Art exhibitions move into Sills Hall
Over and over again I have been told not to pop bubble wrap. I have also been told not to touch art in the museum. I think I may finally be able to kill two birds with one stone.
"The Bowdoin Disconnection" is an interactive art installation which does not adhere to the usual rules. One of the installatations, entitled "bubble.edu," allows the viewer to pop bubble wrap while musing about abstract notions like the Bowdoin bubble. This is just one example of the many creative projects that the students of French 328 are currently getting ready for the show.
Consisting of nine installations, "The Bowdoin Disconnection" will take over the second floor of Sills, next Tuesday. Two students worked on each installation. Most of the artwork will be displayed inside classrooms on the second floor of Sills although some will hang on the stairways as well.
The idea behind the show is the everyday experience. Specifically, students examined the everyday experience here at Bowdoin.
Projects range from female activism on campus to a look at what goes on in the dining hall behind the scenes.
Lilly Keller '03 and Courtney Gribbon '03 designed a project based on maps of Bowdoin. Their installation compares the traditional map of Bowdoin to a map that might be drawn by a senior after living on campus for four years. "They'll probably show secret passageways," said Jill Bouyea '03, who is also a member of the class.
Bouyea's project addresses similar themes. Specifically, she addresses the issue of conformity on campus and the pressure for students to act one way during the week and a different way during the weekend.
In a project entitled "Bowdoin Women in Sport: a Vision of Today and Yesterday. Can they balance a profession? Is motherhood a profession" Leah Bressack '04 and Gillian McDonald '04 compared interviews of current students with students who graduated in 1986.
Bressack's and McDonald's focus was on how female students, particularly athletes, coneptualized their future. They wanted to know if playing sports had anything to do with how they planned for their careers and planned to raise their families.
Looking at fraternity life at Bowdoin, Louis Plough '03 and Bitzi Gerasimova '05, designed a project focusing on the differences between public space and private space. Their art revolves around a look at the house system and how it has changed residential life in ways beyond just drinking.
"Working on this project has been very rewarding," said Plough. "I haven't done much visual art on campus before so I've definitely enjoyed the opportunity."
Professor Alexandre Dauge-Roth who instructs French 328, is certain that all students, regardless of their knowledge of French, will enjoy the exhibit. "The show is really about the theories of the everyday," he said. "We wanted to use Bowdoin as the site of investigation and focus on Bowdoin's everyday life."
For much of the semester, the students of French 328 have been reading anthropology, sociology, and philosophy-all in French mind you-that addresses issues related to the everyday experience.
In addition, they studied some contemporary artists. Focusing on performance art and interactive installations, they watched documentaries and looked at pictures done by a variety of artists. Sophie Calle, a contemporary French artist, is one example of someone the class studied. Her work, such as an installation entitled "Ritual Birthday," examines abstract concepts such as giving gifts, social status, and taste, all through the lens of everyday experiences like birthdays.
Because few of the installations are written in French, this exhibit can appeal to any Bowdoin student. Its installations aim to provide provocative angles with which to investigate issues on campus.