Connecting Ends

Press Release

Connecting Ends
October 18-November 16, 2013
Reception: Wednesday, October 23, 6:00-8:00pm

School of Visual Arts presents Connecting Ends, an exhibition of thesis work from 2013 alumni of the MPS Digital Photography Department. Curated by NYC gallerist and educator Michael Foley, Connecting Ends is on view October 18 through November 16 at the SVA Gramercy Gallery (formerly the SVA Gallery), 209 East 23rd Street, New York City. Admission is free and open to the public.

As MPS Digital Photography Chair Katrin Eismann explains, Connecting Ends highlights the development and growth of a diverse group of students who have created deeply personal work that addresses fears, insecurities, relationships, mourning and personal turmoil; explores the surface and sub-surface of the NY subway system, neighborhoods and nightlife; envisions humanity’s impact on the environment; captures the changes in China and the satisfaction of being a fisherman in Trinidad-Tobago; and addresses how we perceive and represent ourselves through editorial and fashion photography, fine-art compositing and surreal and intimate medical images. It is a brave thesis show that was born out of personal unrest while honoring our common vulnerability and mortality.”

Connecting Ends features the work of 20 students from around the globe, some of whom were enrolled in the innovative low-residency MPS Digital Photography Online/Summer Residency program and others who studied in the New York City campus-based program. Both groups of students participated in an intensive on-campus summer session to produce the work on view in the exhibition, and they collaborated to design the accompanying exhibition catalog and promotional materials.

In Pale City, Joong Yeol Ahn explores his thoughts and emotions regarding the current crisis and looming military threat from North Korea. Ahn uses found imagery to integrate violence and militarism into scenes everyday life. Bina Altera’s work, Immemorial, is a series of images of objects representing legacy, death, personal relationships or power symbols, or which act as footprints or markers in people’s lives. Cana Atay portrays fictional stories based on conscious and unconscious memories in Disquieting Muses. They tell the journey of a conflicted woman seeking to find and overcome certain moments of her past that haunt her. In Fruits of Nature, Dila Atay uses elaborate miniature still lives to address the imaginary line of fear and wonder as humankind interacts with wildlife. This work questions how much damage humankind is causing to the planet and what we can do to right our wrongs. Shelly Au’s Two Beautiful Daughters is a series of images depicting how China’s rapid growth has ushered in the destruction of history and communities. Au finds hope and courage through the chaos and brokenness of demolition.

Yannick Bindert presents Wild Encounters in the Remnants of the City, which combines the tragic beauty of abandoned structures with the symbolic hope of renewed life found in the presence of wildlife. It is an eyewitness account of the last man on Earth, for whom these encounters have taken new meanings of beauty, companionship and survival. Anna Colliton’s Thursday on the Island is a visual representation of a mystery story that explores the themes of loss, isolation and confusion as well as searching and finding. In Danseuse de Adagio, Paige Denkin uses all in-camera technique to show the inner strength and power found, but often overlooked, within ballet dancers. Focusing on female pointe dancers and the wide range of motion that propels them, she hopes to reveal the truth behind these athletes and show them in a way they're rarely seen, emphasizing the fluidity of their movements with the raw strength of their bodies. Masha Ermak’s The Strangers tells a story in which creatures of incompleteness and self-distortion struggle to find balance in everyday life. Stephanie Guttenplan presents a visual representation of an ongoing internal dialogue in Mind Chatter, a collection of self-portraits which deal with her own fantasized and theatrical private thoughts.

Lavonne Hall’s Correlations is a photographic project that explores the connection New York City residents feel to specific locations within the City. Two elements of each image—the subject and the location—form a complex image of layers and reflections. In Throughput, Elizabeth Harnarine examines the strange experience of living with Crohn's Disease and the discovery that, despite the overwhelming amount of information and technology available, there are very few options for controlling its impact on daily life. Diana Kahrim was born and raised in a fishing village in the Caribbean. The stories her father told her up have shaped her life, defined her values and inspired her ambitions. In A Fisherman’s Journey, Kahrim returned to the village of her birth to photograph its residents and explore a way of life that so intimately influenced her. Alice Kivlon’s illustrations are seeded from her dreams. Each element in Dreamscapes, recognizable or not, is fraught with meaning; the relationships within the pieces recreate the intensity of a dream. Ruo Bing Li’s Flora Meets Fashion uses the stylistic conventions of fashion and beauty photography to explore the relationship between the human and natural worlds. Some of the images have a fresh, pastel quality, while others are dark and moody. This project creates a sense of blooming beauty, suggesting that beauty exists in all realms of life.

In Underworld, Clay Patrick McBride investigates the New York City subway system and its passengers. He portrays the subway in a separate and almost subconscious realm, where the basest of human fears of applies. Heather Meyers’ Beauty Blueprints is an exploration of the effects of societal ideals of beauty and self-image through beauty retouching. After her father’s death, Imara Moore found herself comforted by trees, which appeared to her as representations of a dialog between reality and spirituality. Revelation through Trees is a collection of photographs taken during this time. Vicente Muñoz presents Euphoria, which seeks to understand Electronic Dance Music (EDM), DJs, and raves as a means of social interaction, pleasure and escape from reality. In Sub-Conscious-Way, Randhy Rodriguez explores the effects of imposed architectural spaces on the subconscious mind and how the uninviting, confusing and labyrinthine design of subway stations can be beautiful and inspiring when seen with an inquisitive eye.

The MPS in Digital Photography is a concentrated course of studies in commercial, editorial, fashion and fine art digital photography that addresses the entire digital imaging workflow, from image capture and enhancement to creating high-quality large format prints and secure archiving strategies. Under the guidance of leading photographers, retouchers, designers and studio managers, students master the latest tools and techniques to create technically perfect and aesthetically compelling images. Mirroring the residential program in curriculum and faculty, the MPS in Digital Photography Online/Summer-Residency combines rigorous and interactive web-based education with a summer residency in New York City.

The SVA Gramercy Gallery (formerly the SVA Gallery), located at 209 East 23rd Street between Second and Third avenues, is open 9:00am to 7:00pm, Monday through Friday, and 10:00am to 6:00pm on Saturday. Admission is free. The gallery is accessible by wheelchair. For further information call 212.592.2145.

School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers, and creative professionals for more than six decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, dynamic curriculum, and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprised of more than 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and 35,000 alumni in 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College’s 32 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, visit