Visitors could an early viewing of some of the pieces from the exhibit by viewing our photo gallery. To see the entire show, visit the MAC/PACE. The Physical Show was on display February 8 through March 5, 2021.
About the Fellowship
The Efroymson Bridge Year Fellowship is a competitive award program awarded to one graduating senior or recent alum from the Art and Design Department annually. The goal of the Efroymson Bridge Year Fellowship is to fund a post-undergraduate year, allowing the recipient to focus on their studio practice to expand their artistic vision and enhance their portfolio, to gain maturity as an art maker, and to successfully gain entrance to graduate school in his/her area of expertise.
About the Show
Megan Thorne, the 2020 recipient of the Fellowship, is the featured artist. Her exhibition showcases photographs she created during the fellowship that highlight womanhood from a feminist point of view. Thorne’s show analyzes topics that women deal with daily such as misogyny, objectification and the impact from the advertising, fashion, and makeup industries.
Thorne made the exhibition an installation from start to finish, including a room covered floor to ceiling in magazine ads and images, in order to give the viewer an immersive experience.
“I want the viewer to analyze themselves as they walk around my exhibition, it is meant to be overwhelming because what women deal with daily is damaging and overwhelming. If I can change one person’s mind about feminism or make them think differently after viewing my show, then I would be thrilled,” Thorne said. “I hope I am able to make people really think about what they could be doing to fix these issues, even if it’s something they are doing subconsciously.”
The Shield feature story: ‘Woman’ — An attack on the patriarchy
About the Artist
As a female artist, I strive to bring attention to feminine issues, such as sexist advertising, societal issues and gender stereotypes. I strive for my work to make the viewer think beyond the first impression and ask themselves how they view these issues personally. In my work, I pull a lot from the news and current issues and use this to politically charge a lot of my pieces, in order to bring attention to issues I feel deserve a voice.
After spending four years as a journalist, I fell in love with storytelling and documentary style photography. Instead of just photographing an individual, I like to interview my models and really understand their story. In my series, Unrepresented, I created a set covered in magazine ads and had women of all different nationalities interact with the set as I photographed them. During the shoot I asked my models about their stories, and I learned the gut-wrenching truth of how women of color are represented in our magazines. Understanding someone’s story as I photograph them brings a vulnerability to the image, and I think that’s important to convey in a society where vulnerability is looked down upon.
This past year, my work has focused heavily on womanhood and what it means to be a woman in today’s society. I am thoroughly inspired by the strong female artists that have come before me and I strive to research and observe how they have been hidden away in our textbooks and not given the time or acknowledgement that is well-deserved. I feel my role as an artist is to show who these women are and learn from them to help better my own work.
My work tends to go beyond the average 11x14 image in a black frame on a white wall. I believe photography is an artform and should be treated like one. In a recent exhibition titled Woman, I refused to frame my work traditionally. I created a room pasted floor to ceiling with magazine ads and life size photographs, including a centerpiece that is 4x10 ft long. In this show, I also chose to print my work on cotton sheeting and hung it from the ceiling to create movement within my pieces. I believe that the environment my photography is placed in plays a large role in what my images convey, and I choose to emphasize that aspect.
Through my art I hope to change the negative connotation that “feminist” and “feminism” have been given. To me, feminism is fighting for equality for women, whether at the workplace, in the courtroom, or on the street, and that is why I choose to be a feminist artist.
- Megan Thorne