Artistry Magazine - Spring 2018

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A r t i s t r y

S p r i n g

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Spring 2018

Baby raptors


first aid kit COIN

call me karizma


x ambassadors

mat kearney

the aces

austin cain

now, now

Photos by: Sophie Cannon

van william


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Spring 2018

the team president Eric Doroski editor-in-chief Sophie Cannon heads of design Cindy Zhao Danny Tran managing editor Gianna Barberia outreach coordinator Laura Martz social media director Carolyn Noyes copy editors Danae Bucci Isabelle Hahn section editors Asia London Palomba Caroline Lowder


The 90 th annual

O S C A R S nadia naeem The 90th Academy Awards marks a historic achievement for not only the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but also for all actors, actresses, filmmakers, and of course movie-goers alike. The award winners were essentially those who were favored to win. Jordan Peele won Best Original Screenplay for “Get Out,” Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell won their first Oscars for Best Supporting Actress in “I, Tonya” and Best Supporting Actor for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” respectively, and and the historic Best Picture award went to immigrant filmmaker Guillermo del Toro for “The Shape of Water.” To make the moment even sweeter, “Bonnie and Clyde” co-stars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway presented the award, getting redemption for their envelope mix-up last year.The most memorable award and accompanying speech of the night, however, came from Frances McDormand, winner of Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. McDormand, after giving her thanks, asked all women in the building who were nominated for an Academy Award to stand and be recognized. The joyous moment culminated in the final two words from McDormand, “Inclusion Rider.”

tants, and I said, nah… so the accountants went ahead and did comedy on their own,” Kimmel said, poking fun at the people from PricewaterhouseCoopers, who are in charge of the envelopes for the show.

A few other awards of note went to Roger A. Deakins, who won his first Oscar for Best Cinematography for “Blade Runner: 2049” after having racked up 14 nominations on such films as “The Shawshank Redemption” and “No Country For Old Men.” Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton’s won Best Live Action Short for their film “The Silent Child,” in which Shenton gave her speech in English and in American Sign Language, to honor the deaf subject of the film, and basketball star Kobe Bryant won Best Animated Short Film for “Dear, Basketball.” The night itself was filled with emotion, reverence, and memory, gracefully addressed by host Jimmy Kimmel, back again for the second year in a row. He had a few critical issues to address as well, including the Best Picture debacle of last year and the most present issue of the night involving sexual assault and inequality in Hollywood. “Last year, about a week before the show, the producers asked me if I wanted to do some comedy with the accoun-

Several presenters and attendees supported the movements that are helping to end sexual assault and harassment in America by wearing “Time’s Up” pins. Salma Hayek, Annabella Sciorra, and Ashley Judd, all of whom have accused Harvey Weinstein of harassment or assault, gave a tribute to inclusion and equality during the show. Artists Common and Andra Day included several activists on stage, including the founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke, during the performance of their original song, “Mighty River,” from “Mudbound.” Even Jimmy Kimmel directly encouraged people to join the students at Parkland at their protest on Mar 24 against gun violence, among other prevalent topics.

The monologue continued in a light-hearted tone as Kimmel highlighted the historic nature of the night, being the 90th annual award show. Pointing out the giant Academy Award that joined him on stage, Kimmel celebrated Oscar as being the perfect type of Hollywood man. “Just look at him, keeps his hands where you can see them, never says a rude word, and most importantly, no penis at all… he is literally a statute of limitations,” Kimmel said. Kimmel continued with this criticism aimed at men when honoring the 13-time nominated film “The Shape of Water” saying, “We will always remember this year as the year men screwed up so badly, women started dating fish.” These joking statements were only a taste of what the men of Hollywood, and frankly the men of the world, faced during the ceremony. It was clear that the issue of sexual harassment is something that will remain on the forefront of media for time to come.

