“Eternal Coexistence and the Commemoration of Death,” a multimedia exhibit of an Honors project by Kristine Vann ’18, will open on Friday, Nov. 17 with a reception in the Solarium Gallery at Houghton House from 6 to 8 p.m.
Vann explains in her artist’s statement that “the expression of grief, the final arrangements for the deceased person’s body, and the honoring of death is culturally bound as much as it is personal…To cope with subsequent grief, we preserve specific, palpable memories and objects attached to what was once corporeal.”
Exploring these ideas, the exhibit features an experimental film Vann created from 16mm found footage, as well as a photographic booklet, larger works made with found photographs, and a singular 3-D piece.
Vann began working on her honors during the spring 2017 semester and continued through the summer in collaboration with her faculty adviser Assistant Professor of Art and Architecture Alysia Kaplan. Her work was inspired by French medievalist and historian Philippe Ariès’s book Western Attitudes Toward Death from the Middle Ages to the Present.
“I felt his most imperative interpretations were those that highlighted older attitudes toward death subsisting alongside the new, and the ways in which certain outlooks from the past are still reflected in the context of contemporary society,” says Vann, a studio art, and media and society major, with respective concentrations in photography and critical method and mass media theory.
The exhibit will be open from Friday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Dec. 15.
Vann has been a student-photographer for the HWS Office of Communications since her first year. She also served as a teaching assistant in the Art and Architecture Department and a research assistant for Emeritus Professor of Media and Society Les Friedman.