V Magazine - Spring 2018

Page 1

table of contents Creative Writing 1


This is What You Have - Olivia Davis Sun Day is for the Surgeon’s Sabbath - Kaitlyn Hyun 9.15 - Shaelea Carroll Postcard from Chamonix - Elise Mollica Reunion - Annabelle Swift





Artificial Elegance 9 Will the Times Up Movement Lead to the Rise of Female Directors? Bel Banta The Cost of Gold Emma Bradford



Student Art 21 23 Liz Zang 25 Maeve Bradley 27 Kia Wassenaar

Insight of Foreign Cinema Andre Hirschler


CURIOSITY BLOOMS 31 the staff Editors-in-Chief • Cindy Guo • Michelle Miles

Features Editors • Pete Dailey • Kia Wassenaar

Creative Director • Kate Snyder

Layout Designers • Miranda Arias • Celia Harding • Malcolm Reynolds • Ellen Wray

Fashion Director • Shubham Patel Head Art Curator • Maelisa Singer Lead Photographers • Will Jones • Michelle Miles

Models • Liza Ayr • Nigel Collins • Maddy Smith • Tiara Sparrow • Amaya Williams

Writers • Bel Banta • Emma Bradford • Shaelea Carroll • Olivia Davis • Andre Hirschler • Kaitlyn Hyun • Elise Mollica • Annabelle Swift Student Artists • Maeve Bradley • Kia Wassenaar • Liz Zhang

editors’ notes In the recent issues of V Magazine, we’ve chosen to refrain from giving our team a theme to guide what inspires the work they produce for the magazine. Rather, we’ve hoped to foster a space where our artists, writers, directors, and other creative individuals could fully allow their minds to stumble across the unexpected, to embrace the most timeless trends of the spring season: growth and discovery. As editors, we couldn’t exempt ourselves from this challenge. So, this semester, we decided to mix mediums. In this issue of V Magazine, you’ll find our first ever cross-collaboration between the fashion department and our featured artists. We invited two visual artists, Sophie Fields and Corrinne James, to join us on one of our photoshoots as guest directors in conceptualizing the shoot, building the set and the props, and even illustrating the photos. Additionally, you’ll find that we’ve expanded our written content to create an entirely new section in our magazine––our first ever Creative Writing section. We are thrilled to include even more of the expressive voices that resonate across our grounds.

Michelle Miles Co-Editor-in-Chief

This issue represents a first step for V Magazine in becoming a true multimedia publication, with the launch of our website, the beginning of the V Mag Visits video series, and increasingly innovative fashion shoot concepts being shared on our digital platforms. V Magazine is always exploring new and creative ways to represent the artistic community at the University, and it has been a pleasure to be involved in shaping the content that has represented numerous student artists, writers, photographers, models, and designers. Three years ago, I stumbled across a link to an issue of V Magazine on Facebook, and after seeing the creative work represented, I knew I had to get involved. While I will miss the opportunity to return for another issue, I am truly grateful to have been able to work with such a talented team. I am excited to see Michelle lead our next few issues, and what V Magazine has to offer in many more issues to come!

Cindy Guo Co-Editor-in-Chief

Creative Writing


This is What You Have Olivia Davis Skull of papier-mâchÊ. Brain of shoelaces tied in knots. Hair of methane bath. Eyes of dragon breath. Ears of pepper spray. Nose of burnt lanterns. Cheeks of metal. Lips of porch swing sinkhole. Mouth of ironclad chronometer. Throat of thunderstorm squatter. Spine of lonely silo. Shoulders of nightshirt. Chest of wrecker service raider. Lungs of corduroy holidays. Arms of spiders in tombs. Wrists of oysters and pears. Hands of glue and tambourines. Palms of goodbye pirates. Fingers of plaster. Abdomen of wildfire wisdom. Hips of dandelions. Legs of panhandle hexes. Knees of gasoline jewels. Ankles of axes. Feet of handsaws. Heels of scarecrow sermon. Toes of wasps and teeth. Bone of my heart. This is what you have.