in eight years for “Lady Bird,” Jordan Peele was named the third person in 90 years to be nominated for directing, writing, and producing in the same year for a debut film and first black filmmaker to be nominated for ‘The Big Three’ in the same year for “Get Out,” and Rachel Morrison became the first woman to ever receive a nomination for Achievement in Cinematography for “Mudbound.” Other notable nominations included Mary J. Blige, as the first person ever to be nominated for both Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Original Song for “Mudbound,” and Timothée Chalamet as the youngest nominee for Best Actor in almost 80 years for “Call Me By Your Name.” As with any Oscars night, the awards show was filled with comedy and hijinks. A few strange moments and mishaps happened throughout the night, including many winners having to place their awards on the floor due to lack of a podium and the announcer mispronouncing “Oscar” while Frances McDormand walked to the stage to accept her award. Comedians Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph proved to be two of the best presenters the Oscars have seen. As they complained about their hurting feet and bathroom-centric roles,the two leading ladies riffed off one another. “Girl, my pinky toe fell off,” Rudolph said, as she held up a fake pinky toe, prompting a large laugh. To iterate the need for shorter acceptance speeches, Kimmel, in a “The Price is Right” fashion, promised that the winner who gave the shortest acceptance speech would win a brand new jet ski, presented by Helen Mirren. Kimmel later sweetened the deal, adding a trip to Lake Havasu. In the end the prize went to Mark Bridges, winner of Best Costume Design for “Phantom Thread.”

Overall, the 2017 Academy Awardsmarked a monumental milestone for Hollywood and people who love it. For 90 years, the Academy has honored women and men for In contrast to the dialogue concerning sexual achievements in filmmaking and, although harassment, Kimmel also focused on the this year marks one of the most diverse wealth of entertainers who made history that years in the show’s history, there is still much night. Greta Gerwig, was the first woman to progress to be made to make the filmmaking be nominated for Achievement in Directing community inclusive.


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c O I N c O I N


worth every penny Alexa Portigal Paradise Rock Club was jam packed the night of Feb. 13, with audience members both young and old trying to push their way to the stage to catch a glimpse of COIN, or at least frontman Chase Lawrence. Lawrence, who sings lead vocals, was joined by backup vocalist Joe Memmel, bass guitarist Zachary Dyke and drummer Ryan Winnen, as they immediately hit the stage with a bang, rocking out to their 2018 hit song, “Growing Pains.” This Indie-pop/rock band was formed in Nashville, but country music is the furthest thing from their sound. Their effortlessly messy style and boyish good looks commanded the room, exuding confidence as they played like no one was watching. “Here we are trying our best in Boston, Massachusetts,” Lawrence shouted after playing “Run,” a throwback song featured on their 2015 album. Amidst the drums and electric guitars on stage, the focalpoint was the use of a synthesizer, standing by Lawrence’s side the entirety of the concert. It elevated the vocals of the band, as well as created beats and looped sounds together that helped the show transition from one song to the next. Although they weren’t very talkative on stage, they didn’t need words to connect to the audience. Their high energy spoke to the crowd and made fans feel more con-

nected to the music. Lawrence never kept his feet on the ground for long, bouncing and head-banging around the stage as if it were a heavy metal concert. He climbed on box speakers, grabbed fans’ posters, and furiously whipped his hair around while playing song after song. Ombré hues and interspersed video clips projected behind the band, tastefully and not over-stimulating the audience. Every graphic fit with its prospective song, never retracting from the band’s performance. Rainbow lights flashed during “Time Machine,” while elementary school yearbook photos appeared during “Growing Pains.” Moments of vulnerability and gratitude shone throughout the night. The band stopped playing in the middle of “I Would,” to express nostalgia for their musical journey. And before playing “Views,” which Lawrence said was a song about love, they took a moment to thank the crowd. “We’ve been gone from Boston for eight months, so thanks for remembering us.” The Aces, a four-women alternative rock band from Utah, opened for COIN and shone just as brightly. Cristal Ramirez, vocalist and guitar player, moved about the stage dancing and hair-flipping, her energy infectious. The song “Volcanic Love” was a huge hit among the crowd, with epic guitar riffs and powerful belting was met with clapping and dancing from the audience, even when testing out new material on the audience, a preview to their April 6 record.


