Parsons BFA Photography Exhib – Truth Perception and the Image

There’s a show by the current Parsons BFA Photo (they don’t say photography, much, they say photo) students, who, as an exhibiting body, call themselves Photofeast, in the foyer of the Spiffy Building just now;

‘Truth, Perception and the Image’


Olivia, Gunner Strietzel.


Chroma Composition, Ryan Duffin.


Caraiva, BA, Brasil, Martim Passos.


The Emperor Arrives, Qiren Hu.


Couldn’t have explained it better, myself.


We Are Happily Undercommitted, Alex Kwok.


Inner Demon, Elizabeth Harnarine.




Parts Identity, Nicholai Kellman. My pick. It’s mostly the composition…


This Is My Goodbye, Cassidy Paul.


I’LL HAVE THE SOUP WITH NO PARSLEY (in caps!) Pheobe Weinstein.


Memories of Unrememberable Past, Masahito Ono.

The introductory blurb for the exhibition proposes a questioning of the historical link between photography and truth. When photography was invented in seemed to be able to capture what really was. Except it also captured what really wasn’t. And made up stories, and manipulated them by recording some things, and not recording others. It helps us grapple with these complications, by making them even more complicated, is my summary of their words.


Untitled, Vita Brown.



Missed Connections, Ashley Middleton.


Floating Journey, Zeta Gao.




Estelle Druskovich is a current BFA Photo, and came to my place last weekend to take some ‘Environmental Portraits’, for her work. She had really cool cameras, and took about 60,000 pics.


Parsons are very good at getting the works up and on the walls. The Fine Arts building has stuff and stuff and stuff on the walls, of course, but so do all the others. The Architecture building (School of Constructed Environments, it’s called) which is such a beautiful space, has groovy architecture-type stuff up, and even the music school, which is aesthetically hideous (poor musicians – it’s full of long thin passageways and tiny closed sound-proof rooms – no pics) has walls full of info, photos of performances, schedules of rehearsals, invitations to events, and monitors showing previous events…

And the faculty seem to take a lot of notice of what’s gone up, and who has done what, and what they might do next. It’s freakily personal. I had to quickly create an on-line internal student webpage when I arrived, which all Parsons students need to maintain, and is a live copy of what you’ve done, why you did it, and what you might do from it. It needs descriptions and should contain all the papers I have submitted since I’ve been here too. It takes a lot of keeping up to date, and would be easy to let slide except that this morning for example, as I stood looking at this exhib above, a faculty member started chatting to me about a work I’ve just added to my page. We introduced ourselves, she repeated my name because I didn’t say it the way she had read it, and she went on to ask about another work I made at RMIT, that appears on my page, and which she proposed was related to the more recent one in particular way that I might not have realised. I don’t remember her name, because I’m never very good at that,  but she remembered mine, recognized me from a photo, I guess, and knew the works that I had put up on my page. FREAKY.


Student works in glass cases. 2 West 13th Street, Level 10.


Parsons architecture students hang out in this huge open continuous work space. There are windows at each end of the room, which is the same shape as the building, that is; very very long and very very narrow. Note to self, work on adverbs.


These pics are from 8am in the morning. The building opens at 7:30am and closes at 2am.






Their notice board


This is the Fine Art Building, where I spend a lot of time;




I’m 4-137.

I’m delighted to have a locker (a studio would be even better, but, ah…)

Note there is no lock, on my locker, so it’s use is limited. The School Of Art office (who, amongst other similar tasks, issue lockers and keep a list of their issues…) is staffed by students, perhaps International ones, like me, but on a slightly different visa, so that, unlike me who is categorically not allowed to work, they are, but only on-campus. There are lots of on-campus jobs, doing things like running the School Of Art office, or working in the library, or the print services rooms. It appears that part of the training for these jobs includes instructions on how to ensure your job continues, but not ever doing it. Parsons faculty are diligent and devoted and divine, Parsons student staff are something other than that. I’ve visited the office many times, but its hours aren’t on the door, and the door is mostly locked. Sometimes it’s open, and I talk to a student staff member, who laments (with body language – drooping shoulders, and facial expressions – scrunched up nose) the difficulty they are having with the locks at the moment; one of the other student staff members was going to ring someone about that (points to phone, nothing), but hasn’t left a message about whether they did or not (arms and hands outstretched – it’s nowhere!), might I come back another day (head tilted slightly to side), not this week because they’re all busy with something else (flurry of hands in the air, suggesting a tornado), but next week, maybe (pause, flip pages in desk diary, which looks remarkably and embarrassingly empty, so is closed abruptly) Tuesday afternoon? Or even Thursday (pause) but not until 4, anytime after 4.






And a little exhibition in it’s gallery just now.








My essay hasn’t gone anywhere in the last few days. I came to Uni early this morning to write it, and, ah, did this, instead.

2 thoughts on “Parsons BFA Photography Exhib – Truth Perception and the Image

  1. Well I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, so you made the right choice. Love your conversation with the student staff. I lolled! Glad they’re so incompetent since it facilitated such an entertaining bit of dialogue. Also liked the pics of the architecture studio since it reminded me of my old days in Canberra. That studio was open 24 hours and we used every single one of them. My faculty in Adelaide didn’t have a studio. We had to do our projects at home. No way to learn architecture let me tell you.

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