DPI Senior Show Two 2021
Photo: Cydney Blitzer from the project An Adoptee Story
SHOW TWO is an exhibition featuring works in photography, digital imaging, and multimedia by 11 graduating seniors from the Class of 2021 in New York University’s Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts. It is the second of three shows featuring thesis projects from the Class of 2021 on view in the window vitrines along LaGuardia Place and West 3rd St. at the NYU Kimmel Center (60 Washington Square South).
SHOW TWO will remain on view through April 5, 2021.
In this exhibition
Там на Балкана | There, on the Balkan
By masking as a kuker – a pagan spirit chaser – and retreating into the Balkan mountain range, I aim to rediscover what we Bulgarians are repeatedly taught as children, but rarely experience as adults: the power and mysticism of Bulgaria. Though our current lives have nothing to do with the greatness of our nation that we once learned about in our patriotically charged history classes, one thing that always lifts our spirits is our culture. The cure for these feelings of insignificance is found in our rituals, our folklore, our songs: they bring the Bulgarian spirit to life. Transforming myself into a kuker allows me to chase the evil spirits of doubt, shame and irrelevance; to rediscover my roots; and to submit to the mystical power that the Balkan holds.
Follow on Instagram @gabbiealeksova
Soy Quien Soy (I am who I am)
Soy Quien Soy follows Latina women redefining their Image. Often times we are photographed through a white gaze which portrays a false image. It also perpetuates Eurocentric beauty standards on to POC. By allowing each model to pick out what clothes, makeup, and location they wanted to be photographed in, this gave them the power to control their image. The way these models chose to represent themselves differs from the predetermined image of them created through prejudices and stereotypes. Instead of being defined through the gaze of an outsider, the subjects hold power of their image.
Follow on Instagram @melody_ball
An Adoptee Story
As an adoptee, I ponder many questions that may never be answered. Perhaps it is these unanswered questions that drive me to speak to the question of what it feels like to be an adoptee. To feel completely alone with thoughts that cannot be rationalized away. To long for a past which eludes you. To be stuck between two different cultures, two different worlds, and one enigmatic vessel. My experiences can only convey limited aspects of what it means to be an adoptee, but it is the goal that I strive towards both in life and in art.
The Tibetan Nanny
The Tibetan nanny has evolved into a highly sought-after commodity in places like Manhattan more than two and a half decades after they began immigrating en masse. Tibetan women often gravitated toward positions that would help them acclimate to American culture, and their cultural tenets of kindness, compassion, and patience made them well suited to positions in child care. The Tibetan Nanny explores both the relationship between women currently employed as nannies and their second-children, as well as former nannies who began their immigration journey in the industry.
Toile de Jouy (Cloth from Jouy)
To help me fall asleep as a child, I would create stories about the cherubs and couples pictured in the romance themed toile de Jouy curtains on my bedroom windows. While at home during the COVID quarantine, I spent more time with those images from my childhood, a nostalgic form of comfort during tumultuous times. Thinking about my French heritage, I started exploring the history of toile fabrics and their pre-Revolution French origins, finding echoes of current political discussions. As described in a recent New York Times article "Why We Reach for Nostalgia in Times of Crisis": "nostalgia serves as a kind of emotional pacifier, helping us to become accustomed to a new reality that is jarring, stressful and traumatic." Just as these scenes were an idealized escape for the 18th century French, these images represent a refreshing break from the chaos of our current times.
Once We Meet Again
Rockaway in Queens is a special place where people are connected to their environment as much as the people around them. If you walk from one end of the island to the other end, you will see how people try to overcome their differences and coexist in an environment of the clash between nature and man. By capturing the environment that Rockaway is surrounded by I'm able to display its history, multicultural background, and effects of natural disasters.
