PICTURE/THING

WORDS BY JACOB KARLIN ’17, ARTS EDITOR

PHOTOS BY JULIET GELFMAN-RANDAZZO ’18, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Picture/Thing, a faculty curated exhibit that opened in the Zilkha Gallery on Jan. 29th, presents 10 artists who have attempted to defy the categorical limits of photography and sculpture. Sasha Rudensky, assistant professor of art and photography professor, and Jeffrey Schiff, professor of art and art history, introduced the exhibit. 

It is not coincidental that both curators are also artists. It was important that Rudensky and Schiff curate this exhibit, as both have presented their work in the Zilkha Gallery (Rudensky in 2009, Schiff in 2011) and have taught students in it as well. Their familiarity with the Zilkha Gallery, along with their skill and expertise, was integral in shaping an exhibit that heavily relies on a proper utilization of space. A sculpture is an inherently interactional piece of work: a viewer must walk around a sculpture to see in it in its entirety. The viewer's perspective is constantly evolving; there is no one way to view a sculpture. A photograph, on the other hand, is a static piece of work, whose viewer is presented with a single frame of perspective. The pieces in this exhibit are fascinating in part due to the intrinsic tension between these two mediums. 

According to Rudensky and Schiff, the experience of viewing these works that abscond from traditional categories of art requires “unprecedented dexterity” to view. These pieces "challenge the taxonomical limits of photography and sculpture at a time when the definitions of the two media continue to evolve" writes Rudensky. She noted that picking the artists and works present in the exhibit took time and patience: she and Schiff approached the exhibit from two different perspectives, one from a photographic background and one from a sculptural background. Together, the pieces they chose would embody what Rudensky calls a “picture/thing”: a piece of work that draws equally from both photographic and sculptural realms.  

"Picture/Thing" is on display at the Zilkha Gallery until March 1st. Artists presented in the gallery are: Kendall Baker, Isidro Blasco, Rachel Harrison, Leslie Hewitt, Jon Kessler, Anouk Kruithof, Marlo Pascual, Mariah Robertson, Erin Shirreff, and Letha Wilson.