Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present Doublespeak, a selection of over fifty new works by Yale University’s 2017 MFA Photography graduates. The exhibition features work by Farah Al Qasimi, Bek Andersen, Lance Brewer, Harry Griffin, Matthew Leifheit, Walker Olesen, Res, Anna Shimshak, Danna Singer, and Chau Tran, who explore moments between fact and fiction, evidence and artifice, through the medium of photography. Operating within a unique two-year span of unprecedented American politics and media coverage, the artists contend with a new age of documentary anxiety in which truth, consequence, and reality bend under the weight of perceived emotional authenticity. As the title suggests, Doublespeak engages with the distortion of meaning, and within this context the photograph serves as a historical vehicle for ambiguous intention and visual manipulation. Collectively, the works on view offer an intimate perspective on our current political and social landscape.
Each artist in Doublespeak mines the photograph as a tool for both chronicling and constructing reality. In a conversation moderated by Yale Professor Rick Moody for the catalog accompanying the exhibition, the students discuss questions that have lingered since photography’s inception, such as “the nature of documentary versus art, what the camera is best suited to do, and who should be allowed to depict what.” For their thesis presentations, the students meticulously challenge the photographic medium through metaphor and subjectivity. In doing so, they have created bodies of work both contingent upon the uncertain world in which they live and beholden to the rich history of photography.
Yale’s Master of Fine Arts in Photography program is dedicated to an evolving investigation of photography as a lens-based medium responsive to a range of expressive modes. Within this prestigious program, students develop their practices both on their own and in groups alongside a diverse faculty and group of visiting artists and academics, including Gregory Crewdson, John Pilson, Rick Moody, A.L. Steiner, Roni Horn, Charlotte Cotton, Latoya Ruby Frazier, Paul Graham, Collier Schorr, Deana Lawson, James Welling, Marilyn Minter, Shannon Ebner, Stan Douglas and Richard Prince.
This exhibition will travel to three venues, including Danziger Gallery, New York and Casemore Kirkeby, San Francisco. A limited-edition catalogue of the exhibition will be available, featuring a conversation between American novelist Rick Moody and the 2017 Yale University MFA Photography Program graduates.