A Town in America
Although the South Asian population in the United States is relatively new, it has simultaneously evolved to be one of the most affluent minorities, with a substantial population settled in the suburbs. Using the folklore of New England (a landscape incessantly represented by whiteness) as a quaint and ideal backdrop, "A Town In America" attempts to reinterpret traditional imagery of suburbia by inserting South Asian personalities .This project also explores the rapidly changing demographics of suburbia and the intersection of minority status and privilege present in South Asian spaces, while acknowledging that the peace of a life in the suburbs can oftentimes be complicated by requirements of assimilation and the idea of “The American Dream”.
Follow on Instagram @kayva7
The Sociolinguistics of Edible Women
The Sociolinguistics of Edible Women makes visible the invisible violence and oddity of nicknames like "honey" or "sugar" that render women edible objects through covert, cutesy language. The images are an attempt to not only personify this phenomenon but make the gaze upon it uncomfortable rather than desirable.
Clara Jeanne Reed
Inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a classical epic dating back to 8 A.D that details various myths surrounding ideas of physical and emotional transformation, this series explores the romanticization of mythologies. Drawing inspiration from history painting style, prevalent in Italian renaissance, these photographs aim to intentionally romanticize history to highlight our problematic obsession with the past, and how the body (most often female) is objectified and transformed in order to conform to notions of desire. Many of these myths are disturbingly problematic and violent, but often disregarded under a veil of beauty. The creation of this project has become an investigation into how history and folklore has shaped the way we view notions of power and space, who has the ability to move through it, and who has the voice to tell us the story.
Though the process of image creation in the camera may be comparable to our eyes, the photographic process stops in similarity as the viewer must interpret the captured scene like any other stimulus that lay before it. Through the photograph, we are viewing reflections of stimuli that once existed, but are now distorted by two-dimensionality, memorialized time, and lost-context. The image lives as a true hallucination of the mind where the soul of the landscape is captured, but its material, emotion, and place in space is opened to new contextual processing. To examine the eye’s interpretation of imagery, I incorporated natural forms of ambiguous figures and conflicting light where nondescript lines conflict with object discrimination beside its simulacra. Moreover, I used prints, measurement and technological displays to explore the photograph and mind, the deceptive nature of photography, and the artificiality of each medium where every photograph must exist.
"Fragments" is a series of images that documents life in Chinatown in order to convey its resilience during the Coronavirus pandemic. Before the pandemic, the image of Chinatown was lively, spirited, and reminded me of home. However, Chinatown soon entered a dark and discouraging phase with empty streets and struggling businesses. Chinatown had also been the epicenter of anti-Asian attacks, since the virus is often referred to as the “China virus” or “Kung Flu.” As we walk through the streets of Chinatown today, its image of a vibrant, welcoming community seems to shatter into fragments. Through black and white street photography, I aim to provoke the mood of solidarity that people are feeling and going through. Even if the immediate future is not hopeful, people still need to carry on with their lives hoping to see a better tomorrow. Through capturing the bits and pieces of Chinatown today as they battle the consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic, the community is in unison on its path to restoring what it used to be. The resiliency of this community will determine whether Chinatown will overcome this crisis or not.
BFA Exhibition Schedule 2021
DPI Senior Show One
January 28 - March 1, 2021
Ellie Bates, Matt Bernstein, Natasha Fradkin, Andrés Guerrero, Grace Hinchen, Ayesha Kazim, Shelby Kraut, Rou Leonard, Shina Peng, Katina Pennington, T. J. Rahim
DPI Senior Show Two
March 4 - April 5, 2021
Gabbie Aleksova, Melody Ball, Cydney Blitzer, Pema Dolkar, Chloe Brooke Dugourd, Muhammet Gencoglu, Kavya Krishna, Meghan Marshall, Clara Reed, Brian Uchiyama, Benson Wu
DPI Senior Show Three
April 8 - May 24, 2021
Alyssa Dickinson, Roxy Dierking, Ju Yeon Lee, Elisa Lopez, Alina Patrick, Zoe Shields, Lauren Stone, Steve Wang, Noa Weinzweig, Beste Zan
The DPI Senior Catalog is an annual publication produced by and featuring the works of the entire graduating Photography & Imaging class.