Written by Scarlett Ruggiero
Photos by Alana Domingo
Among the other venues open for First Friday Art March on May 1, 40space housed an exhibition called “#SELFIE.” The gallery showcased the fourth-year exhibition of photography majors Mikaela Hawk, Madison Rich and Ashley Comer. The three met during a quarter in Lacoste, France and have a common interest in shooting self-portraits.
The exhibit was split into two parts by a garden. The first room was filled with vintage clothing for sale. The room next to it was an interactive space with a photo booth and a wall to hang the photos on so that those attending could become a part of the exhibition. The exhibition itself was in a third room, across the garden.
The exhibit not only showcased picture of the photographers’ faces but also little parts of themselves that they said defined them as women. These included little details like a piece of hair or part of their skin.
Each photographer interpreted the art of the selfie with distinct styles.
Madison Rich, fourth-year photography major from Worchester, Pennsylvania, showcased herself in contorted positions, with a focus on the eyes. Rich called attention to the selfie “by shaping and manipulating [her] body in ways that will make the viewers uncomfortable or think.”
The photographers shared that it was very important that they “create a work that will make people feel powerful feelings and emotions.”
“I tried to escape from my own constructive model,” said Mikaela Hawk, fourth-year photography major from Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Hawk’s idea of the selfie was untraditional, because she never once exposed her face. She explained that she and her co-exhibitors wanted to take a “modern spin” on the selfie phenomenon. It is for this reason that the three chose to cross out the word, titling their exhibition “#SELFIE.”
“The aesthetic I prefer is kind of psychological, darker,” said Ashley Comer, fourth-year photography major from Milton, Massachusetts.
Comer didn’t hesitate showing intimate parts of her body. She played with the light and the environment that surrounded her, and presented her portrait in a way that she said her own friends don’t recognize.
“I look like a happy person,” said Comer, “and my portraits don’t reflect it.”
The styles may have been different from that of what is expected from the selfie, but in the end “it is still us photographing ourselves,” said Hawk.