Disrupting visual language

Exhibitions

Students in Professor Sheilah ReStack’s Fashion Photography/ Freeze that Look class have been examining the ways in which they can make images that can reinforce or make us question visual paradigms. They have installed lightboxes across campus as part of their work. Fashion photography has a long history of being a public facing medium. The installation of lightboxes riffs on ideas of advertising in public spaces, and the ways in which images confront viewers.

Thirteen light boxes installed on Denison’s campus from April 20-May 8 will showcase individual student work chosen specifically for that space. Installations are located across the campus, from Olin to Herrick Hall to Mitchell Athletic Center to Huffman Dining Hall to the Denison Library and Slayter and more. QR codes at each location provide the name of the student who made the work and hear from them directly about why they chose this location.

A look within Fashion Photography/ Freeze that Look

ReStack’s class began the semester by looking at the historical trajectory of fashion photography — with students emulating and responding to early ideas and practitioners whose work ranged from surrealism to pictorialism.

More recent assignments have asked students to take those skills and understandings to question, critique and push back against some of the ways in which fashion photography may have a problematic relation to bodies, representation, commerce, and tropes of normativity.

In the last assignment, ‘Movement Against,’ the class created a collaborative magazine that was disseminated across campus that was precisely that ‘movement against’ a type of representation, and in so doing the creation of new visual spaces of imagining.

Student work and locations

Fatimah Bey – Denison Library

“To Marcus Nowling, my model, thank you again. You are allowing me to utilize your image once again. I truly appreciate this, and I hope that you enjoy the introduction of your portrait to the library as we conclude our junior, spring semester. You deserve to shine literally just as much as you do figuratively.

To everyone else, I hope that you all enjoy this photo of Marcus.”

Mia Caraballo-Collazo - Denison Library

“This photo is from a photoshoot I did with some friends on the 2-year anniversary of them joining their fraternity Phi Beta Sigma. The relationship between line brothers (which is what these two men are) is deeply personal. They have one another’s backs through thick and thin. Sometimes being at Denison feels impossible without these relationships.”

Paige Feeney – Slayter 2nd floor

“Slayter Union is a busy space where people of all identities are welcome and present. I don’t only want my work to be seen by my classmates and friends, but the entire student body. I want to make something people will enjoy. I chose this photo of Theo because I am very proud of it and would like to share it with an audience.”

Kate Hinshaw – Slivy’s

“For this photo, my model is seemingly climbing out of an abyss as metaphor, creating a comparison to the escapism from reality that many people face. Especially in college, students often want to find an escape from the regularity of college life. Slivy’s is a favorite spot on campus for many students. Since it was built, it seems like an escape from the typical college dining halls.”

Maddie Kuentz – Slayter

“I want to display my work on 4th floor Slayter because it is a place where people can view and think about the work. I also hope it will brighten people’s day.”

Yuan Liu – Olin

“I have many memories in Olin. It’s the first department I studied in. I was an undecided major and I took computer science as my goal when I was a freshman. I made friends who are math and CS majors. In the last semester of my Denison year, I want to put work in Olin, especially for my wonderful model who studies here.”

Peter Loughlin – Huffman

“I like the idea of hungry students seeing my still life work both before and after they consume food – the image remains constant.”

Anya Nelson – Slayter Basement

“I want my lightbox placed in Slayter for two reasons – The first is that I know Slayter is the ‘hub’ for Denison students of all ages.

This is appealing as I want the image to exist in the public for the most amount of people to see. The second reason is that the image represents a powerful position for a woman, and I want that message/ image to be SEEN by students and faculty here.”

Ava Peterson – Slayter

“I chose to place this on 3rd floor Slayter because it is the place I spend the most time in. Whether it is by myself studying or eating, laughing, or hanging out with my best friends. As a result, I feel my self-portrait as still life should be placed in a spot where I feel most myself.”

Aileen Schretzmayer – Bryant

‘I would like my work in Bryant because I chose a still life that was done as a self portrait. Bryant has been a place that has brought me comfort and support during times that can be stressful. I wanted to leave an image that represented myself in a place where I spend most of my time at Denison.”

Henry Selden – Library

“I am wanting to place my work in the library as it is such a common space for gathering. By bringing my work so directly to public space it helps emphasize the ideas and allows viewers to confront their biases around gender and dress.”

Charlie Song – Higley

“Many of my friends are Economics majors, but not Studio Art. I am also an Economic major and I hope they can have a chance to see my photo in person. I will feel happy when I walk in the hallway of Higley and see my work hanging there.”

Theo Theopholis – Herrick Hall

“I chose to place my lightbox in Slayter because it is the hub of the student body. The main goal of our lightbox project was to incorporate artwork into the day to day lives of Denison students and I felt that Slayter was the best spot to do so. Countless students pass through Slayter daily and therefore it was the perfect area to present artwork for all to see. I believe that our lightbox project causes an artistic disruption that can spark creativity and emotion in students who typically wouldn’t have the chance to experience the arts daily at Denison.”

Posted Date 
Monday, April 18, 2022

What's Happening

Exhibitions

Disrupting visual language

A photography class student project critiques the norms of fashion photography, bringing it into public spaces and disrupting standard conventions.

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