Postcard from Chamonix Elise Mollica

He wrote her love letters in three languages, although he would never use the word ‘love,’ at least never in English. The equivalents of darling, of adored, of friend, of, yes, even of love. But never that word in its four-lettered simplicity. He would never loop up on the ‘L’ and then settle down into the soft curls of the ‘-o-v-e.’ It was not written in words but he knew that she would know it in the whisper of this postcard against her fingertips and the weight of it in her palm and the colors of the illustrated Alps. They were always love letters. The first language was always the dialect of home, the short cutting strokes of English. This was the language of information, of introduction. It was the easiest in which to be nervous, in which to be guarded, cloaked in formality. Then her name, because the structure of a postcard elicits it. I hope you are well. I am in Chamonix, he would say. It has not stopped snowing for three days and the wine is cheaper than any bus ticket. The second language was always a gift to her, because he had never quite matched her in French. Yet here, hidden within the first few sentences, he would shift delicately into that language she knew so well. The shift itself, the labored phrases, the painstaking translation. They all pleaded in ink. I can learn for you, he seemed to say. I can speak with you here, too. Can’t you see it? Can’t you see that there is nothing standing between us? The third and final language was theirs. Of course it was. No hint of shyness, no obscurity, no mention of aching distance. Arabic was his mastery and her poetry, and the language in which they had met. In that classroom of chalkboards, the window overlooking a walking path. The tree that pressed against the window with its winter fingers. The two of them among fifteen, practicing introductions: A greeting. His name. A response, and then hers.


In that classroom, where they sought a language unknown, one that defied direction. Where a new alphabet flowed from their hands like agave nectar, stuck in places, hardening and growing cold, before warming to flow again. Where they learned words for a friendship they could not explain and did not bother to translate. The room where they anticipated his leaving and where she asked only for him to repeat his certainties to her, again and again. The words did not say ‘love,’ but they spoke of slivered moons, sushi, trains at night, Parisian apartments. Bridges. Limitless time, or of timelessness. Her name, repeated now with a sweetness liberated. They spoke of spirits and souls and of a room in Amman with open windows, a narrow bed, a yellow lamp, blue shutters. Another room they both knew yet had never shared. A farewell, reluctant. Then his name. And the blank space at the bottom, free of ink, filled with hopes. A blank space that spoke a fourth language, a language reserved for two people a world apart. For everyone else, it remained unreadable.


Sun Day is For the Surgeon’s Sabbath Kaitlyn Hyun

Sun day is for the surgeon’s sabbath Inspired by North Korea He’s screaming, bursting, thrashing, exploding from the inside out, extremities bound, gut cut open and exposed to the world. the nurses and surgeon are revolving around the sun; the Man, someone’s Son, a wreckage of the brilliant bold burning ball within the confines of the space as if it is normal. as if agony is normal. the planets do not know that the sun has exploded yet. it takes 8 minutes for the sun’s light to touch the earth and this delayed reaction has kept society going up until now. and He’s pleading between screams but no use. they keep on cutting, digging into His flesh, into the inferno of the sun. the room is dim except for the fiery sparks exploding from His abdomen and the doctors are all eyes behind the safety of blue masks in a space drowning in flames. science at its finest. keep society’s eyes on the culture underneath our microscopes because that’s much more important than astronomical events. and why try? to heal something that is already in the process of dying when we can focus on the microscopic complications? just be content with small talk while operating in flames. the cries saturate the room until it is dripping with heat and tears. anesthesia: absent. so what are the nurses on? behind a mask, the surgeon mutters that there’s no money. his hands are red. a government official who waits outside the door has clean hands and is wearing a suit. the world begins to burn.



Shaelea Carroll

In the narrow room with the corroded walls Laughter echoes like falling water in a tin pan Under the yellow light everyone strips down Places an offering for the room Hearts are held out in wide open palms They glisten, beating, pulsing, vivid red An earnest exercise in self display Everyone is equally vulnerable I am ashamed, I want to cover my own Shrivelled, shrunken black mass I am a species apart from everyone in the room I am itching to escape


Reunion Annabelle Swift

The last time I will see Everett, he will be driving through the red light on the way out of town. Rachel and I wait for him outside the infamous train station. She is wearing dark sunglasses and a jacket with rolled sleeves that still cover her hands. We talk about everything else before we talk about Everett. We learn that we’ve seen the same number of therapists, though neither of us can list all of their names. We compare the destinations of trains we will never get on. Rachel wants to go to New York City; I’d settle for DC. Someone watching us would not be able to tell that we were once great friends. It was the experiences we had together, I realize, that bonded us. We have nothing in the last months to laugh about. Instead, I ask about her love life and she asks about my family. “My mom thinks my dad is about to lose his job,” I tell her. “Isn’t it crazy how the lives of people on the other side of the country can affect us so much?” Rachel says. “When they’re family.” She tells me that she is seeing a couple of guys, that she just ended things with one. “He didn’t take it very well.” Her sunglasses hide how she feels about this. When she picks at her fingernail, it looks absent-minded. “They never do.”

“I’m thinking of texting Brandon.”


“Doesn’t he want something serious?”

She shrugs.

“So what are you going to say?”

