360°: Mirroring the Self

A Bryn Mawr College 360° Course Cluster Project

Ode to Selfie


                                           The Selfie

“Self- portraiture can be a teasing masquerade, concealing more than revealing.”

– Wendy Wick Reaves

Portraiture, as we have learned in this 360 course, is not always about the face. In fact portraits often hold many layers within them. During this process, we learned that the self has many dimensions, so it is almost impossible to create a portrait (or a selfie for that matter) that does not reveal more than whats on the surface.

                                          The Curator


“if we are talking about contemporary curators, the majority of one’s time is spent thinking about art and working with artists. Given the increasingly prominent role of the museum in contemporary culture-arguably the cultural experience of the 21st century– quite possibly the role will continue to evolve in ways we have yet to imagine.”

-Jessica Morgan

The role of the curator, as we have learned in this course, is to make clear, concise connections between the viewer and the art object. The curator should, as we have experienced in this course, be as well informed as possible  about the art object they display. A curator is a teacher first, an artist second.

                                The Discoveries

“The word ‘interpretation’ is used… to mean the process by which individuals make sense of their experience. In discussing how we relate to objects…we were talking about what we saw and what sense we made of what we saw.”

-Eilean Hooper-Greenhill

The discoveries we made during the course of this exhibition proved paramount to our curatorial exploration. From handling ancient art objects to discovering hidden artist notes- our discoveries made the exhibition come to life. With each discovery, the curatorial process came to life and we were able to make sense of our experience and the objects we came across.

                                       The Process


“we are more at peace with our dialogue with the past, and we are now exploring what it means to be in a multicultural world, where everything can be compared to everything. There is no cultural niche anymore.”

– Ana Debenedetti

The most chaotic portion of this course, obviously, had to be the conception of what the exhibition would look like. A slew of artworks and images were at our disposal and it was often difficult to come to one curatorial vision. But once we realized just how many connections could be made between the artworks, that there was no one way to organize them- the world of our exhibition opened up.

                                 The Exhibition


“no exhibition is pure in any sense; rather it is the result of mixed desires and values from within a network of interests which run from the academic to the economic and  from the semiotic to the institutional and from the professional to the amateur as a hybrid of spoken and unspoken assumptions of congruence. “

–  Bruce Ferguson

Once we finished the hard work, even harder work began- the legacy of the exhibition. The opening masquerade, the gallery tours, and the beautiful window decal all made the process worth wild. Mixed opinions, mixed cultures, and mixed experiences all came together to make a cohesive exhibition that celebrates the multiplicity of the self.

                                        The Artist


“the exhibition-maker is the first, most critical viewer in the way that a good editor is the first, most critical reader. He or she must have the artist’s trust and can only earn it through the closest scrutiny of what the artist has done and by developing an instinctive sense for all that was involved in its creation.”

– Robert Storr

For me, the most rewarding part of the course was the direct interactions with the artists. A handwritten note from Louis Muhlstock, an exercise with ripped paper with Rachel Bliss, a gallery talk from Sigmund Abeles, and a class lecture from Jessica Todd Harper were all sources of inspiration for the exhibition. We got to see living, breathing artists exhibit themselves.

Our exhibition lives on…



Author: Alex Wilson

Alex Wilson is a B.A. candidate in History of Art at Bryn Mawr College, and has a profound and wide interest in contemporary art, classical and baroque art, film and performance art. Alex has studied abroad at Sotheby's Institute in London during the fall semester of her Junior year, and took courses focusing on modern art history and the art market. Alex has also worked at a few galleries and institutions in the Washington, DC area including the Phillips Collection and Touchstone Gallery. Alex is eager to begin work on the exhibition she will make with her fellow student curators, and looks forward to learning as much as she can about what it means to become a curator.

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