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Spring 2018

Photo by: Sophie Cannon

A soulful sunday with

X AMBASSADORS Sophie cannon


t was a night full of deep messages and heartfelt dedications at the House of Blues this President’s day weekend, as X-Ambassadors spoke to the sold-out venue in-between songs. The energetic nature of their discology was luckily not as somber as their messages, and instead was enhanced by the impassioned crowd. Frontman, Sam Harris touched on specific issues as a lead in to ,many songs. To lead into the 2015 hit “Low Life,” Harris catered to the college-aged and above crowd with a relatable experience. “Maybe you stayed out with your friends the night before, and you wake up in the morning, your head hurts, your body hurts, your pride hurts a little bit too?” he asked the crowd. “Going to the bathroom, you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see? To anyone here tonight who has ever felt this way, ‘Low Life’ is here tonight, and this song is for you.” Harris also mentioned some more recent events, dedicating their debatably most popular song “Unsteady” to the victims and heroes of the Florida shooting.


“17 people,” Harris said. “It’s not right. We need stricter gun control in this country or this is gonna happen over and over again.”

From serious topics of the world to more intimate moments, Harris’ songs take a calculated and deep look into life’s experiences. Instead of simply dedicating a song to the memory of the tragedy however, Harris declared a call to action as well, vowing to be at the March 24 “March for Our Lives” protest for gun control in Washington D.C., encouraging the audience to make the trip down there with him. From serious topics of the world to

more intimate moments, Harris’ songs take a calculated and deep look into life’s experiences. Harris spoke about a relationship with his friend that ended on bad terms (“Hold You Down”) and a love ballad dedicated to his wife who leaves him breathless even after five years (“R.I.P”) all while making sure the audience was paying attention to the last lyric. X-Ambassadors also used this tour, as many bands do, to show off some new music from “Joyful,” the yet to be released album for 2018. The setlist incorporated the new hits throughout the night, starting the night off with “Don’t Stay,” and then running through “Ahead of Myself,” “Joyful,” the namesake of the album and tour, and finally “Torches” as an encore song. Although they were new, the audience sang the lyrics to all four tracks without missing a beat — a true sign of a captivated and dedicated fan base. To close the night and provide a bit of humor for the ride home, Harris admitted a secret. The reason for his mid-set outfit change? “Full disclosure, I ripped a massive hole in my pants,” Harris said. “Hence the wardrobe change, but I guess if I didn’t say anything you wouldn’t have noticed!”

“Maybe you stayed out with your friends the night before, and you wake up in the morning, your head hurts, your body hurts, your pride hurts a lil bit too?�

Photos by: Sophie Cannon


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Spring 2018



danae bucci Upon entering the Curry Studio Theatre, one is transported to a different decade — the 1960s to be exact. “Hair” is a politically-motivated musical taking place in New York City. “It’s all about the protests and the fight for freedom and love in the 1960s,” said Claire Moorer, a thirdyear theatre major who plays Chrissy, the youngest tribe member trying to find where she fits in. With smoke swirling in the dimly lit theater and incense fragrancing the air, the intimate setting had audience members clamoring prior to show time. Then, without much warning, the show began. Cast members ran from all angles of the theater, singing the song “The Age of Aquarius” also commonly called “Let Sunshine In.” The actors, dressed in bell-bottom jeans, flowy skirts, and long locks of hair, made great use of the small theater as they danced. After the abrupt start, Adam Thomas, a fifth-year physical therapy major, took the stage as Berger, a character known for lewd comments. Captivating the sold out crowd with his booming voice and emotive personality, he gave a convincing performance that he was indeed on psychedelics during the show, even mooning the crowd. The show touched on a number of social issues from the ‘60s. Commenting on race, the Vietnam War, and feminism, the political activism reached its peak as Claude, played by Anthony Rodriguez, a fourthyear psychology major, struggled with the idea of burning his draft card, ending the scene suddenly by symbolically putting the fire out with the lights going black.

look great. However, if you know you will react to it in a not safe way, definitely use your best judgement,” said Christina Chen, a fourth-year theatre major who plays Jeanie, a pregnant tribe member who is in love with Claude. Despite this, the play came full circle in the end. Instead of doing a traditional curtain call, the actors came back out fashioned with posters from social movements of today, including “Black Lives Matter,” “#MeToo,” and “Resist” among others. “It’s really applicable to today ... a lot of the protests are still happening whether it’s with gun control and women’s rights and racial rights, those are all so applicable today,” Moorer said. “It’s important to see that while a lot has changed since then, a lot hasn’t.” “Hair” runs in the Studio Theatre from March 22nd to April 1st.

