WORDS: JULIET GELFMAN-RANDAZZO '18
IMAGES: ELIJAH STEVENS '15 & JULIET GELFMAN-RANDAZZO '18
Eclectic looks different in the daytime. There's a notable absence of mass, empty of the bodies that ebb and flow through its halls during the night. Dusty light streams in through the windows usually covered with a film of sweat and darkness. No one's puking in the bathroom. The entire place, feels, well, more like a space.
And today, it needs that. Albert Tholen, a senior Eclectic member, has organized an exhibition, “Camera Phone: An Exhibition of Mobile Photography.” Eight-by-eleven sheets of paper line the walls, organized in groups that appear haphazard yet have a feel of intentionality behind them. Tholen describes the arrnagement as more 'intuitive' than 'conceptual.' The organizational focus does appear to be on aesthetics—some groupings happen to be by photographer, if their images work together visually, while others are a smattering of artists whose work complements each other’s.
The show aims to legitimize camera phone photography, and it succeeds admirably in that undertaking. Without being told the process behind them, it would be nearly impossible to tell the type of camera used for many of the photos, though each photo was taken and processed entirely on a cellphone. On receiving the submissions, Tholen simply placed them on white backgrounds and printed them, yet the show maintains an undeniably serious, gallery feel, undaunted by any stigmas cast on the medium of camera photography.
When regarded on a screen, most photos are simply scrolled past or swiped through quickly, without any real consideration. But by displaying them in a tangible medium, in a setting in which we are used to appreciating creativity and dissecting craft, Tholen compels his audience to view these images for what they are: art.