The Tanya Bonakdar Gallery sounds as you’d expect any gallery or museum to sound in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon in March – largely quiet, save for the rustle of papers and a few muted footsteps. Oh, and the occasional chorus of bird chirps.Read More
WORDS: REBECCA SHTEYN '18
PHOTOS: BENJAMIN HICKS '18
The first week of the Studio Art Thesis Exhibitions presents works by Rebecca Brand, Rachel Fox, Addison Rose McDowell, and Elissa Palmer. Through plastic, paper, metal, and light, this week's theses investigate the infrastructures and institutions that construct our physical reality.
Elissa Palmer's perspective
Each of Elissa Palmer's sculptures utilizes repetition of geometric figures to create an almost infinite continuity, creating harmony between the 2D and the 3D side of things. Without examining each sculpture up close, one would not be able to tell that they are all entirely made out of laser-cut paper. “Paper is extremely delicate and malleable, yet strong. This is how I see nature--from a distance, rivers have their own continuous movements, and they always will. But if you look closer, with each wave, the water changes and will continue to change”, says Elissa of her inspiration for her architecture thesis. On a table lay small geometric sculptures, accompanied by spray-painted depictions of their two dimensional shape. To the side hangs an enormous sculpture, comprised of continuous repeated geometrical shapes. Elissa notes,“It’s always difficult to explain what is going on in your head, but it’s so easy to simply create it. That’s what I did.”
Rebecca Brand's ex situ
“Being an art history double major has greatly developed my interest in archaeological archival and the politics of space” Rebecca Brand comments when I ask about her inspiration. “It’s interesting to note how people can live in one place for their whole lives, and never notice that their city or town is organized in the shape of a flower. They go about their lives without considering their aerial view or the bigger picture.” Having grown up in a cul-de-sac herself, Rebecca explores the various aspects of city planning based on her own unique coding system comprising of seven principles, which she conveniently provides on a side table printed on a sheet of paper. Her work focuses on eternal artifacts from different times and places, and how they can manifest and mutate into other structures. In addition to providing the current layouts of cities from around the world, she manipulates them based on her seven principles to create her own interesting layouts and shapes for cities. “I want to interact and I want others to interact with the places we live in, so I have worked to unpack bits and pieces from the originals to create my own version of city planning.”
Addison McDowell's middle grey
Addison McDowell’s thesis is both a macro and micro investigation of clarity, occurring simultaneously. She notes that “by zooming closely into various objects, I hope to displace the viewer so that the more they look at my drawings, the more confusion they feel.” By incorporating videos into her work, Addison plays with the idea of movement and change to create an environment of uncertainty and analysis. “It makes me think about how as young adults, we tend to analyze every bit of a situation that we may find ourselves in, to the point that we lose all of the clarity that we think we have. This is what my thesis is all about--clarity abstraction.” While she does not wish to disclose the identities of the objects she chose to investigate, it is all about how the viewer moves in and out of the drawings, taking in more and more information, but at the same time questioning each bit of information that they acquire.
Rachel Fox's Home Improvements
Technically a photography major, Rachel Fox included both photographic and sculptural elements in her thesis, but it has morphed into a large, DIY build-your-own-house sculptural project. Upon walking into her piece, you see that all of the wooden structures that she built herself are covered in clear vinyl. “I see this as a showroom”, says Rachel. Most of her structures have multiple layers visible in them--one can see both the inner insulation of the walls, and at the same time a glass vase on a shelf, or a key hanging on a wall. “The idea of home is overdone. Everyone has a vision of home in their mind, but I wanted to take that apart and examine it from the inside. I am interested in the layers of a home, both literally and figuratively.” Each part of her “home” is incomplete, seen by the most obvious separation of the structures. But at the same time one can see plants, shelving, and lighting throughout; these small household items make even gaping open walls feel like a home.
Photo: Alice Goldberg '19
Even tough it snowed today, Spring just started.
Shoutout to BH19' and BM19' for the help, this was a though one...