Another powerful moment from the play took place during a protest. Each actor held signs with sayings such as “Peace Now,” “Law and Order = Racism,” and “Is Your Son Next?” The entire play had a sense of liberation throughout, from the songs they sang, to the drugs they took, and even the infamous fully nude scene (done in tasteful low light). One portion with distasteful lighting, however, was when intense strobes were used in the second act. Cast members warned of the aggressive lights, but kept it in the play. “It’s pretty strong, pretty intense, I think it

Issue 1 Photos by:Spring Anna 2018 Jekel


The Glass Menagerie Photos by: Chelsea Ruscio

Caroline Lowder


n the Ryder Theater Lab on Feb. 20, a small cast and crew took to the stage to perform Tennessee Williams’ play “The Glass Menagerie” under the direction of Professor Scott Edmiston. As students and parents shuffled into the theater, sitting shoulder to shoulder, the lights dimmed and the play opened with a narration. Tom Wingfield, the storyteller of the play portrayed by fourth-year neuroscience major Chad Comiter, began by describing his family’s troublesome state. Left by their father to travel to world, the Wingfields, a family comprised of Tom, his older sister Laura and their mother, have been left to their own defenses in the grueling 1936 southern American society. The story opens and stays set in a small,


shabby St. Louis apartment - which is made to seem larger on stage through various placements of assorted furniture - with the focus remaining on three shelves containing small pieces of glass in the far right corner of the stage for the entirety of the play.

“She is in a world of her own,” said Tom during the play.

It became clear from the first lines that this play was a retelling of the past. While Tom is the narrator, he is not the protagonist. His mother, Amanda, who was played by fourthyear theatre major Rosa Procaccino, filled that position. A classic southern woman and former debutante, Amanda is determined, despite her less than ideal family situation, to be received well by society and provide a prosperous life for her children. While Tom works to provide most of the familial funds through his job in a warehouse, Laura, his older and shy sister, remains home having not succeeded at business school. Laura is crippled and quirky, enjoying the simplest things like shining her glass menagerie and listening to old folk tunes. “She is in a world of her own,” said Tom during the play. This causes panic for Amanda, as she feels her daughter will never find success or happi-

ness, prompting an obsession with finding a man to support her. As home life grows more intense, with constant fighting between Tom and Amanda over her overbearing nature, the viewer begins to sense the narrator’s urge to fly the coop. Yet, he remains, and the true cause for this is unclear until the final lines of the narration. The storyline shifts when Tom invites a friend from the warehouse over for dinner, per his mother’s request. The remainder of the play was consumed with awkward small talk over a meal, eventually leading to a life changing conversation between Laura and the man Tom has brought to dinner and one final fight between Tom and Amanda. Without giving away the ending, it was easy for one to assume that the play ends in heartbreak. Yet it is the underlying messages

of family, memory, and reality that remain with audience members long after the show is over. Sitting down with costume designer Francis McSherry, it is highlighted that most of Tennessee Williams’ plays don’t have much of a plot. Set in a singular space with a mere four characters, many might view this as a disadvantage towards the play, yet costume and set designers thrive under these conditions as this makes their job that much more impactful. The symbolism hidden within the placement of a chair or the dress worn by an actress can make or break the play in these scenarios and, as such, it is important to keep an eye out when watching for small details that might give away clues about the characters or situations. McSherry highlights Amanda’s final dress, which the designer

highlights as being a glimpse into her past as a young and desirable, woman through the bright colors of the dress but also the distressed state of the clothing. Similarly, McSherry made the conscious choice to give Tom no costume changes, which he said allows the character to fade into the background. The play ends abruptly, with Tom having a somber and lengthy monologue concluding with the singular word, “Goodbye.” There was an exaggerated pause following the dimming of the lights as the audience longed for the play to continue, the sign of a truly great performance. Shuffling out of the small theater, the audience was forced to ponder the storyline, wondering how it all really ended, only left to discuss the memory of a play about memories.


