March 22, 2016

“Matter,” a Senior Thesis Exhibition by Olivia Adechi, opens at the Lewis Center

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Visual Arts at Princeton University will present a multimedia exhibition by senior Olivia Adechi that explores ideas of identity, agency, and subjectivity. Entitled “Matter,” the exhibition will be on view March 28 through April 1 in the Lucas Gallery at 185 Nassau Street. A reception where visitors can meet the artist will be held on March 30 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.


One of the photographs that will be included in Olivia Adechi’s senior exhibition, “Matter”. Photo by Olivia Adechi

Adechi, who is from New York City, is majoring in Spanish and Portuguese and pursuing a certificate in the Program in Visual Arts at Princeton. Her theses in both disciplines separately explore the idea that seeing is not the same as understanding, particularly when it comes to people who are perceived as different from ourselves, and that not all information about someone comes from outward appearance, including such factors as gender, sexuality, class, and race.

In her exhibition, Adechi will present a series of large-scale photographs of friends and fellow students. Another component will be an immersive video installation reproducing the inside of a room in which Adechi sits in a chair.  The video documents how other people move through the space and how they interact.  In a third performance element of the show, the artist puts herself in place of her camera’s subjects, inviting visitors to react to the performances with a polaroid camera available in the gallery. The show will involve nudity.

Adechi had not intended to pursue visual arts until arriving at Princeton, however an interest in analog photography led her to look into the programs of the Lewis Center, and she began taking courses in art and art history. She notes that courses she took with photography faculty member James Welling, as well as the work of faculty members/photographers Deana Lawson and Jeff Whetstone, were influential in developing her current project.

Adechi’s show is one of 13 solo exhibitions by seniors in the Program in Visual Arts happening between February and May. A collective exhibition of work by all the seniors, the Senior All-Star Show, will be on view May 12 through 31.

The Lucas Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

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Steve Runk
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