Photo exhibit celebrates everyday beauty

Stacey McCarroll Cutshaw, visiting professor of photography, speaks before the opening reception of “In the Mood: Photography and the Everyday” in the Carlson Gallery on Tuesday. This is the 25th anniversary and the 100th exhibition since the inception of the gallery. The photographers’ work reflects the way photography depicts and describes the daily conditions of life. Cutshaw chose the series behind her, by Goseong Choi, to represent the grief people experience in everyday lives. The Instagram hashtag for the show, #ulveveryday, is up for everyone to create a visual dialogue about their everyday experiences. / photo by Helen Arase
Stacey McCarroll Cutshaw, visiting professor of photography, speaks before the opening reception of “In the Mood: Photography and the Everyday” in the Carlson Gallery on Tuesday. This is the 25th anniversary and the 100th exhibition since the inception of the gallery. The photographers’ work reflects the way photography depicts and describes the daily conditions of life. Cutshaw chose the series behind her, by Goseong Choi, to represent the grief people experience in everyday lives. The Instagram hashtag for the show, #ulveveryday, is up for everyone to create a visual dialogue about their everyday experiences. / photo by Helen Arase

Cody Luk
LV Life Editor

Students and faculty members lined up at the Carlson Gallery Tuesday as Visiting Professor of Photography Stacey McCarroll Cutshaw had a gallery talk for the “In the Mood: Photography and the Everyday” exhibit she curated.

The exhibit includes four series of photographs by photographers Simona Bonanno, Goseong Choi, Noah Kalina and Joann Pai.

When curating the exhibit, Cutshaw was interested in photography that renders everyday life and activities such as eating, sleeping and crying.

“I picked a series of work that I thought worked well along with the other photographers’ works,” Cutshaw said. “I came up with some things I do everyday and I sent a list to all my photography colleagues and many of them sent back photographers I should look at.”

Cutshaw curated the exhibit virtually by communicating with photographers and receiving the photographs through the Internet.

“As I think more on what I want to do, those experiences and activities become more abstract,” Cutshaw said.

Bonanno, from Messina, Italy, displayed a series of photographs from 2014 called “Ordinary World.”

The photographs are abstract, close-up photographs in which the viewer may not be able to distinguish what the subjects are.

“She’s turning visual materials we look at every day and turning them into something strange and something odd,” Cutshaw said. “She doesn’t tell you necessary what you’re looking at – I like that.”

Jessica Fang, senior business administration major, said “Ordinary World #1,” a close-up photograph of cat fur, as her favorite from the exhibit.

The car fur is in shades of white and gray, with strands of fur sticking up against a soothing, light blue and green background.

“I know it’s really hard to zoom in on the details (when taking the photo), so it’s more like art to me,” Fang said. “I like abstract art.”

The series of photographs by Choi from Brooklyn are part of his thesis for his master of fine arts in photography at Pratt Institute. While Choi was working on his thesis, his grandmother died in South Korea. He ended up doing his thesis on his grandmother, including the process from her illness, her death to her burial.

“This project is about grief on many levels,” Cutshaw said. “Grief is a part of our lives – he has created a sophisticated representation of something we all go through.”

Cutshaw said people usually only have birthday parties and celebrations in family albums, so she appreciated Choi’s different approach to his family situation.

“It’s really realistic to know the culture behind the photos,” Fang said. “The story behind that is enlightening.”

The photos are emotional, such as the first photo in the exhibit, where Choi’s mother looks worried and distressed.

The photo is dark except for Choi’s mother, who is the focus of the photo as she is brightly lit.

Kalina, from New York City, is famous for his 2006 viral video, “Everyday,” where he documents his daily self-portraits chronologically. He has photographed himself everyday for 15 years since 2000.

Kalina’s photographs on display are a series called “Bedmound,” which originated from his Instagram account. The photographs portray unmade beds in different bedrooms in cities around the world.

“Whenever he sees a bed, he will ‘mound’ it,” Cutshaw said. “His work is a little conceptual and a little ironic.”

Kalina also encourages people to show their unmade beds on social media using the hashtag #bedmounds.

Part of Kalina’s exhibit is arranged with three columns of three photos for a total of nine “Bedmound” photos. The photographs are purposely organized to resemble an Instagram feed.

This is the first time the “Bedmound” photos are exhibited.

Pai, from Vancouver, British Columbia, is a food and travel photographer, and her photographs are of food from around the world.

Cutshaw became aware of Pai’s work through Instagram.

“It’s fascinating how because of social media and Instagram, there’s a whole new generation of photographers emerging,” Cutshaw said. “Now there’s this phenomenon of photographing what we’re doing and what we’re eating. These photos, because I’m following (Pai), are a part of my visual environment and her other followers’ visual environment.”

“I like that she’s bringing back the idea of sharing food,” Cutshaw said.

Some photographs focus on only one food item, while other photographs include human interactions, such as the 2013 photograph “Basque Gathering,” which depicts a table full of food and two hands reaching across the table preparing the food, while one pair of hands at the lower right corner is using dining utensils.

Gallery viewers had mixed reviews about the exhibit.

“I love it,” said Margarita Petrosian, sophomore chemistry major. “ I see my friends post pictures of food and I’ve unfollowed a lot of people because of it, then I come here and ‘it’s art.’ So is it the element of putting it in a gallery that makes it art?”

Cutshaw encourages ULV students to share their everyday life on social media using the hashtag #ulveveryday.

“I think because of the prevalence of social media and photography, these photographs are not the representations of experiences, but they are the experiences,” Cutshaw said.

After the gallery talk, the exhibit reception started. The students and faculty members who presented at the event also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Carlson Gallery and Professor of Photography Gary Colby’s dedication to the gallery by mounting 100 photography exhibits over the years.

The Carlson Gallery was the first art gallery at the ULV campus. There is now a new student-led photography exhibit next to the Carlson Gallery. The new gallery space is planned to be an ongoing student gallery.

Cody Luk can be reached at cody.luk@laverne.edu.

1 COMMENT

  1. As the Carlson Gallery was the first gallery at the ULV campus, I think it was really nice and the best. I hope that new student will lead photography exhibit next to the Carlson Gallery nicely.
    Thanks
    Mishlkat

Comments are closed.

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