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before they’re OFF THE AIR Gianna Barberia It's the day every passionate streamer or casual watcher dreads: when a favorite television show comes to an end. After investing time and fragile emotions season after season and personally connecting to that one quirky character, the story comes to a screeching halt. This year in particular will see the end of several critically-acclaimed and universally loved shows. Make sure you catch up on the latest episodes or start your week-long bingefest before these finales.


“Scandal,” ABC A product of Shondaland, this political thriller will come to a dramatic end after seven seasons. Starring Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, “Scandal” follows Pope, her crisis management firm in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding political atmosphere as Pope finds herself entangled in a controversial romantic affair. The show has won two Primetime Emmy Awards and has been nominated for countless accolades. The finale airs April 19.

“House of Cards,” Netflix Speaking of scandals, Kevin Spacey’s departure from “House of Cards” should come as no surprise after it was reported the actor sexually harassed and assaulted numerous men — some of the victims being minors at the time. However, you could be surprised to hear that the show will be continuing on for one last season, with Claire Underwood — portrayed by Robin Wright — taking the lead role. Wright has been nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards for her performance on the show. This sixth and final season is set to premiere on Netflix this year; however, a specific date has yet to be released.


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fosters “New Girl,” Fox Will any show ever be as quirky and “simply adorkable” as “New Girl”? Starring Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, and Lamorne Morris, the show follows the lives of four thirty-year-olds who live together in a loft in Los Angeles. Although the show — which has been nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards — was originally set to end in May 2017, fans will be happy to hear that it was renewed for a seventh and final season premiering on April 10.

“The Fosters,” Freeform “The Fosters” has been captivating audiences since 2013, when Freeform was still called ABC Family. The show, starring Teri Polo, Maia Mitchell, and Cierra Ramirez, centers around the lives of a foster family in San Diego. After five seasons, the show is coming to an end. However, fans do not need to fear — there will be a spinoff show starring Mitchell and Ramirez. The spinoff, set a few years into the future, will follow their characters’ young adult lives.


veep “The Middle, ” ABC Relatable and hysterical, “The Middle” should be your go-to show if you ever need a laugh. Centered around a middle-class family in Indiana, the show stars Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn. It has been nominated for nine Critics’ Choice Television Awards including Best Comedy Series and Eden Sher, who plays eccentric daughter Sue Heck, took home Best Supporting Actress in 2013. Make sure you catch up on all nine seasons before the finale on March 20.

“Veep,” HBO If you currently wish a woman was in the White House, this show is the perfect escape. “Veep” follows the day-to-day happenings of Selina Meyer, a fictional vice president. Although the show has received numerous accolades — including winning three years in a row for Outstanding Comedy Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards — “Veep” is finishing its seventh and final season following Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ breast cancer diagnosis.


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black panther A





s p i r e d


carolyn noyes The explosive response that Marvel’s “Black Panther” has received in just a few weeks made it difficult to go into the film’s screening without heightened expectations. The film has been lauded for being both an exemplary superhero story and one of the most empowering AfricanAmerican films in recent memory. Having experienced it on the big screen, I can say that you don’t need to worry — “Black Panther” lives up to the hype. The movie centers around King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) of Wakanda, an African nation that is unparalleled in technological advancements, but disguises itself as a developing country to evade outsiders’ attention. The secret to Wakanda’s incredible technology, as well as T’Challa’s Black Panther super-powers, is an element called vibranium. The use of this element is the center of the film’s conflict - do Wakandans provide aid to struggling countries by sharing their vibranium, or keep it protected for their own citizens? The country’s “Wakanda Forever” motto has kept T’Challa hesitant to take in refugees or engage in activism for actual developing countries. T’Challa’s love interest Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) believes that Wakanda has a duty to help those in need, and the film’s impactful villain Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) aims to use vibranium to launch a worldwide revolution that would remove white oppressors from power. If this dilemma sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone - many critics have noticed parallels between the politics of Wakanda and the United States. A review on the alt-right website Breitbart went so far as to declare that “Black Panther” was a pro-Trump, anti-Black Lives Matter commentary. I found the opposite to be true, as I can only assume anyone who actually

