On Wednesday, April 9, the intermediate photography class gathered to display their work in the Heimbold Atrium. With God on Our Side presented the work of the 13 student photographers who participated in the yearlong course, taught by Justine Kurland, which is described in the syllabus as “wildly explosive.” The course emphasized “the development of a personal vision,” and the medium-mixing, genre-bending artists did so with grace.
Work on display ranged from digital art, in which roses, Kim Kardashian, and silhouettes of female figures were juxtaposed using Photoshop, to collages in which images were sliced and rearranged—a physical dismemberment of the medium of photography—to create a new image. One exhibition sprawled out from underneath the stairs using objects as diverse as a trail of empty envelopes, medical crutches, a jump rope, six lights removed from their fixtures, bricks, and a collection of empty wine bottles. The same artist, Emma Sadowski, laid a small carpet out in the middle of the exhibition space, and attendees were encouraged to walk across it. “I don’t want to step on the art,” one student said before stepping on it to reach another section of the makeshift gallery. The theme of livability was present throughout the exhibition, in Ms. Sadowski’s works as well as in the more traditional photographs, which hung on the walls. Ines Timoney-Gomez’s portraits captured intimate moments of children both staring at the camera and in a state of repose, women holding babies, and family gatherings. Meanwhile, Kiera Castellitto’s photos seemed to linger on familiar faces, anchoring themselves on a moment between two friends in a frozen landscape and revealing a relative in a quietly moving moment.
Despite the comfortable atmosphere that the students created, preparation for the show had been anything but. The show’s date had originally been set for April 16, changing abruptly the weekend before. Students, left with just a few days to work where they had anticipated over a week, pulled long hours in order to arrange their work adequately. "It was totally worth it," Melkorka Tómasdóttir '17, one of the featured students, said. "It was great to see how many people showed up and liked the show, especially since we worked really hard setting up with limited time." Regardless of this drawback, the exhibition was consistently strong, a stunning overview of a talented class.
by Ellie Brumbaum '17