Little/Big Providence

Inspired by the Tiny Exhibit display case, we asked ourselves–does tiny have to mean less? A crack in the bricks, the curve of decorative wrought iron, peeling gold lettering–these are the parts of Providence we overlook every day. For many of us, Providence is home, even if it’s just temporary. Little/Big Providence is an exploration of the tiny details on big buildings here in Providence. It’s an exploration of the parts, big and small, that help make up home.

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This series of self-portraits is a semi-fictional documentary of my life—taken in a space I consider home, here in Providence.

Within the tiny room that I have lived for 500 days, I staged my shoots in the shower, bed, floor, table, closet; I dressed myself in clothes, wigs, and different personalities.

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Insufficient Memories

Insufficient Memories is an interrogation of the relationship between memory and materiality. Through an exploration of storage constraints in the cell phone (the most ubiquitous of contemporary digital technologies), we seek to illuminate the tensions between the digital and the corporeal. What happens to memory when “memory” is rendered physical? How do metaphors and mechanisms of storage mediate our lives? What stories of twenty-first century life lie beneath our collections of apps, unread notifications, and file names? We seek to create and investigate the portraits we create through the media we screenshot, redact, retouch, share, yet ultimately delete.

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Hypervisibility (Feat. Silver Strands)

A heightened awareness of the body can bring a scattered mind to rest. In and out, breath flows easily as we scan ourselves head to toe. I’ve used meditation, yoga, and mindfulness to turn my anxiety into astute observation of myself and others. I thought experimenting with my body would turn my dysmorphia into self acceptance, but grey hair on a young black woman in Providence is an anomaly—I was foolish to believe otherwise.

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“It was a talisman that was hers but which she kept solely on a shelf, an object that might indeed be powerful but only if she brought it down and pressed it to her brow and asked something significant of it. But what was that? And how would she ever come to know?”
—Chang-rae Lee, On Such a Full Sea

“As we know, claims of the ‘real’ and the ‘authentic’ can impose coercions of their own.”
—Anne Anlin Cheng, Ornamentalism

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Shatter the Timeline!

Timelines show us a straight trajectory of time and activity by starting at point A and ending neatly at point B. The lived experience of time isn’t that simple. Even though we adhere to clocks and calendars, many of the ways we feel and understand ourselves within time is personal, private, and more difficult to plot. How do we use our routines, habits, and perspectives as alternate and personal ways to mark and measure time?

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Pedro Pietri (1944-2004) is a foundational poet and playwright of the Nuyorican movement of the 1960s. A portrait of Pietri’s face is painted outside of the entrance of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City, marking his significance in the movement. Pietri is widely known for his poem Puerto Rican Obituary and his play Short Eyes. A POEM WITH/OUT explores one of his poems from his Telephone Booth series by moving his text off the page. Nuyorican poetry values words on and off the page equally–this exhibit falls in that same spirit. By exploding the book, with love, this tiny exhibit honors a big name.

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Camp Days Dear: Memory and Material Culture

In 2008, Belle arrived at Camp Arbutus Hayo-went-ha in Traverse City, Michigan, as a stand-in for Mary Nehra’s real cat, also Belle. Mary, at that point a camper for the past seven summers, had long received letters and updates from her pets back at home.

For fun, Mary, along with friends Victoria Martin and Hannah Mooney, started to bring Belle along wherever they went. Both at camp and in the outside world, Belle joined for the adventure.

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