paid attention to the film would. Boseman himself has said that T’Challa more closely resembles a villain at the beginning of “Black Panther,” and it is worth noting that the character’s eventual saviors are his own past acts of generosity and mercy. On the other hand, Killmonger is a sympathetic villain (especially for a superhero flick) with understandable motivation; while his methods are cause for alarm, the pain and experience behind his worldview is conveyed as quite valid. Between its politics and the sheer fact that it is the first film of its kind to feature a nearly all-POC cast, there is no disguising “Black Panther” as anything but progressive. While the film’s plot has a firm political stance, the incredible visuals of “Black Panther” make just as much of a statement in their celebration of African culture. The film’s canvas is its seamless combination of futuristic architecture and technology with the natural beauty of Sub-Saharan landscapes. This canvas is painted with Ruth E. Carter’s stunning technicolor costume design, which again is a perfect blend of typical superhero fare and traditional African clothing. The film’s more subdued moments were just as captivating as its fight scenes, thanks to these visuals, the likes of which I haven’t seen at the movies in quite some time. My only complaint lies with the film’s often-shaky camerawork - it was nauseating at times and detracted from the visual splendor it was trying to capture. “Black Panther” not only has a complex hero and villain, but an astonishingly dynamic supporting cast, with highlights including Nyong’o as well as Letitia Wright as T’Challa’s spunky, tech-genius little sister. These characters are strong and intelligent, but are not confined to stoicism: “Black Panther” is hilarious at times too.

The comedic moments in this film felt more natural than those in past Marvel features, such as this summer’s “SpiderMan: Homecoming” or “Guardians of the Galaxy 2”.

Between its pol” itics and the sheer fact that it is the first film of its kind to feature a cast of nearly all people of color, there is no disguising Black Panther” as anything but progressive. The film’s record-breaking revenue and representation were frequent talking points at the 2018 Academy Awards, and social media has been buzzing with discussion on the impact of finally seeing black superheroes in film. Every aspect of “Black Panther,” from the double-entendre of its title to its powerhouse soundtrack curated by Kendrick Lamar, works to make up for decades of nothing but whitewashed superhero movies. One blockbuster is certainly not enough to end the battle for better racial representation in cinema, but “Black Panther” is a fantastic step forward.


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Spring 2018

Photos by: Talja Ketchum


(un)expected families at the MFA Talja Ketchum


espite being tucked into two small rooms near the gift shop, the new exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), called “(un)expected families,” was bustling with people of all ages. The exhibit is home to more than 80 photographs collected from the museum’s existing archives. The showing does not display the works of one individual artist, rather it shows the photographic works from a vast range of American photographers. While the styles and techniques of each photographer differ, one thing remains consistent: the subject. It in the broadest sense is that of the family. The exhibition seeks to understand how photographers from all walks of life capture the power and intimacy of family through an individual image.

the exhibition seeks to understand how photographers from all walks of life capture the power and intimacy of family through an individual image. The exhibit displays photographs from the likes of iconic artists such as Andy Warhol and Dorothea Lange in conjunction with unknown photographers of 19th century portraits. Subjects of the pictures consist of LGBTQA+ families, Facebook friends, members of religious convents, married couples, soldiers in the Iraq war, immigrants,

and biker gangs, each photograph carries its own themes of race, gender, sexuality, identity, class, spirituality, and love. A walk around the room will present everything from highly composed self portraits to family albums filled with casual polaroids.

five-person family. This aspect of the exhibit exemplifies the emotional reaction many viewers have in response to this diverse series of photographs and allows viewers the opportunity to partake in the conversation that the exhibition presents.