“That I don’t know the future – how could I – but I want him to be in some part of mine.

“Yeah. I’d have to apologize for how that ended. But I think about him a lot.”

He doesn’t have to be a serious part.”

“Why not?” I joke. “Just marry the boy already.”

“Right.” Her serious tone brings me back. I check the time on my phone. He’s late. “When was Everett allowed to drive again?” Rachel wonders out loud, though neither of us know.


A train runs through the station without stopping, the wind pushing our skirts and hair to the side. I chew on my straw and Rachel looks in the wrong direction for Everett. “I texted him last week,” I admit. I was drinking with people Rachel has never met, people who would hate her. This part of the story seems obvious.

“Did he say anything interesting?”

“Does Everett ever?”

“I bet he told you you were beautiful.”

“Yeah.” “And that he meets other girls but they are never as intelligent.” One side of her mouth twists up. “Did he ever tell you about the list of girls he would pick to stay with if he were stuck on a deserted island?” I ask. For the first time, Rachel looks something other than complacent. She looks surprised.

“You’re on that list too?”

I get to the bottom of my iced tea and it makes a dull sound, the emptiness.

When I think about Everett, I barely think about the period of time in high school when Rachel would sit on his desk and lean into him in the hallways. I remember wasting weekends on commuter trains. I suddenly miss the easy way we were talking before. I wonder if I remember how her laugh sounds. “He was in the bath doing math when he texted me. I mean—what is more Everett than that?” “Better than doing meth,” Rachel points out. This will be the first time we have seen Everett in two years. While Rachel and I started college, Everett started doing drugs. He was in rehab before our second semester started. But the air feels warmer and I show her a wide smile. “What’s the most ridiculous thing he’s ever said to you?” “That I’ll always be his superlative,” she says, and I laugh. “Honestly, I think he used to say things just because they sounded poetic.” “Yeah. He told me once that he wouldn’t die for me, but he’d kill for me. I don’t think even he understood what he meant.”

“I wonder if he’s drinking again.”

We have not been in the same state for over a year. It took me months to learn that he had been arrested, that his mother had tried to kill herself, that their house in the suburbs sits empty. When he leaves, I watch him run that red light and feel guilty. I know I wouldn’t die for him either.


Artificial Elegance

Photographers Will Jones Michelle Miles

Fashion Director Shubham Patel

Guest Art Directors Sophie Fields Corrinne James

Fashion Assistants Serena Holz Brandon Yee

Models Liza Ayr Nigel Collins Maddy Smith

Set Assistant Alex Maxwell






FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBERS Lights up in the theater signal the end of the film. The credits roll, and more often than not, we see a male name under the director’s title. There may be a female leading lady (though maybe not) and the film may pass the Bechdel test, but the undeniable truth of the entertainment industry is that men rule. According to San Diego Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, only 7% of directors of the top 250 films were women. Even more disheartening is that the lack of women in the director’s seat can also be seen in the writer’s room and behind the lens. The New York Film Academy reports that women only make up 11% of Hollywood screenwriters and only 4% of cinematographers are women. However, the most startling statistic is that despite the lack of female involvement in the filmmaking process, half of moviegoers are women and teenage girls. This begs the question: why has Hollywood consistently been creating content that doesn’t appeal to half of their audience? To start, there are more men financing films, more men writing films, and therefore more men


that are trusted to helm big budget films. Female writers and directors are more likely to feature female characters and storylines, but these narratives are often sidelined. The film industry is ultimately shaped by the male perspective of studio executives. The argument that people won’t pay to see a female-led or femaledirected film was undermined by the blockbuster, Wonder Woman (2017). Director Patty Jenkins proved that a woman could take on a big-budget superhero movie such as Wonder Woman and succeed. Wonder Woman was a critical and commercial success, and Jenkins was lauded for her ability to treat a female superhero as a human being rather than a sex object. It can be argued that directors like Kathryn Bigelow paved the way for Jenkins. Bigelow won the Oscar in 2008 for her war film, The Hurt Locker—the only woman ever to win Best Director. Action films were supposedly male territory, but Bigelow proved that a female could direct one perhaps more brilliantly than any man. Bigelow’s win was a rarity

NEED FILMS TOO because women are less likely to get recognized for their work during awards season. Since 1929, the year of the first Oscar’s, only five women have been nominated for the Best Director prize. The most recent woman to be nominated was Greta Gerwig, director of 2018’s stand-out hit, Lady Bird. This lack of recognition for female directors may be because the men on the boards of the big film studios not only distrust women to make big budget films, but they also choose not to back their films during awards season. Awards campaigns are often political, and studios often support big-named directors (often men) for the Best Director’s race. For lower budget films like Lady Bird, finding a female director is only slightly more commonplace. Sofia Coppola’s films, for example, have been lauded for lush cinematography and sharp dialogue. A majority of her films revolve around female subjects, from Marie Antoinette (2006) to The Beguiled (2017). Greta Gerwig takes a similar approach. Her film, Lady Bird (2017), centers on a high school girl growing up in Sacramento, California. Lady Bird’s success further

