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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Dallas Wiertella
Dallas Wiertella
Multimedia Editor

Through my experience here at the North Wind I have been able to have the privilege of highlighting students through all forms of multimedia journalism. Whether I'm in front or behind the camera, I aim...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

NMU CARES — President Brock Tessman shares his feelings on the universitys new CARE Team. Photo Courtesy of Northern Michigan University
Letter to the Editor — Our New CARE Team
Brock TessmanFebruary 23, 2024

Colorful Future

One of the largest works of art in the latest exhibit in the DeVos Art Museum is a colorful photograph of a lean white horse, standing tall and facing the camera, wearing a strange headdress on his nose – and if you look closely, you’d swear he’s smiling.

The exhibit, titled “reGeneration,” presents works by 50 different photographers — including Sweden’s Cathrine Sundqvist and her quirky horse photo — from all over the globe. Subjects range from humans and animals to architecture, car wrecks and landmines. The show opened this past Tuesday, Jan. 14 and is on display through Sunday, March 1.

The photographs in the exhibit were chosen by curators at Swiss photography museum Musée de l’Elysée. Hundreds of candidates from over 60 of the world’s top photography schools were narrowed down to just 50 with one question as the main criteria: Are these images likely to be known in 20 years?

“Artists are using what’s already been done in the past and they are reinterpreting it in the way we’re looking at the world today,” said DeVos Art Museum Director Melissa Matuscak. “That is the overarching theme and I think the artists who are doing this very successfully are the ones who are represented in the show.”

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“The artists who are able to deal with these issues and deal with reinterpreting our world are the ones who are going to stick around for a long time,” Matuscak added.

With those involved being viewed as artists of the future, Matuscak said it is interesting to look at this exhibit to see what the current trends in photography are and what may be on the horizon. Only one of the artists shot in black and white, and many of them have printed in very large formats.

“I think it’s a good reflection of the availability of technology in photography now and what artists have access to, based on cost. I think that’s really impacting what we’re seeing with this medium,” Matuscak said.

Senior art and design major Ed Andrzejewski’s favorite piece is “Form #2” by Josef Shulz. Andrzejewski said the large-scale photo of a nearly unrecognizable spiral walkway is a form-study.

“It takes the subject out of context. It becomes abstract so you’re looking only at the forms,” Andrzejewski said. “It’s not clear exactly what it is. The subject becomes ambiguous.”

One set of very powerful photographs by Samantha Bass shows a group of turkeys crammed together in a small pen and a group of blood-soaked goats hanging in a slaughterhouse. These graphic images together are used to show the distance consumers have from the food they purchase and eat.

“That artist is kind of working in a more confrontational approach,” said Matuscak. “You go out to dinner or go to the grocery store and you just kind of see the end product. That artist is trying to put directly into our faces that there is an in-between. There’s a process that goes on and we’re incredibly lucky that we’re removed from it.”

French photographer Rapha’e2l Dallaporta has a four-piece set included in the exhibit, where he has displayed different types of well-lit landmines and bombs from various wars against a black background. The objects appear to be straight out of an advertisement.

“Because they’re shot in a way that resembles a commercial, [they appear] as objects that are desired and want to be consumed or purchased when really they’re terrible, destructive things,” Matuscak said.

On Friday, Jan. 18 at 4 p.m., the director of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography, Rod Slemmons, will speak regarding both the exhibit and the current state of photography in lecture hall B of West Science. There will also be a reception for the exhibit, from 6-8 p.m. Both are free and open to the public.

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