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Death comes to life

Many may think of death as something people experience once, but one project explores the death that can happen daily.

Tuesday begins the showing of an art exhibition, _____ is dead, a BFA thesis exhibit by five Ohio University photographers.

The exhibit, which will be shown until April 13, is made up of different photos that all deal with the central theme of death. The theme of the event is shown through photos ranging from the mental, emotional and physical attributes of dying.

“The theme of the exhibition is death,” said Nettie McGee, a senior studying photography. “It is not to be taken literally, but as a rebirth of or a reinvention of a certain topic.”

The macabre theme was decided upon after the artists discussed how their individual works each represented a form of dying, said Andrea Pierson, a senior studying photography. The group then decided that the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s famous quote “God is dead” could be taken another way, replacing the word, “God” with another word.

“Death, not a literal killing, but rather redefining preconceived notions that we are told by society and other institutions to hold on to,” Pierson said. “We comment on issues that people tend to ignorantly and unanimously accept because it is hard to unlearn the environment you grew up in.”

One of the aspects of her project, Pierson said, is the loss that occurs when someone is sexually assaulted. Her piece of the project included drawing outlines in chalk where people were sexually assaulted on campus.

“This is a means of calling attention to events that have been the subject of jokes and even complete dismissal,” she said. “It is important that these repressed events be brought out into the public eye because these events are easily forgotten because of society’s passive response.”

Other facets of the project deal with the death of an idea. Bo Hoffman, a senior studying photography and integrated media, said his work “Trials,” a video projection and five archival ink jet prints with audio, deals with the death of masculinity.

“Even though I do not believe that masculinity is a bad thing, I am wanting to deconstruct the current cultural definition of being a man,” he said. “I want to change the mindset that men need to behave, dress and like certain things to be considered a man.”

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