Spring is here, and once again, it is time to begin our farewell to seniors. After four years at Tisch, a photography student leaves with a portfolio of outstanding works. What better place to share these works than, say, the lobby of Tisch itself? This is what the Department of Photography and Imaging has done.
In a new installation that you may have already noticed on your way to The Hungry Ghost for your third espresso of the day, the works of the graduating BFA class are displayed across the walls. These photographs span a variety of subjects, from abstract artistic displays to meditations on life. They are worth a moment of your time despite how busy you may be.
I was lucky enough to be able to hear directly from some of the photographers about their work, which I will share with you now.
For more information on Show Two 2016 and the rest of the graduating photographers, click here!
The Cathedral – Sam Bearzi
Having grown up in the Cascade Mountains of Central Oregon, Bearzi has been significantly impacted by the Northwestern scenery. That’s why, when it came time to start working on his senior thesis, he knew from the beginning that if it was going to be something he was passionate about, it would involve mountains and nature.
The Cathedral is Bearzi’s way to use his experiences “backpacking, hiking, and exploring through forest and wilderness” to remind viewers of their own experiences in nature. “I believe nature that being in nature and experiencing it is a very intimate and personal experience,” Bearzi explains, “the goal of my thesis is not to have the viewer feel like they are experiencing nature but as a tool for them to help remember their own immersion and time spent in nature.”
Bearzi hopes his work will motivate people to get out of New York City and into the wilderness where they can experience the “true healing and revitalizing power of nature” for themselves. Following graduation, Bearzi plans on going backpacking and exploring across the northwest, from the continental US and possibly all the way to Alaska. We can only hope he brings his camera along with him, so we can continue to live vicariously through his photographs.
To see more of Sam Bearzi’s work, head to sambearziphotography.com
Much like many other NYU students, Berezansky came to New York City from a small town. Over the years, as she returned home on breaks and holidays, she began to notice how rapidly her hometown was changing. Just as we grow and change in college, the world around us mimicks our growth in subtle ways.
Berezansky captures this shared experience in her photographs of her hometown. Coming from a small town myself, I found that Berezansky’s photographs capture the humble simplicity of the community beautifully. Although growing up within the same township can feel restricting, it can simultaneously leave you jaded to the beauty that surrounds you.
After graduation, Berezansky hopes to remain in the city to work so she can continue to be surrounded and participate in the creation of art that New York City is known for.
To see more of Elisabeth Berezansky’s work, head to elisabere.tumblr.com
Inverse Topographics – Joann Lee
The striking photographs that make up Lee’s Inverse Topographics catch your eye from across the room. Brilliant colors and intense contrast cause a stark divergence from the more traditional photography found around her work. Upon first glance, you may be unsure what you are seeing, but further inspection reveals surreal landscapes that look like they are straight out of a dream.
Lee was inspired by 19th century landscape photography and how these early photographs were some of the first experiences people living on the East Coast had with the Western Frontier. “I was interested in the use of this technology by 19th century photographers and compared it to the technologies that are available today for contemporary armchair travel,” she explains. She compares the voyeurism obtained from early photography to modern technologies like Google Earth that allow us to travel the world without leaving the comfort of our homes.
Lee currently works at a media studio that experiments with 3D technology and at the International Center of Photography, teaching teenagers how to print in the darkroom. Despite feeling as though she is “surrounded by a bombardment of colloquial images everyday,” she still manages to find inspiration by investigating questions of authenticity, authority, and the function of photography.
To see more of Joann Lee’s work, head to joann-lee.com
家, ホーム, Home – Julien Tell
Tell’s project was inspired by his mother who grew up in a small town in the Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan called Nakanoto. Her family was very traditional, and her parents were planning an arranged marriage for her. Tell’s mother eventually left her family and life behind in Japan to move to the United States to create an independent life for herself. Since then, she has settled in Oakland, California.
Initially, when Tell began his project, he intended to compare his mother’s daily life in a bustling city like Oakland to the countryside of Japan where she grew up. Tell originally assumed that his mother prefered life in Japan, where she could speak her native tongue and be amongst family and friends again. Over the course of the project, however, Tell came to realize that his mother lives her life in an existential state of limbo, belonging neither here nor there.
Tell describes his project as an exploration of his mother’s “position of being an outsider in her journey of navigating the nuances between the countryside of Japan and Oakland, California.” The title of the project, Home, leads the audience to contemplate what defines a home. If Tell’s mother lives her life adrift between two worlds, how does she define “home?” The ambiguity of “home” is the driving force of this project, allowing us to mitigate the contrast between these two worlds.
To see more of Julien Tell’s work, head to julientell.tumblr.com