Today a Reader
Yale School of Art
Graphic Design MFA Thesis Show
Gallery open May 11–20
Public Reading May 18
1156 Chapel St
New Haven, CT
The verb “to read” has manifold meanings in everyday life. It is the understanding of letters or symbols by sight or touch–as in, to read a newspaper–or the perception of information spoken out loud–do you read me? To read is to learn from what one has seen or found in writing, to become acquainted with, to discover, to discern. In an academic sense, to read is to study. As artists and designers, reading is twofold: not only does a reader read, i.e. understand, interpret, or inspect the work; the work itself reads–it gives an impression, or transfers a feeling.
To read is also to speak, to recite, to perform. And on May 18, 2019 the seventeen graduating graphic designers read aloud in public. These ‘readings’ took many forms: Rosa described the art of reading, Zack skimmed his surfaces, Severin played back his memories, Emma unfolded her book, Liyan reenacted her films, Evan worked in shadows, Soomin spoke from a distance, Hua delivered a TED Talk, Hyung told a story about Buster Keaton, Simone turned the screen ON, Willis compiled a text, Kai narrated his film, Micah let his computer do the talking, David hawked his books, Dhoyee hid in the audience, and Haeok read from under her hood. On that day, reading implied whatever activity most authentically expresses each artists’ practice, performed in real time, for the enjoyment of others. Everything started at 3pm, followed by drinks at 6!
During open hours between May 11 and 21, the gallery offered a space to read the work of the class. The seventeen thesis books and selected other projects were displayed on chairs throughout the gallery–the same chairs were arranged for seating at the event on May 18. As a display structure, the chairs stood-in for the expected audience of around 200 people. Unlike pedestals or vitrines, the chairs were to be interacted with, to be used by visitors to the gallery. They invited the viewer to pick up the work, sit down, and read.
Micah Barrett , Severin Bunse, Evan Chang, Hyungseuk Cho, DhoYee Chung, Simone Cutri, Emma Gregoline, Willis Kingery, David Knowles, Zhongkai Li, Rosa McElheny, Zack Robbins, Haeok Shin, Soomin Shon, Hua Shu, Liyan Zhao, Tania Alvarez Zaldivar
P.S. Thank you to Yeju Choi, Alex Adams, Edgar Serrano, Ryan Cyr, Jaime Kriksciun, Patsy Mastrangelo, Liam Bellman-Sharpe, Matthias Neckermann, Lindsey Mancini, Sarah Stevens-Morling, Brian Schmidt, Kris Mandelbaum, the Center for Collaborative Arts and Media, Stepsaver, Sanctuary Kitchen, and to Sheila Levrant de Bretteville. Photos by Sara Abbaspour and Alex Griswold.