School of Visual Arts presents the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media 2013 Thesis Exhibition, a selection of works by 24 students graduating from the department that expand the photographic vocabulary. Curated by Bonnie Yochelson, the exhibition is on view June 8 through 29, 2013 at the Visual Arts Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York City.
Because the MFA program encourages a wide range of practices in photography and video, graduates choose to participate in an exhibition at the Visual Arts Gallery or a screening at the SVA Theatre. For the first time in many years, the exhibition and the screening both take place in June, rather than the exhibition in June and the screening in September. The accompanying catalog features work by everyone exhibiting in both events, and celebrates the unity of purpose among students whose thesis projects are, as always, diverse in form and content.
The diversity of projects is exemplified by a survey of works by students who chose as their theme the experience of moving to New York. Benz Thanachart’s video features the subway commuters who offered to define English words he did not know. David Brown’s glossy prints in gilt frames express his ambivalent yearning for New York glamour and wealth. Isaac Schell’s video about a young man and his double was inspired by the false sense of recognition he felt toward strangers on the city’s streets. And Niko J. Kallianiotis’ documentary photographs of Astoria, Queens, represent his reappraisal of the Greek-American neighborhood he fled as a teenager.
This year’s installations are notably experimental in form. Combining video with large photographs hanging from the ceiling, Judith Stenneken conveys the sensation of the global traveler. Ahrong Han built a minimalist sculptural environment in which the visitor can watch her video performances, which take place within similarly elegant, interiors. Gemma Lopez suggests the human experience of public spaces by combining video with mural-sized photo-collage. Sinan Tuncay evokes the Turkish ritual his prints depict by draping them with a sheer curtain, festooning the floor with tinsel and installing an audio soundtrack.
While some students sought new methods of presentation, others exploited more traditional methods. Anna Beeke and Margaret Shannon, for example, produced large prints and photographic books—Beeke’s on the theme of exploring the woods, Shannon’s on her hometown of Martha’s Vineyard. Jessica Bandy and Jessica Eis produced documentary videos—Bandy’s on the city of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Eis’ concerning her take on motherhood.
Other students represented in the exhibition are Dalia Amara, Hilary Basing, Sally Bozzuto, Rachel Brady, Faith Holland, Daniel Johnson, Melody Melamed, James Reddington, Roy Rochlin and Joseph Sbarro. Other students represented in the screening are Un hee Park and Jung A Yoo.
For additional information on each student’s work, visit the exhibition website: mfaphoto.schoolofvisualarts.edu/thesis/2013.
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 impact of design, video, hyper-media, and telecommunications and other electronic components on contemporary work in the field.