This work was selected by Brittany Leatherman (class of 2019), who explains: “I study the History of Art & Visual Culture and this work caught my eye because at first I was unsure of how it was created. It could be a photo, a painting, or a video still. The work kept my attention because of the strong emotional presence it has despite how simple the composition is. I find myself wanting to empathize with the person in the picture or reach out and help them even though I know nothing about them. It seems as if they are staring directly at me even though I cannot see their eyes clearly. The most provocative thing about the photograph for me is the perceived distance and blurriness between the viewer and the subject. I think this aspect adds mystery and emotional impact to the work.”
The Vault, which also houses some of the works from our permanent collection, is dedicated to featuring and displaying works chosen by MSU students who work at the museum. Each month, one of our student gallery guides selects a piece from our collection and writes a short text explaining why they chose it and believe it should be displayed. By providing our gallery guides with an opportunity to participate in the curatorial process of selection and display, we aim to open a dialogue with the student community while simultaneously sharing with the public works from the collection that would otherwise remain in storage.