Photographer Laura Swanson met with Writing and Fine Arts students during a three day visit in early fall, 2013.
During her visits she and the students explored the behaviors of looking at difference, juxtaposition of different forms, and how bodily difference is visually articulated, objectified, and subsequently understood. Swanson made an original series of portraits of students and faculty, and gave a lecture on visual representations of difference.
Kristin Lindgren, Writing Program (Haverford)
Vita Litvak, Fine Arts (Haverford)
Anne Dalke, English, Gender and Sexuality Studies (Bryn Mawr)
John Muse, Visual Studies (Haverford)
From fantastical dwelling spaces, to anthropomorphized objects and staged photographs, Laura Swanson's work centers around a critical exploration of the behavior of looking at difference, how bodily difference is visually articulated, objectified, and subsequently understood, and the psychological effects of being conscious of alterity. Her approach is to withstand literal representation of the body through a deconstruction of the conventions of portraiture, the implementation of human attributes to inanimate objects, and the construction of refuges and surrogates. Swanson's work can be characterized by the assimilation of disparate attributes such as child and adult, animal and architecture, concealment and exposition, and dark humor and empathy.