Bel Banta

demonstrates that there is a female audience out there that is willing to pay to see the female experience— their experience—on screen. Hollywood is only beginning to realize the untapped potential of the female narrative. Wonder Woman has proven that people will pay to see women on screen. Female directors such as Jenkins and Gerwing have demonstrated their adroit handling of the female protagonist. What Hollywood needs is women climbing up the ranks of every position—from production assistants, to producers themselves. From actresses to screenwriters and finally to directors. This is how female stories will finally be told to the millions of women who are desperate to sit in a theater and see woman on (and behind) the screen.

Gold The cost of


Figure skating tends to be their routines, skaters tend at the top of the podium at to convey through fashion every Winter Olympic games, the same feeling they convey dazzling audiences with through movement­—compare gemmed dresses and effortless Maia Shibutani’s hot pink dress movements that keep viewers she chose for her high-energy watching year-after-year. While pairs program to Paradise these costumes seem to fit in by Coldplay to Tessa Virtue’s seamlessly with the graceful maroon dress with zig-zagged event, an immense amount of edges for her ice dancing planning goes into the design. program to the sultry Moulin Expressing a skater’s personal Rouge! Soundtrack. Beyond style, reflecting the the color and style music and mood "There is something of the dress, there of their program, to hold them back are other details to and standing out from total freedom” be decided on, such on the bright, as to wear gloves white ice take up a portion of or not. One that may not be as the planning, but following obvious is the choice to cover the rules and expenses set for one’s skates with their tights. By figure skaters tends to be a doing this, it gives the illusion large burden in this process as of incredibly long legs that can well. Should figure skaters be create a larger than life look, given more freedom to express compared to the classic choice their style and stay within their to showcase the pristine white budgets, or do the traditions of boots. figure skating craft the nature of However, with each choice a the event too much to alter? skater and their team gets Drawing inspiration from


Is the art of figure skating restricted by the culture of its costumes? to make to enhance their art, there is something to hold them back from total freedom. The International Skating Union requires that half of a skater’s skin must be covered. This rule leaves little room for creativity, but designers have been able to give the appearance of tiny amounts of fabric by using thick skintoned mesh on most of the body. Beyond past rulings on what must be covered, there are rules on how they can cover it; men are not allowed to wear tights, but instead traditional pants, and women are only allowed to trade in the traditional skirts for a full length jumpsuit. Traditional gender roles continue to cling to the classic sport, but is it okay for these to stay this way as the world around it moves into the modern? Will we ever see a day where a woman can wear a two piece on the ice, or even two men compete in a pairs program instead of the traditional male-

female duo? More worrisome than the limits on design are the astounding price tags of these costumes. Olympic level costumes generally cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000, and can even be created by high-end designers. With style still holding a place in a skater’s score, this sets up obvious boundaries for lowerincome individuals who want to take up skating. Even if they are willing to ditch the extreme price tags in sacrifice of a few style points, skaters forced to buy cheap suits put their score at an even greater risk since skaters are penalized if any piece of their costume falls off during their routine. The financial commitment and personality restraints put on skaters can be called old-fashioned, if not outright exclusionary, leaving those who cannot or choose not to fit into the picture of the doll-like figure skater far behind the rest.






Kia Wassenaar 2nd Year | English and Studio Art

opposite page clockwise from top left: top: swiggles chaos kid, blue boy, yellow blind, bottom left: cloaked creature coral creature, sunny bottom middle: shelleye bottom right: pink girl

Kia Wassenaar is a Charlottesville native working in drawing, film, and digital art. Many of her drawings revolve around creatures or fictional worlds and are produced both on paper and in photoshop. At UVA, Kia is a second year, majoring in English and Studio Art with a concentration in cinematography.

