousand miles.
Courtesy of Allkpop
On the left, San E, and on the right, Mad Clown.
Ai Wei Wei Reflects on the Refugee Crisis in Human Flow BY ROSEMARIE HO ARTS STAFF
Last Sunday, UChicago Arts hosted renowned dissident artist Ai Weiwei at the Logan Center for the Arts for a Q&A session and screening of his 2017 documentary Human Flow. The event was part of a national screening event at more than 40 institutions and community centers. The Q&A, moderated by Seemi Choudry of the City of Chicago’s Office of New Americans, was webcast live to these spaces across the country. Examining an exhaustive list of the issues refugees and internally displaced peoples face across the globe, the film first premiered at the 74th Venice International Film Festival last year. Ai and his team, over the span of a year, filmed 900 hours’ worth of footage across 20 countries, interviewing U.N. officials, representatives from human rights organizations, refugees, and asylum-seekers. The film documents the trauma and suffering faced by refugees in a world increasingly hostile to their existence. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 28,300 people are forcibly displaced from their countries of origin every day; under President Donald Trump’s new immigration mandates, the U.S. is expected to take in 45,000 refugees in the 2018 fiscal year, the lowest since 1980. Executive Director of UChicago Arts Bill Michel stressed in his introduction that the screening was meant to be a “day of action,” and expressed his hope that the audience would be moved to explore volunteering and other opportunities with immigrant rights organizations after watching Human Flow. Ten such organizations tabled outside the room, including the Hyde Park Refugee Project, Heartland
Alliance, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and Exodus World Service. In an e-mail to T he Maroon, Leigh Fagin, Deputy Director of Programming and Engagement at the Logan Center, noted that the University was approached by Participant Media, the production company behind the documentary, to host the live Q&A with Ai. “We made sure a large block of tickets was available for students, staff and faculty at both institutions, as well as free tickets [for] the public,” Fagin said. Additional support for the event was also provided by the School of the Arts Institute and the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights. A prolific filmmaker and sculptor, Ai first rose to international prominence in 1995 with his performance piece “Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn.” Tacitly left alone by the authoritarian Chinese government, he was the artistic vision behind the Beijing National Stadium. He later achieved notoriety for his activism in China, especially for his investigative work into the corrupt and shoddy construction practices in school districts that led to thousands of children’s deaths during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Ai has since moved to Berlin, after being beaten, forcibly put under house arrest, and even illegally detained by the Chinese government for three months in 2011. The screening was a highly anticipated event, and tickets sold out within the first five minutes of their release. The hall was not packed, however, and a notable number of seats were left open. Audience members seemed taken by the documentary, and there was a fair amount of audible sobbing in the hall when refugees bore testimony about the amount of suffering they had experienced in attempting to escape from the wrenched conditions
in their home countries. Notably, Ai took videos of himself interacting with refugees, including an instance where he showed himself dragging a Syrian refugee to shore with one hand and filming himself with his iPhone in the other. Another showed him joking about switching passports (and nationalities) with an asylumseeker, concluding that Ai “[respects him] and [respects his] passport.” These videos were compiled alongside soaring drone shots of migrations and refugee camps. In light of this, some audience members pointed out that the documentary felt trite; fourth-year Corbin Allardice said that it came off as “neoliberal guilt porn for an American audience.” Another viewer, who asked not to be named, disagreed and called it “a moving exploration of what it’s like to be a refugee in 2018”. For his part, Ai emphasized in the short Q&A that Human Flow was
meant to be a film that “relates to how we look at ourselves.” Ai noted that the documentary was borne out of his personal identification with refugees fleeing their country of origin, as his family was exiled to the borderlands of China during the Cultural Revolution the year he was born. “The movie is not just about refugees,” he said. “This is about humanity. This is about us.” Indeed, Ai’s emphasis on humanity would recur throughout the Q&A. “We need to re-look at humanity,” he said when asked about what he hoped the audience would take away from watching the documentary. “If we don’t defend the most basic values, [the situation] is only going to get worse. The film is not asking for mercy, it’s asking for responsibility on part of the viewer. “I think everybody can do something about [the refugee crisis]”, Ai said in closing. “We must not give up.”
Courtesy of Amazon Studios
A still from Human Flow.
