Category Archives: Art

Original Content Makers Must Seize the Memes of Production

We’re in a tough spot. Our age group has to deal with a melting planet, a thriving possum population, and a plethora of potential employers that expect us to know how to use Excel. That sucks for us sassy NESCAC kids. In spite of these obstacles, there is supposed to be a light in the dark, a city upon a hill, a beautiful beacon of hope: memes.

But, alas, Wesleyan’s meme culture is less than ideal. I would call it bad.

UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage

When I walked into Artspace in New Haven, the studio was relatively empty except for a few people and the art pieces. Each piece tells the story of a refugee, both for the eyes and the ears.

Mohamad Hafez, an architect and artist, takes these stories and creates suitcases, each reflecting the refugee experience. He recreates the rooms, homes, and lives of those who have suffered the damage from war. Ahmed Badr ‘20 records these stories, and curates them. When viewing the pieces, you can put on the headphones hung beside the pieces and listen to these refugees recount their stories.

I put on a pair of headphones, and listened. Each detail has made it onto the pieces. They help show the disaster, but also the innate beauty that these spaces occupied. The small details that compose the entirety of the piece–– dents in car license plates, toys that have accumulated dust from the rubble–– further emphasize the reality of these stories. Within those few minutes, I felt like I was in each of these places: Syria, Iraq, Congo, Sudan, all war-torn and never to be entirely the same as they were before.

I took off my headphones and the room swelled with a familiar sound: prayers being read in Arabic. It was strange to be in a public space in America and hear Arabic prayers so loud and clear. In that moment, I was home, with my grandfather, who lived right next door to the masjid. This juxtaposition of space and time took me by surprise, particularly because I wasn’t quite expecting it. The Arabic has its home at home, and here I am exposed to that via television shows, but not such an open space. Nevertheless, the ambient sounds made the entire experience that much more impactful. Here I was, hearing a language so familiar to me, for the most part associated with happiness, and having it transformed to this moment, to something not necessarily happy, but to that of strength, of courage, and of a new life.

The project was created to humanize the refugee narrative, that the refugee crisis is not simply numbers and statistics, but rather human beings, each who hold their own experiences and stories to share to us.

If you missed out on the gallery, fear not, dear Wesleyan’er! Mohamad and Ahmed will be holding a WESeminar on Friday, November 3rd at 5 PM in Fisk 208.

 

Like Gummy Bear Vitamins? You’ll Love Cummies!

“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”  -Steve Jobs (1998)

In the YouTube debut of esteemed Wesleyan alums Russell Goldman ’17 and Johnny LaZebnik ’16, we are introduced to Cummies®: “the world’s first ever jizz-flavored vitamin chew”.

The testimonials in this parody infomercial leave you with some pleasant mental images as to the accurate flavor of Cummies®.  Lines describing the flavor include, “An almost empty glass of white wine with a little bit of ranch dressing plopped in”, “Three day old oyster water”, and “Black truffle that’s washed up under the Santa Monica Pier”.

The infomercial ends with an offer for a bonus bottle of Facielle by Cummies®, a lotion, and then a shot of Brent (played by Johnny) being splattered with the lotion in a rather suggestive way.  Describing how many takes this shot took, Johnny said, “By the end, I looked like I’d just shot a bukake scene with 50 well-hydrated men.”

Watch after the jump:

The MASH: Interviews with Good Morning CT, Bonanza, and Johnnie Gilmore ’18

The Mash at Wesleyan University, Sept. 9. (Photo by Caroline Kravitz)

As you probably know by now, there is a fun event coming up this weekend called The MASH. The MASH is a performance event that happens every year during the first week of classes. It provides spaces and resources for different bands, singers, and artists to share their talent. Shoutout to Harrison Nir ’19, the student intern who has done a ton of work to make this event happen this year, and also Hanna Orovec, the staff member in the CFA that oversees the event. Give Josh‘s post a read if you want to know more about how this all came together. All of the groups that perform are Wesleyan affiliated, whether it be alumni bands like the one Michael Roth ’78 is in, faculty artists, or new ensembles like Good Morning Connecticut (GMCT). Below are some short interviews of student bands, including the aforementioned group GMCT, and another called Bonanza. We’ve also got some words from bassist Johnnie Gilmore ’18.

TRAILER: Wesleyan Senior Thesis Films 2017

We’re a couple days late on this, but w/e, some of us have three finals due before the last day of classes. (Why?? Why?????)

Anyways, do you have senior film major friends/crushes/friendcrushes/Wescams? Do you want to see some cool short films that they put a ton of blood, sweat, tears, and Kickstarter money into? Then I highly, highly recommend checking out the Senior Thesis Films at the Goldsmith Family Cinema on May 12-13.

Don’t believe me? Check out this kickass trailer, edited by Ostin Fam ’17:

Spring Faculty Dance Concert—“Shake”

Randi Plake writes in:

“Shake” is a rambunctious and tender duet born out of a nine-year friendship between Wesleyan Artist in Residence Iddi Saaka and Bates College Associate Professor of Dance Rachel Boggia. The world premiere of their first choreographed work features their shared love of vibratory movement, smooth breath, and cheesy humor; and influences including Ghanaian dance forms, American postmodern dance, fake tap dance, bad jokes, and life experiences.

Date: Friday, May 5th and Saturday, May 6th
Time: 8 PM
Place: CFA Theater

A Celebration of Silent Sounds

Randi Plake writes in:

Celebrate the writing excellence of students in Middletown Public Schools, grades 6 through 12, and hear their winning submissions of essays, short stories, and poetry from the annual literary magazine “Silent Sounds.” Co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts, Community and University Services for Education, and the Middletown Public Schools Cultural Council.

Date: Tuesday, May 2nd
Time: 6:30 PM
Place: Memorial Chapel

South Indian Music Student Recital

From Randi Plake:

Students of Adjunct Assistant Professors of Music B. Balasubrahmaniyan and David Nelson perform music from the Karnatak tradition of South India. Performances will feature vocal and instrumental music, percussion, and solkattu (spoken rhythm).

Date: Wednesday, May 3
Time: 7pm
Place: World Music Hall

The Ankh Website is now LIVE!

From The Ankh:

The Ankh, Wesleyan’s Student of Color Publication, has just launched our new website!

This new site works as an extension and archive of our existing print publication. We can now accommodate mediums like video or music that we weren’t previously able to, and have also included a “buy” page to advertise POC businesses. If you’ve written a current events piece that needs to be published right away, if you recorded a dance performance, if you made a playlist you want to share–we can now publish it all. If you identify as a person of color, we want your work!

CHECK IT OUT: the-ankh.org