Visually, the photographs range from tiny monochromatic images to large scale collages filled with bright colors. This diversity of time periods, styles, photographers, stories, and subjects illustrate the main purpose of the exhibit — to redefine,or rather undefine, any understanding the viewer has of families by expanding the representation of the American family. “It was a lot of self-reflection,” said firstyear Northeastern student Kasey Arko, an attendee of the exhibition. “The emotional vulnerability of each photograph connected me to my own experiences with family.” This personal reflection is best represented through the interactive wall placed in the center of the exhibit’s room, which invites viewers to imagine or think about a photograph of their own family and share a drawing or a description on the pads of paper provided. The slips of paper are then hung on the wall by the museum staff. “My father is just barely cropped. My mother is grinning with none of her teeth. There is a firetruck in the background,” reads one of the captions, accompanying a stick-figure drawing of a Located just steps away from the Northeastern campus, “(un)expected families” is a must-see exhibit for everyone. Its efforts to understand the families effect on an artist’s work allow for a collection of visually stunning and emotionally stimulating artwork that will captivate any viewer. Its representation of American families allows viewers the chance to confront their own preexisting understanding of what family is and expand on that understanding. The exhibit is on display until June 24.


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Spring 2018

Art in the Age of

the internet at the Institute of Contemporary Art

Catherine Titcomb


n February, Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) unveiled their new exhibit, “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today.” It examines the internet’s influence on art since its creation.

Each room of the exhibit, which features 60 artists, has a different theme. At the entrance, flashing screens with jumbled audio contrast with the rest of the ICA’s bright and calm aura. With the TVs being no exception, the art in this exhibit is different and a period of adjustment is required to learn how to look at it. E

“I have mixed feelings,”” said Sasha Didkovsky, a School of the Museum of Fine Arts student, visiting for an ephemeral objects class. “ “It’s subjective.””


He also noted how the three dimensional nature of most of the art disrupts preconceived notions about the definition of art and how to view it. People are used to spending a minute or two viewing a painting from a respectable distance before moving to the next one. However, the art in this exhibit must be viewed from both up close and far away, and from different angles, because most do not fall into neat categories such as painting or sculpture. An example of this is one particular Paul Pfeiffer piece — a video on a tiny TV that isolates the ball in televised basketball games and cuts them together. “It’s brilliant … [It] jumped out,” Didkovsky said. The piece’s meaning seems obscure until reading the description, which speaks to the nature of the entire exhibit. Pieces seem random or unnecessary, but in reality speak volumes about the internet and address almost every issue current to society, from politics to race to body image. The Pfeiffer piece sits in the “Networks and Circulation” room. The art sharing the space explores our power through the internet to exchange, upload, and download information infinitely and in mass amounts, creating an unprecedented level of interconnectedness. Another feature of this room is Gretchen Bender’s “American Flag,” a digital image of an American flag dissolving off the screen during a broadcasted sporting event. The

flag mid-dissolve seems more like a rebel symbol than a proud national icon, creating a sense of discomfort. “I like that it takes this curious nationalistic symbol and destabilizes it,” Bender said about the description of the piece, addressing this sentiment. The quote and flag are especially powerful coming from 1989, a year of citizens rebelling against their governments, both in Germany with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Tiananmen Square protests in China. The next room, “Hybrid Bodies,” questions how digitization and biotechnology change the definition of human. Mariko Mori’s work “Subway” pictures her dressed as a cyborg in the Tokyo underground. She found inspiration in Japanese manga and science fiction. The cyborg she portrays is hard to define as human or robot, as it exists somewhere between the two. The photograph addresses the controversy around merging humans with technology, and how much technology would make someone no longer human. These questions will surely become more prevalent in the coming decades as the separation between humans and technology lessens, and humanity becomes more and more integrated with technology.

Photos by: Catherine Titcomb

“Virtual Worlds” displays artwork exploring the relationship between virtually created fantasy worlds and real life. A threatening automated voice provides the soundtrack for this room by reading out a Samsung refrigerator manual. Albert Oehlen’s oil painting seems like a refuge from the ominous fridge and other disturbances from the previous rooms. His untitled work from 2008 intends to reverse the typical view of human-computer relationships. Oehlen paints computer generated pixel images onto canvas by hand. By doing this, he picks up where the computer can no longer continue, rather than the usual notion that computers’ capabilities go beyond humans’. In contrast to the other rooms which largely laud the internet’s democracy, “States of Surveillance” reminds us of its “misinformation and control.” The room comes with a purposefully ironic warning that all viewers are on camera and being live-streamed to the ICA’s website. This warning along with a TV playing collected security camera footage and two dolls holding screens playing a live video of the room creates a disturbing and tense atmosphere that serves to remind us that the democratic ideals of the internet are only half of the story. Blurry blown-up photos of Syrian gunmen aiming at the viewer in Rabih Mroué’s work “The Fall of a Hair: Blow Ups” (2012) are even more unsettling.

