Before ICP’s exhibition Public, Private, Secret closed earlier this month, our students from our Community Partnership with HSFI had the chance to visit the museum for Guided Tours.
Some of our students took the opportunity to give us feedback on the show and also to interview their Museum Educator (and ICP Faculty member), Ifetayo Abdus-Salam and other classmates. Below, Photo I student Annabelle Mair shares her thoughts on the exhibition:
“We saw Public, Private, Secret at the ICP Museum. This exhibition was very unique and had a mix of different type of artwork. Some of the pieces in the exhibit stood out more than others. I especially [liked the more historical pieces.]
When our Museum Educator, Ife, was guiding the group around, it made me think about how some of the artwork collaborated within the exhibition. As I walked around at the end by myself, I noticed that with some of the pieces I wasn’t paying attention to the wall text. I feel like reading the wall text of a piece of art right away doesn’t have to have to be mandatory because not all viewers like to do that. By reading the text first, you hear what the artist [and/or curator] has to say, rather than looking at it first and trying out figure out yourself what the artist is trying to tell the viewers. As a student, I definitely walked out having learned something new!”
Annabelle: What can someone expect when they come to the ICP Museum?
Ife Abdus-Salam: A visitor coming to the ICP Museum to see Public, Private, Secret can expect their ideas about technology and public versus private spaces to be stretched and challenged. They can expect to be prompted to explore their own opinions and ideologies around what should be safe and what should be considered public. They should expect to leave here with a different understanding of how the relationship between image-making, technology, and personal spaces or personal privacy go hand-in-hand and have evolved over time.
Annabelle: How would you describe the Public, Private, Secret exhibition at the ICP?
Ife Abdus-Salam: The exhibition is really thinking about ideas of privacy versus public spaces under the guise of visual culture, so we are largely looking at it through the lens of images that have been made and images that are shared and how culture can be explored visually in public spaces today.
This is a unique exhibition for ICP historically as it is not a majority of photographs. Photographs are 30% of the show which are used for historical context. There is a lot of video. Social media feeds have been incorporated. Just as the exhibition is asking you to think about technology, it is also using technology as the way for the viewer to enter the exhibition.
Annabelle: When you come into ICP, would you read the wall text?
Ife Abdus-Salam: It is important for each viewer to have their own experience and interpretation with the work. Once you have had a chance to observe the work and spend some time breaking down what you think the meaning of the piece is, then I think it is important to read the text as well and get additional context directly from the artist.
Annabelle: After coming to this exhibition at ICP, what did you like?
Meriam, classmate: It was unusual. I liked the pop culture. I liked Andy Warhol’s photographs. I found interesting the multiple photographs taken from the computer screen without the person knowing. It was cool to see how a person acts in his or her own nature with no one’s approval. My favorite photograph was of the naked guy — you saw what a person is without anyone’s judgment.
Annabelle: If you could recommend this exhibit to a friend, what would you say?
Ashley, classmate: This exhibit has awesome photographs that make you think about life and they make you think deeper than just the picture. They make you think about the person being photographed and where they are being photographed. It makes you think a lot more.
Above: More shots from Public, Private, Secret from our Photo II students’ field trip. All images, credit: Richard Burrowes