September 24, 2020

Student-curated gallery inspired by Dada, Duchamp

Words tumble from an open book in junior art education major Diana Montano’s piece, ‘Fractured.’ (Christopher Lombardi / Staff Photographer)

By Danielle Sheridan

Intriguing pieces of art greet those entering “The Found Object: A Case for Meaning,” an art exhibit curated by senior art history major Gabrielle Peterson. The exhibit, which is open to the public until Sunday, Dec. 12, showcases found objects arranged in one of the Art and Interactive Multimedia Building’s window-clad student exhibition spaces.

Peterson cites 20th century artists Marcel Duchamp and Dada as inspirations for the gallery.

“Marcel Duchamp is known for his use of found objects as art, and I thought he would be the most iconic inspiration for students to keep in mind,” Peterson said in an e-mail.

“Personal Property,” a piece put together by junior graphic design major Lindsey Hardifer, portrays 212 specimens of hair pinned to the wall. Inspired by a journal she came across in a post-mortem shop containing hair samples of a little girl’s classmates, Hardifer used this piece as a social experiment of her own while attempting to obtain all of the hair samples from willing people she knew.

“The name comes from the idea that there are 212 people represented up on the wall,” Hardifer said in an e-mail.

Hardifer pinned the specimens on the wall to portray the sense of collection, “as if I just pinned these pieces upon the wall similar to the way that I post images and reference on my desk as points of inspiration.”

“The Collection,” by senior art education major Chloe Rachel displays old books on a shelf made from 200-year old wood from a barn. Rachel chose each book to represent a piece of herself, and the end result became an “abstract idea of a self-portrait.”

“When I come across an old book, I immediately see a blank canvas. I’m attracted to the antique quality and rough edges, tattered and sun-bleached pages,” Rachel said.

Viewers have the opportunity to open some of the books in this collection and view images and text that Rachel created as a deeper look into her life.

Located next to “The Collection” is a piece titled “Fractured” by junior art education major Diana Montano.

Inspired by fractured fairy tales and author Jonathan Safran Foer’s work, Montano added her own personal touch to the piece.

“I wanted the viewer to lose the idea that I created this work and feel like I had simply shook the book and this story had just been what was left behind, like it was there from the beginning and I was just the one who brought it out,” Montano said in an e-mail.

The book was nailed into the wall and its insides were gutted. The words, which had been cut out of the book, were delicately arranged to simulate falling out of the book and onto the floor.

“Untitled” by senior fine arts major April Moorhouse is “a readymade installation consisting of various slips and lingerie with light bulbs hanging from nails on the wall.”

This piece challenges modern views of women and sexuality by using undergarments that are no longer commonly worn, according to Moorhouse.

“This raises the topic of the beauty of modesty and the choice to cover up as a personal, liberating, deliberate choice for a woman. This modesty is contrary to one contemporary viewpoint that states to be free is basically to cover less, to be less modest and that practicing modesty is kin to repression,” Moorhouse said.

Peterson said she was happy with the way her gallery turned out.

“I am exceptionally pleased with the outcome of the exhibit,” she said. “I worked very hard to produce an exhibition that was cohesive as well as comprehensive.”

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