THE CHICAGO MAROON - MAY 8, 2018
Maroons Pull Off Four-Game Road Sweep BASEBALL
BY ANDREW BEYTAGH SPORTS STAFF
The University of Chicago men’s baseball team went on the road to Iowa against Luther College and Grinnell College and came back to the Windy City with four more wins on the season. Chicago’s hot streak continued as they record wins in 10 out of their last 12 contests with only three games remaining. The Maroons have also tied the record for most single season wins with 26. The remaining three games on the schedule are against UAA foe Case Western University. With a strong showing in Cleveland, the Maroons may qualify for the NCAA DIII baseball playoffs. UChicago worked quickly and efficiently to put away Luther College in the first game of the four-game road swing. Third-year starting pitcher Brenton Villasenor twirled a gem which shut out the Norsemen over seven innings. Villasenor struck out eight batters while only allowing four hits. Behind the plate, UChicago put up seven on the board in the first inning. A double by third-year Josh Parks, and singles by second-years Payton Jancsy and Drew Ventrelle kept the rally going. After a squeeze bunt by first-year Brian Lyle and an RBI single by fourth-year Max Larsen, the Maroons had tallied seven runs in just the first inning. From there, Chicago coasted to a 10–0 victory. Next, the Maroons squared off against Grinnell College for the first game of a
three-game series. In a small park, the Maroons hit the cover off of the ball. They began the game with Larsen homering on the first pitch of the game. The Maroons tacked on six more runs in the third inning to increase the lead to 7–0. Grinnell answered the rally with back-to-back solo blasts in the fourth inning. However, third-year ace Ravi Bakhai came into the game in the sixth inning and threw a one-hitter while fanning six Grinnell batters en route to an 11–3 victory. On Sunday, UChicago again took on Grinnell College. Again, the Maroon bats helped carry the day. In the first game, the offense got on the board early and first-year David Clarke shut the door to pull out a close 5–4 win. With the save, Clarke set a new single-season record for saves with his seventh. Second-year pitcher Patrick Rogers touched on the new record by saying, “We as a pitching staff are all really proud of him. Even as a first-year, he competes like no one else. He plays with a ton of grit and thrives under pressure.” Lyle commented on the record by his fellow first-year by noting, “It’s awesome that he’s done this as just a first-year, but I can’t wait to see him break more records.” The Maroons finished their four-game road swing with a massive 19–9 win. By adding 10 runs in the sixth inning, Chicago blew open what was a very close game. Parks kicked off the rally with a two-RBI double. He was followed by fellow thirdyear Brady Sarkon who smacked a twoRBI single. The Maroons continued their
Third-year Brady Sarkon stares down the opposing pitcher. rally and batted all the way around in their lineup with Parks capping the rally with an RBI sacrifice fly to give the Maroons a commanding 17–5 lead in route to the 19–9 victory.
Chicago takes its show on the road again this weekend with a trip to Cleveland against Case Western Reserve University for a three-game series.
Track and Field Brings Home Five Event Titles TRACK & FIELD
Courtesy of the University of Chicago
BY TRENT CARSON SPORTS STAFF
This past weekend, the University of Chicago men’s and women’s track and field teams headed west to Dubuque,
Iowa to compete at the 2018 Loras College Dr. Tucker Open. The two teams combined for a total of 23 top-five finishes as well as five event titles. The Maroon women continued their hot streak, bringing home a total of
UPCOMING GAMES SPORT DAY Opponent Men’s Tennis Men’s T & F Women’s T & F Baseball Women’s Tennis
Saturday Thursday Thursday Saturday Saturday
TBD North Central North Central Case Western TBD
three victories. Fourth-year pole vaulter Angel Fluet launched her way to first place with a vault of 3.25 meters, closely followed by teammate first-year Sidney Lampert who finished second. Fourthyear Cassidy McPherson took home the gold in the 800 meters, finishing with a time of 2:18.56 to put her at the top of the leaderboard. Third-year Nicole VacaGuzman added to the Maroon women’s total titles, taking care of the competition in the 400-meter race with a time of 57.26. The Maroons had four more runner-up finishes from second-year Mary Martin in the 200-meter and long jump, fourth-year Olivia Cattau in the 100-meter hurdles, and second-year Taylor Padak in the high jump. The team ended up with 12 top-five finishes, plus three more inside the top 10 to cap a solid performance. Looking back at the meet, VacaGuzman said, “I thought the meet was better than conference because the weather was nicer. As we progress in the season, our performances should improve. Personally, I’m trying to qualify for nationals this coming weekend or the following
meet.” The Maroon men’s weekend was also successful, adding two first place finishes to bring UChicago’s total to five overall. In the 1,500-meter event, fourthyear Jacob Amiri pushed his way to the top spot with a time of 3:58.28, followed by second-year Joe Previdi, who came in third with a time of 4:03.89. Second-year Tim Koenning outlasted the competition in the 5,000-meter, with a winning time of 15:27.24 to bring the men’s first place totals to two. Koenning was closely followed by first-year Jack Barbour, who finished runner-up in the 5,000-meter with a time of 15:43.92. Second-year Alexander Scott added another second place finish in shot put with a throw of 15.36 meters. The men finished with 11 finishes in the top five, with seven more in the top 10 in their impressive showing. Both teams look forward to capitalizing on their success this upcoming weekend at the North Central Dr. Keller Invitational in Naperville, Illinois. The Maroons will look to claim victory at North Central starting 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 10.
10 a.m. 11 a.m. 11 a.m. 12 p.m. 3 p.m.
Baseball Women’s T & F Men’s T & F Baseball
SCORE BOARD W/L Opponent W W W W
Grinnell Loras Dr. Tucker Loras Dr. Tucker Luther
Score 19–9 N/A N/A 10–0