Liz ZHang 3rd Year | Studio Art Major

“My work arises out of an urgency to celebrate and question moments of ordinary life– people eating, sleeping, interacting, using technology. My process involves replicating or recontextualizing a mundane moment to foreground the larger forces at play–often political or psychological. I am interested in the resulting stereopsis, capturing multiple views of a subject at once. The familiar and unfamiliar exist together on the same plane, in tension and interacting with each other. My intention is to allow space for the viewer to pause and reconsider the familiar and hopefully notice a new tension between the ordinary and the transcendent.”


opposite left: Personal Space opposite right: De Milo above left: Vacation above right: 1021 or Die


top right: Biddies bottom left: Two


Maeve Bradley 3rd Year | American Studies and Studio Art

“My work explores the relationship between humor and sorrow and its connection to identity. It’s particularly focused on college students in this transitional period where the tension between the two is accentuated. I’m interested in the way distortions of the face and body contribute to this sense of uneasiness as both funny and melancholy.”

clockwise from top left: RIP Megabed, Thinker, Two



foreign cinema I wonder if anyone has ever honestly claimed that they wouldn’t like to travel, to see something else of the world, to acquire some of that magical quality that it is to be cultured. Check google flights. Ah, cheapest ticket to Rome is a bit above $700. Connecting flight, too, so it’ll take at least twelve hours to get there. A few days to see the sights— that’s your yearly vacation time gone. Expenses, that’s your savings account gone. Fortunately, there’s an easier way. True, it’s not quite as effective—you only get a distilled essence as opposed to the full aroma of some alien land. But it’s an essence well thought out and finely crafted. It is, of course, foreign cinema. Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty (2013) in an opening title card outlines that “Travelling is useful. It works the imagination.” As if to help prove my point, it goes on to clarify that “Our journey is entirely imaginary.” That is its strength, to help clarify how the film you will be presented with is not a documentation of Rome, but an individual fictionalization of Rome. Jep Gambardella, the lead character, is not as much the focus of the story as he is an exploratory means. As a cultural figure himself, he is singularly suited to explore Rome’s beauty from the artist’s subjective. The Italian Job (1969) offers a similar insight into an entirely different culture, focused as it is on the world of Charlie Croker and an upscale British mob. The accents and dialect are unforgiving, as are character’s acceptance of their surroundings. They are at home in the film. This is what makes them perfect to make you aware of each’s


respective home, foreign to the viewer. The setting is the central element of both these films. The Great Beauty is Rome as perceived by Jep, and by extension as it should be appreciated by others. Jep consistently exits the screen, only for the shot to linger on cityscapes. His apartment garden, where much of the action occurs, overlooks the Colosseum. He spends his hours strolling around admiring the city. He even, facilitates a night tour through Roman palaces, which culminates in one of the film’s most beautiful visual sequences. Only Jep has access to this, such that it transforms the film into a cultural object by taking characters, and with them viewers, through the entirety of the Roman cityscape. Where The Great Beauty lies at the artistic end of the cinematic spectrum, The Italian Job is undoubtedly entertainment. A comedy crime caper about a bunch of British mobsters heisting an Italian gold truck in Turin, the film’s central premise similarly revolves around its European setting. This is clear from the opening shot, a weaving point-of-view from a driver in

Travelling is truly valuable because it shows us just how alike we really are across cultures—it demonstrates how our differences are not necessarily flaws, simply different ways of living.

ANDRE HIRSCHLER the Italian Alps. Much is made of the city in the chase scenes, too, as the cars weave between narrow cobbled pedestrian streets. The bright pastel Mini Coopers contrast with the earthy reds of Italy. When Croker reminds them that, “they drive on the wrong side of the street,” his words are ironically weighted given the overwhelmingly Italian setting, an abandoned palace. This is after all, a film about culture clash. The Italian mob wears all black and fedoras, the British come assorted in a ragtag variety of 60s styles. Even the actors are a cultural force, pitting Noel Coward and Michael Caine against Raf Vallone.

The Italian Job is overpoweringly American, heading a collection of models who each greet Croker in a different accent and language. Even upon being picked up from prison, the car Croker finds himself in is the “Pakistani attaché’s,” said as he wears a wool Pakistani cap and waves its flag. The Great Beauty opens with a Japanese tourist literally dying at the sight of Rome. In this way, both of the films don’t inhabit a world constrained by the necessity of the plot. They remain open to the interconnectedness of culture which one is often surprised to find when travelling.

The effect is a greater cultural exposure than most mainstream, local cinema. This is true of most foreign cinema, often necessarily rooted within its setting as opposed to Hollywood’s more outlandish plot dedication. The bird calls of Rome mingle with the voices of foreign tourists in The Great Beauty. Croker’s girlfriend in

Travelling is valuable not just for the foreign sights and sounds. Travelling is truly valuable because it shows us just how alike we really are across cultures—it demonstrates how our differences are not necessarily flaws, simply different ways of living. These films offer valuable glimpses into those lives so different from ours. We might learn something from them. Or at the very least, enjoy the wonderful views.










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