Photography & Materiality

Mona Kasra - Being a woman is not a tool to humiliate or punish anyone. #selfportrait #activists series, 2013, DVD. (image still) Vargha Manshadi - Untitled #1, Abstract Photography I series, 2012, digital print Suzanne Williams - Osteosarcoma, Cognizant series, 2013, 12” x 12”, digital print Shawn Saumell - Hatch, A Ply series, 2012, 12”x18”, archival pigment print

Friday, January 17, 2014 – Saturday, February 15, 2014,
Venue: AS 1.1
Admission: Free
Season: 2013-14

January 17 - February 15, 2014
Reception: Friday, January 24, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


Author and curator Susan Bright has discussed the concept of photography and materiality, how contemporary artists are creating "photography that is about photography" using a variety of methods.  Digital technology has guided the transformation of photographers' attitudes toward the medium, prompting them to revisit and renew modernist experiments, while often maintaining a critical distance. The artists in this exhibition seek to transcend representation, to investigate the potential of abstraction, working in the studio to connect to traditions in collage, painting, and sculpture, while often being informed by digital processes.  


Reduction and recombination of photographic information serve as strategies to prompt reconsideration of the familiar.  Betsy Williamson embraces understatement through her achromatic abstractions, prioritizing the photograph’s existence as an object, rather than its conventional role as representational device.  Shawn Saumell explores a similar vein, inserting a wry commentary on modernist masters.  Vargha Manshadi foregrounds optical properties in his photographs of iridescence; we are reminded that the camera lens bends light rays to form an image.  Through her constructed records of interior space, Emily Loving foregrounds human perception by creating a sculptural, interactive environment for the viewer.   Using the primaries, red, yellow, and blue, Suzanne Williams obsessively colors the interior surfaces she documents; she aims to raise awareness of the suffering endured by chronically ill children.  Mona Kasra appropriates and superimposes socially engaged self-portrait photographs in her video sequences, championing the dialogue generated by online activists.  These artists use photography to edit visual information, to distill and reframe realities, to prompt a more nuanced reflection on daily experience.



Curated by Marilyn Waligore.

Gallery Hours:
Monday - Friday 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

For more information contact:
Arts and Performance Office
[email protected]

UT Dallas students, staff and faculty may receive a free ticket to any ticketed A&H event by presenting their Comet Card at the Box Office on the night of the performance. See tickets for more information.

Persons with disabilities may submit a request for accommodations to participate in this event at UT Dallas' ADA website. You may also call (972) 883-2982 for assistance or send an email to [email protected]. All requests should be received no later than 2 business days prior to the event.

Due to on-going campus construction, please visit Pardon Our Progress to keep updated with the latest construction projects

Click here for parking locations/information, maps and directions to A&H event venues and visit UT Dallas Parking & Transportation for more information.