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MFA Photography, Video and Related Media 2012 Thesis Exhibition

June 8 - 30, 2012
Steel Light
MFA Photography, Video and Related Media 2012 Thesis Exhibition
Credit: Artist: Ryan Cooley

School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents “MFA Photography, Video and Related Media 2012 Thesis Exhibition,” a selection of work expanding the photographic vocabulary by 23 students graduating from the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department. Curated by Bonnie Yochelson, the exhibition will be on view June 8 - 30, 2012 at the Visual Arts Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th Floor, New York City.

“Students continue to test the norms of traditional photography and video, creating amalgams of still and moving images, borrowing ideas and techniques from painting and sculpture, and creating environments as well as discrete objects,” says Yochelson. “No longer focused on the truth-telling nature of their medium, they readily blend fact with fantasy, and personal narrative with political commentary. They begin with the presumption that theirs is a world of images, and they create or manipulate images to add their experiences to that world.”

Elli Chung, for example, created an oversize book of photographs depicting “kami,” Japanese spirits that inhabit the physical world. Ryan Koopmans traveled to Asia and the Middle East in search of “paradise now”, fantastic urban architecture inspired by nationalist ambitions in the developing world. Brandon Holmes produced a video of the post-apocalypse as imagined by “preppers,” Americans preparing for the end of life on Earth as we know it. 

The world’s unrest is expressed more personally in works by JooYoung Bae and Amani Willett, both of whom are new parents. Combining video and photography, Bae has produced a message For Heim, her son who will grow up in Korea, Japan and the United States -- nations with widely disparate cultures. Willett’s book Disquiet combines intimate portraits of his wife and infant son with threatening, politically charged images of life outside the home.

Several students reflected on imagery of the past. In Where the Boys Are, Pacifico Silano reimagines pre-AIDS gay culture. Brandy Watts created a Field Guide to 20th century botanical photography. In aphasiasticisms, Jeremy Haik explores the fragility and futility of cultural preservation.

Other students turned away from the contingencies of everyday life to explore the nature of artistic experience itself. In A Wakeful State of Perception, Ryann Cooley built a self-sufficient room to create an immersive experience of light, sound and space. In A Conversation with Photography, Shiyuan Liu created an explosion of color, pattern, image, and form to challenge the relationship between the photographic frame and the art of performance.

The exhibition also includes works by: Travis Brown, Kika Espejo, Lisa Fairstein, Roger Generazzo, Shahrzad Kamel, Zony Maya, Jessica Miller, Ania Moussawel, Gracie Nesin, Blake Ogden, Phoebe Streblow, Rachel Styer, and Heidi Zito.

For additional information on each student’s work, visit the exhibition website at http://mfaphoto.schoolofvisualarts.edu/thesis/2012exhibition/.

One of the first graduate programs to incorporate digital practice, the MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media is dedicated to the creative practice of both traditional and digital lens-based arts and to the integration of new theories, contexts and techniques of these ever-evolving media. Emphasizing the expansion of the photographic vocabulary, the Department encourages students to challenge the current boundaries of their media, and to look at the ways in which design, video, hyper-media, telecommunications and other electronic components are impacting contemporary work in the field.

School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City is an established leader and innovator in the education of artists. From its inception in 1947, the faculty has been comprised of professionals working in the arts and art-related fields. SVA provides an environment that nurtures creativity, inventiveness and experimentation, enabling students to develop a strong sense of identity and a clear direction of purpose.

Free and open to the public
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