The XIIIs Spend a Day at Photoville

October 5, 2018

On Thursday, September 20th, the XIIIs ventured out to the renowned Photoville, an elaborate art exhibit held annually. This year it lasted from the 12th to the 23rd. The art was displayed in large shipping containers, next to the Hudson River in Dumbo, Brooklyn, a very diverse and artsy neighborhood. All of the art that they saw was different from the last; the one similarity was that they were almost all tied to politics. One would be about women’s rights in India, the next about what goes into the produce we eat everyday. 

The work being displayed was quite profound. For example, one of the exhibits explored how views of masculinity have changed. Men were shown wearing vibrant colors, such as pink, purple and green, to represent how stereotypes have shifted from girls liking pink to it being a unisex color. One image of a man crying showed that men shouldn’t have to be completely unemotional in order to be men. 

Moving back to the political projects, there was a crate that contained Mexicans on the border between Mexico and America. The interesting thing about it was that it wasn’t so much a protest, as it was a party. It was as if hundreds of Mexicans had gathered for a celebration. There were vibrant flowers painted over the walls and people dancing; kids dancing. It brought a joyful feeling to me, but also one of disgust.  I wondered how our president would try to keep all these people out. “It was very touching to see the conflict of Mexican immigration all captured in one room,” said Declan.

The exhibit that got to me the most and likely to most of us was the set of photographs on sites of mass shootings, commemorating every major one in the last 20 years (except for the one at Parkland). 

“The picture [of Columbine]  looked like a normal highschool at first glance, but knowing the history made it seem almost haunted,” said Roly. It brought me back to when I heard the shocking news on the 2nd of October, the NPR news anchor’s voice echoing in my head, that 58 innocent people were killed in the matter of minutes in Las Vegas.  With that memory, brought a sudden interest back into the worst mass shooting in the United States history.

“The whole trip was a great experience. It was extremely educational and it opened my eyes to all that is going on in our world. Many of the photographs had a message that made the viewer think,” said Nathalie Robayo, XIII. 

“I loved the wall of photos by the photographer Ziomara Ramirez taken at night in Los Angeles, sites of drive by shootings. They were eerie and evocative and even beautiful,” said Ann Roberts, Group teacher for the XIIIs. 

“I also was amazed by the exhibit called, ‘Nowhere Left But Here.’ It was very fun and interesting to see all of the photos because they all had different themes,” said Mia Rutkovsky. 

Personally, I think the whole Photoville experience was very moving, and I appreciated how on the trip we had time to digest everything these photos represented. A beautiful pop-up art collaboration indeed.



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