April 24, 2017

“Privacy Settings” opens at the Lewis Center for the Arts

A Senior Thesis Show by Emily Madrigal

The Visual Arts Program at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University will present “Privacy Settings” by Princeton senior Emily Madrigal. Sculpturally and photographically, this exhibition reflects on the artist’s childhood and her critique of social media. The work will be on view April 24th through April 28th in the Lucas Gallery at 185 Nassau Street with an opening reception on April 27th at 7:30 p.m. in the Gallery. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

waist trainer

“Waist Trainer” is one of the photographs in Princeton senior Emily Madrigal’s exhibition, “Privacy Settings.” Photo credit: Emily Madrigal

In “Privacy Settings,” Madrigal explores the representation of women on Instagram, screens and social media, memory and childhood. In one body of work the artist creates fabric backgrounds on which are stitched phrases that interviewees used to describe their digital identity. In another body of work, Madrigal uses every photograph on a roll of film she took when she was nine years old. She recently discovered this film, which reveals a day’s worth of photographs of her younger self and her father playing with stuffed animals. These photographs are presented on long sheets of transparencies that allude to screens and digital devices, thus, as the artist describes, creating a relationship between childhood memory and technology’s contemporary interference in these pre-social media images. The sculptural elements in the show are interactive enclosed spaces into which viewers are invited to crawl. One of these sculptures is a large box covered on the inside with Madrigal’s childhood room wallpaper. Phallic stuffed-animals protrude from the wall, an experience which she describes as welcoming the viewer into a comfortable yet uncanny space.

Madrigal was born in New York City and is majoring in visual arts through a collaborative program between the Department of Art and Archaeology and the Lewis Center. Her interest in the visual arts began when she took an introductory analog photography course at Princeton with faculty member Deana Lawson, who suggested that she consider applying to the visual arts program. Other influential courses she has taken include photography classes with Jeff Whetstone, her thesis advisor, a conceptually-driven art class with Fia Backström, and sculpture courses with Martha Friedman.

The Lucas Gallery at 185 Nassau Street is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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