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(un)still: LIU Post Photography Exhibition

By Melanie Spina
A&E Assistant

Last week, LIU Post’s photo department held a photography exhibition named “(un)still”. The exhibition took place in the Sculpture Building from Dec. 1- 5, with a reception on the Dec. 2. It presented 14 artists, where each of them exhibited two of their photos. Photography Professor Allison Rufrano explained that the exhibition was part of the Photo 7 “Photography Workshop” class. “The main part of the class is that it’s an exhibition class,” said Rufrano. “So students are working on this body of work so they each leave with a portfolio with their own concept in vision but at the same time they are putting together group shows.”

Photo by Khadijah Swann
Photo by Khadijah Swann

The theme behind this show was movement. Rufrano claims that the theme was something the class picked as a while the first day of class after brainstorming different ideas. “We had groups of like five of us and we all came up with words and from the words we picked ones that we liked,” said Jessica Peace, a senior photography major. “So for our group we did movement so then we all picked movement as a class and then we picked the title after that.”

Once the theme was selected, the students had a process of taking photos every week that related to the theme of movement. “Each artist approaches that theme with their own concept, their own style, their own vision,” said Rufrano. Peace was also very satisfied with the theme since she believes it was a good theme where everybody could just do their own thing, “You have such a variety that you can do with the concept of unstill,” she said.

Peace, a boy’s soccer coach in her free time, decided to photograph the boys in her team. “My interpretation of movement was that their minds are always going like crazy all the time,” she said. “So when it comes to sports, it’s harder to make them pay attention and get what they are doing, so I [captured what] they are during games and all that stuff.”

Student Jacqueline Scaccia, who is also a senior photography major, also worked with athletes but decided to go for more of the still part of the unstill theme. “I did athletes standing still like posing for a picture,” said Scaccia. “But I also wanted to show like the same emotion that they have on the field so I did that in the studio in Pell.”

The exhibition showed a great variety in the pieces even though they all had the same theme. “It all depends on how the artist decides to take the theme, that’s why they each also wrote a statement underneath to tell the viewer a little bit of where they were coming from,” said Rufrano. “There is one student who is dealing with nature and her photographs are very sharp; they don’t deal with motion at all it’s all about the unstillness of nature and that kind of thing.”

Scaccia really enjoyed seeing all of her classmate’s work and believes that the show was very successful. “There were a lot of people that came out and it all looks good,” she said. “I like that there is a lot of variety like everybody’s interpretations are different so its nice to see how everyone comes up with it.”

“That’s the good thing about the concept of unstillness, it’s open ended, it’s open for interpretation,” said Rufrano. “Even having the ‘un’ in parenthesis leaves it a little more open for the artist to really approach whatever they want.”

But the class didn’t only focus on the pictures, Rufrano claimed that big part of the class was learning not only how to put together an exhibition but how to work in groups. “There was a reception committee, a hanging committee and graphic design committee, leaving the students completely in charge of getting the show ready,” she said.

Rufrano believes that the exhibition was fabulous and had a great turnout that allowed people to take a look at the work of very talented photographers. The exhibition was for sure filled with amazing work, each one with their own unique take on what (un)still might mean to the artist or the viewers themselves.

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