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Art-official Education is Free

Alexandra Larson, Contributing Writer

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The Body as a Battleground, a new art exhibit by Nona Faustine and Joiri Minaya opened on Jan 30. at the Ben Shahn gallery.

This free exhibit is an on-campus enrichment opportunity for all students. It explores the intersectionality of race, female identity, humanity and history in a visually stimulating display. All students can find connections to the themes within these pieces.

Faustine’s series of photographs titled “White Shoes” embodies strength, independence, and memorial. This series, intentionally shot at historically significant landmarks related to the slave trade, shows Faustine herself in nothing but white high heeled shoes. This represents the exposure women experienced at these exact locations. Her work is topical, as February is Black History Month.

The second artist featured in this display, Minaya, showcases her 2016 #dominicanwomengooglesearch at the center of the Court Gallery. This tropically colored display energizes the viewer on the surface, but houses a politically charged message at it’s core. Minaya challenges beauty standards of Dominican women presented by the media by carving out the outlines of her google search findings on paper. She then suspended them in the open air accompanied by wild prints.

These disconnected, floating images give the display an unearthly feeling. This could be interpreted as the lack of reality experienced on the internet, especially with the images and representations of physical bodies. In an age where students are heavily exposed to image-based advertising and posts, this display brings a refreshing breeze of 3D images. The images are frozen in time, waiting to be viewed in reality, not through a phone screen.

The Body as Battleground is an absolutely inspiring piece. In the midst of our country’s political division, Nona Faustine and Joiri Minaya were able to beautifully express this clash using the human body,” said Nadia Starbinski, a media studies minor. “The photographs were brilliant and overall well-put-together. I look forward to seeing more of their thought-provoking and controversial work.”

A gallery opening reception will take place Sunday, February 12 from 2-4p.m, free and open to the public. An artist talk is scheduled with Faustine Thursday, February, 16 at 2 p.m. Minaya will give an hour long artist talk Thursday, March 9 beginning at 3:30 p.m. This exhibit runs from January 30-March 17.

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William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper
Art-official Education is Free