School of Art, Media, and Technology

In An Echo: Cecilia Mezulic (MFA Photo ’16)

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Cecilia Mezulic (b. Italy, 1986) is a visual artist working in photography, video and installation. She earned a BSC in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Padova. Before moving to New York, Mezulic studied photography at the Academia de Artes Visuales in Mexico City. Her work deals with the structure of signs and the creation of meaning through representation. Inspired by contemporary culture and the Internet as a form of communication, she designs a set of rules to recombine simple everyday objects and how-to instructions with elements of chance and absurdity. Her work has been exhibited in Auckland Festival of Photography, New Zealand; Pingyao International Photography Festival, China; Tyler School of Art Temple University, PA and Photoville, NY.

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What is the concept behind your thesis?

CM: The thesis is basically about me making dysfunctional tutorials and dysfunctional objects. I’m borrowing the aesthetic of instructions but emptying it out of its content and generating things out of a different process which is in opposition of the whole concept of instructions. So basically I empty them of their content. I still borrow the aesthetic but with introducing elements of randomness and absurdness so it’s kind of like this paradox.

I kind of already was working on a series of photos. But then I was at Home Depot and bought a backboard and the guy at the exit of Home Depot he started doing all of this complicated turning of the boards and all of these knots and I was just like “Woah, that’s a skill”. I went to my studio and I took the whole rope that he built apart and photographed each set. I would unknot a part and then just get on a ladder and photograph it. I’m not showing that because it’s just kind of like a sketch.

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How did you pick those materials?

CM: Because they were materials that I had around me that were really simple, like a straightforward use. Scissors cut. Tape tapes. They’re not objects that can be multi-use. These are objects that are meant to be used in a specific way. And so for me, it was a way to access them and sort of use them for my purposes.

 
I was taking apart LCD screens in my studio during the fall and I started watching a whole bunch of tutorials to be able to take apart the LCD screens without ruining the components because I wanted to eventually put them back together again, or that’s what I thought. I started seeing these really strange tutorials online. Well not strange, but at first It was just people taking apart LCD screens, but then as you scrolled through the Youtube suggestions, I started seeing people make all kinds of stuff out of the same tools. I actually started to understand how the tool doesn’t mean anything but it’s more like how a user uses it and to what purpose. So I started thinking about how we build meaning and the process of it.

 

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By Terricka Johnson

We are featuring work by exhibiting Parsons MFA Photography students leading up to our Thesis Exhibition show IN AN ECHO, which will be on view in the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries at 66 Fifth Avenue, fromAugust 8 – September 7, 2016. The Opening Reception is August 24, 7PM. Follow our posts on Parsons MFA Photo’s Facebook and Instagram.
The exhibition features thesis work by: Elizabeth Harnarine, Fernanda Kock, Alex Kwok, Kyle Meyer, Cecilia Mezulic, Varvara Mikushkina, CHR!S REEL, Zhongjia Sun, and Mengya Xiao.
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