His vibe, so to speak, is the epitome of chill, welcoming, laid back but not in a contrived or performative way. Simultaneously leaning and sitting up as we talk on his couch his blue ocean jacket blends into the blue upholstery effortlessly, almost like the couch is trying to emulate his style.Read More
There’s a fucking amazing piece of art more people have to watch because it’s genuinely gobsmacking, and it’s called Vinyl. Vinyl is Warhol’s 1965 adaptation of A Clockwork Orange. You can find the whole thing on Youtube. The film is deceptively, confoundingly complex, hard to trap in the framework of words and sentencesRead More
The show’s diversity—in thought, content, form and medium—is indicative of the identities that the show aims to engender. Just as the diverse selection of works couldn’t be framed within a single definition or cultural category, the identities presented operate congruently, as the exhibition's form follows its function.Read More
Curated by Owen Christoph (‘18) and Kafilah Muhammad (‘18), the Eclectic Society put on a multi-medium art show called CHRYSALIS. The aim was to capture the “evolutions of ourselves,” as “we live, experience, and transform ourselves accordingly.”Read More
TEXT & IMAGE BY SOPHIA JENNINGS ('16), CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Three really big things happened last week. First, Adele released the best song of the year. Second, Malia Obama played “water pong” at Brown. And third, I got to have brunch with Beanie Feldstein ‘15.Read More
Last week Alexandre Daillance (’19) sent a hat to Chris Brown. Earlier this week, he designed one for Travis Scott. Yesterday, he talked to Urban Outfitters. Today, he’s in Usdan drinking a hot chocolate.Read More
I’m writing this article from bed, hungover. And it’s Rowan Hyland’s fault. The interview, like the photoshoot, did not go exactly as planned. What began as a “quick chat” before my Middlemarch paper became an evening and a Bota Box, the paper saved till the following morning.
Nothing, it turns out, is ever what you plan with Rowan Hyland.Read More
Located right next to the DAC and currently hosting six classes in four professional quality spaces (a photography studio/lab, digital production studio and meeting room), the space as described by its coordinator, Christopher Chernier, is a “focused curricular workspace that aims to bridge the divide between arts and technology at Wesleyan.”Read More
Through the glass, I can see the outline of a women crumpled on the ground. She moves without moving. Her limbs, hidden behind her oversized kimono, remain still while her hands, barely visible, grip a torn red blanket. The music is the wind passing through the trees, and the breath of each audience member. The audience shifts on the Davison Art Center’s porch to catch a glimpse of Eiko Otake. Her simple movements hush the entirety of the audience. The darkness of the room, visible through the window, echoes the darkness of her demeanor.
Eiko Otake along with Takashi Koma Otake, most commonly known as Eiko & Koma, are co-choreographers and performers. Their performances typically display concrete ideas through abstract means. Both Eiko and Koma center their choreography in a way that plays with silence and lighting in order to create an uncomfortable atmosphere. On October 4th at 5 pm, Eiko begins her performance by giving the audience a preview through a foggy window, before inviting us inside the Davidson Art Center to become a part of the performance.Read More
I sat at my desk last week pondering how I would make a portrait of my dear friend Austin Dhillon. See, I had been Austin for Art House’s Portrait Project. The project gave each participant the name of another participant with the instruction to make a portrait of this subject. We were discouraged from having contact with our subjects, the intention being that the portrait would be a complete surprise.Read More
I didn’t know much about Emmani Rawlins before FaceTiming her from LA. I knew she never wore the same lipstick twice. I knew she went to Milton Academy. And I knew she studied abroad in Ghana.
She smiles when she talks about it. How it was relaxed there, how, upon arrival, she found Accra to be similar to Port of Spain, her family’s original home. “It smelled like Trinidad, it felt like Trinidad,” she tells me. “It even tasted like Trinidad.”
And the style there? “Dope.” Bright colors and block shapes. Locals bought their own fabrics, designed their own outfits and got them tailored. There was even a tailor at the international hostel, receiving the students’ designs on Tuesdays and returning their outfits on Thursday, week after week. By the end of the semester, Emmani wasn’t just designing her own orders, she was designing her friends’ as well.
But then, on her last night abroad, Emmani was sexually assaulted. “In the situation that I was in, I actually could’ve died,” she tells me. “I could’ve disappeared forever.” The next day she flew home to Boston. A month later she returned to Wesleyan. It was January and there were three feet of snow.Read More
INTERVIEWS BY SOPHIA JENNINGS, CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ('16)
Two things happened to Mindy Kaling last week*. First, her list of hypothetical TV pilots, "Coming Soon," was published in the New Yorker. Second, Refinery29 identified three women as her potential comedy heirs. The article, written in promotion of the NYC Fringe Festival, featured Wes alum Sarah Esocoff ('15), who, along with partner Keelin Ryan ('14), directed NYC's production of Laugh Track this past week. In celebration, I asked the rising stars for their list of pilot ideas, one (or all) of which could become your new favorite show.Read More