reGeneration2: Tomorrow’s Photographers Today | SECCA Fall 2013

Guilford College art thrives within the vast and talented art community of the Triad. I was lucky to have a chance to explore part of it this weekend at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, or SECCA, in Winston-Salem. Showing for only a few more days, a thought-provoking show called reGeneration2: Tomorrow’s Photographers Today, takes the work of students from some of the most acclaimed photography schools in the world and showcases many of the pieces chosen for the book of the same name. All of the work follows the idea of living in the fast-moving modern world and plays up themes that are relevant and relatable to any college student or artist, such as violence and war, family, identity, and urbanization.

As I entered the gallery, I noticed within minutes the thoughtfulness of the exhibit composition. The first photos I saw were three portraits in a row, all at uncommon angles, focusing on uncommon features of the subjects. The photos resembled one another and to the passing viewer, they would appear to be by the same artist. In reality, they were made by three different artists from different parts of the world. The rest of the exhibit flows in the same way, following a logical progression of color or subject or location, making it very easy to float through the exhibit and not feel overwhelmed. What I found so compelling about the photographs presented was the ambiguous location of each work. There is such a strong feeling of familiarity, yet there was no indication of where many of the images where taken, that it became a game I started to play while exploring the room. I would look at a picture, analyze it a bit, then I would guess where I thought the artist was from. I was only correct a few times.

This dual concept of ambiguity and familiarity is a perfect example of how global citizens, and younger ones in particular, interact and connect with the world. On one hand, we are almost always connected, through phones and computers, making almost any part of the modern world accessible and therefore familiar, but on the other, we are still very sequestered and influenced by our individual cultures. I feel as Guilford students, living in a diverse and modern community, there are many aspects to this show that we can relate to. The concept of feeling connected to the outside world, but still unsure of what else is really out there in the world is so real and relevant during the transitional time that is college and post-grad, and this is captured so well in this collection of work.

Unfortunately, due to the museum’s “No Photography” policy and some other copyright issues with the images, I am not able to present any picture here. But hey, that just means you need to go see the exhibit while you can! Feel free to check out the reGeneration 2 website at http://www.aperture.org/regen2/ as well as SECCA’s website at http://secca.org/ to get more information on this exhibit and others.

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