School of Art, Media, and Technology

Gender Studies Student Show, UC Lobby 12/8-12/18

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The Gender Studies program at The New School presents an exhibit of student works dealing with topics related to gender in the lobby of the University Center. The exhibition features thought-provoking works from students studying in the School of Art, Media and Technology, including:

  • Taylor Childers (BFA Communication Design) – interactive poster project, Scarlet Sticker: The Bad Feminist Project
  • Mary Ethel Rockcastle (BFA Illustration) – New Heroines series
  • Alexis Ruiseco (BFA Photography) – photographic drag series, Reinas
  • Lizzi Shin (BFA Illustration) – untitled prints
  • Enrica Beccalli and Elia Villa – (both MFA Design and Technology) – documentary video, Wonder About Project: A Crowd-based Documentary About the Perception of Gender Related Issues.
  • Hye Ryung Na (BFA  Fine Arts) – oil paintings on sexual trauma

Find out more about the artists below!

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Scarlet Sticker: The Bad Feminist Project
Taylor Childers 

I am a bad feminist.

I feel more confident when I wear heels and put on mascara.
I listen to rap music that sexually objectifies women.
I let my boyfriend carry my bag when he offers.
I feel cleaner when my legs and underarms are shaved.
I’ve faked an orgasm.
I often apologize for things that are not my fault.

I by no means fit the criteria for a perfect Feminist. I don’t follow all of the rules of the matriarchy. Sometimes I tell myself this is okay. Other times I feel ashamed. The question is–does anybody fit the mold of a perfect Feminist? Is it attainable?

In Bad Feminist Essays, Roxane Gay tells us flawed feminism is okay–just as long as we talk about those flaws. In the essays Gay boldly states, “I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.” This inspired me to create Scarlet Sticker: The Bad Feminist Project. Viewers can claim their bad feminism as well by writing their name on one of the scarlet stickers found in the letterforms of “bad feminist” and peeling it off to wear.

New Heroines 
Mary Ethel Rockcastle

My work most often circulates themes or gender, sexuality and girlhood, all of which are present in the New Heroines series featured in the UC Wall show. The complete series is 11 illustrations bound together in a book along with excerpts from scholarly texts, poetry, and my own writing. The series focuses on the power dynamic of fetishism and exploitation of women in erotic stances. The book New Heroines is available on my Etsy (mybreastfriend.etsy.com) if anyone is interested in owning a copy.

Reinas
Alexis Ruiseco

Alexis Ruiseco is a photographer, born in Cuba, based in Brooklyn, New York.
Pretty will be the photograph I leave.
Twitter: letalexis / Website: alexisruiseco.com

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Wonder About Project: A Crowd-based Documentary About the Perception of Gender Related Issues
Enrica Beccalli and Elia Villa

Shot in New York, “Wonder About” aims to explore a designer’s role in overcoming the gender gap. It revolves around this single simple question: “what would your life be like if you were a woman?” and explores how the design process can be a form of social activism and how the design process can bring awareness of the gender gap problem to the user.

The process of creating this documentary engages the participants and asks them to project themselves onto another in hopes of guiding them towards empathy and understanding. Using a maieutics method, a method of teaching by question and answer used by Socrates to elicit truths from his students, the Wonder About project is a “vox populi” documentary and a 24/7 h non-linear documentary website about the perception of gender roles, gender identity and stereotypes in which the spectator can access different (and multifaceted) perspectives about the problem through the personal experience of the participants.

Read about the full documentary project on their website, wonderabout.altervista.org

Untitled Prints
Lizzi Shin 

My work in this exhibition, as well as a lot of my other works, deals with the never-ending but inevitable questioning of identity in multiple contexts. Through my work, I wanted to show an individual’s constant search and discovery of self through gender (and/or sexuality), culture, tradition, and life experiences in general. Most importantly, I wanted to visually portray a sense of isolation and hopelessness we feel at times, especially when we feel as though we are different in some way.

Hye Ryung Na

About us I, 2014
Acrylic spray on canvas
20 x 40”

About us II, 2014
Oil on canvas
20 x 40”

What if, 2014
Oil on canvas
32 x 32”

Many people have their own traumatic or tragic memories that they do not want to remember, relive, or express out loud. Some try to hide these sorts of experiences, and some try to move on from them, thus the duality between exterior appearance and interior trauma. Na wants to challenge the assumptions about beauty in her painting–that the viewer should not accept beauty at face value, but rather ask where it is coming from and what it is concealing.

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