The pastel room that follows, “Performing the Self,” focuses on social media and contrasts the heaviness of the previous space.

The artwork focuses on the public’s need to be visible and active online. This need is not always self-absorbed or unhealthy, rather, online networking has allowed information to accumulate, creating communities and increased visibility for minorities and the marginalized.

A giant Cindy Sherman photo, “Untitled #463,” depicts a familiar scene, women having fun at a party and flaunting their wealth and happiness. The giant smiles and cakey makeup give the women a ghastly, tragic look, making the scene seem off. Sherman’s message is that there is often pain beneath the surface of social media posts. The last feature of the exhibit are interactive virtual reality glasses, an expansion of the “Virtual Worlds” installation. “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today” is jarring and at some points disturbing, but it is expertly laid out and features many profound pieces which require visitors to become more engaged with the art’s message. The exhibit is on display at the ICA until May 20.


Issue 1

Spring 2018

Japanese Prints:


Psychedelic Seventies Seventies Seventies Seventies Seventies Seventies

Asia London Palomba


espite being tucked into a narrow hallway located outside of the popular Klimt and Schiele exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, “Japanese Prints: The Psychedelic Seventies” exhibition drew a crowd of enthusiastic visitors. The exhibit, which houses a number of psychedelic Japanese paintings, prints, and lithographs by multiple artists, serves to emphasize a period of time in which Japan was breaking out of her post-World War II shell and contributing to the global hallucinatory art movement of the 1970s. The exhibit also features pieces by female artists who rose to prominence during this period and perpetuated the trend of increasing gender equality in the arts. During the 1960s, Japan underwent a quick process of reconstruction to counter the devastating effects of World War II. As metropolises were rapidly changing and expanding,


artists capitalized on this movement to experiment with new styles. A series of eleven lithographs titled “MonMon (Tattoos)” by artist Hideo Takeda, features heavily tattooed figures whose backs, arms, and legs swirl with colorful designs. Traditionally, tattoos in Japan are associated with organized crime, however the artists’ pairing of humour and an electric palette minimize the historically negative connotation to create an overall body of work which breaks free of traditional Japanese boundaries. Many of the works featured in the exhibit are a reimagination of traditional Japanese iconography and techniques. Reika Iwami’s – one of the first female printmakers – woodblock prints feature natural imagery, such as water, which captures the essence of classic Japanese art. However, her use of embossing and the addition of bright, metallic foils, underscores the artist as a pioneer in the country’s artistic shift during the 1970s.

Photos by: Asia London Palomba

The combination of traditional Japanese art melded with a bold, futuristic color scheme Some artists in the exhibit tap into the spiritual realm of Zen Buddhism which has long defined Japanese art, manipulating the iconography to fit the new style. Tadanori Yokoo’s 1974 silkscreen piece titled “Fire that is Earth,” features a prism of light erupt-

ing from the head of a psychedelic Buddha who is backdropped by a vibrant ocean. Additionally, Mayumi Oda’s nude silkscreen sea goddess from her piece “Deep Sea” is just one iteration of the artists’ tendency to create female renditions of Buddhist deities imbued with divine power. The young, female artists who garnered recognition in this time period empowered themselves through their subjects, utilizing strong and dynamic colors to break both artistic and gender boundaries. Although small in size, the “Japanese Prints: The Psychedelic Seventies” exhibition is packed with a number of pioneering artists who shifted the direction of art in Japan and contributed to a global art movement. The combination of traditional Japanese art melded with a bold, futuristic color scheme creates compelling pieces of work that transport visitors back to the psychedelic age. The exhibit is on display at the MFA until Aug. 12.


Issue 1

Spring 2018