Student Work

  • Photography (MFA)

    Kate Stone

    A Place for Each Thing and Each Thing in its Place

    Language is a system defined by constraints. It provides a finite set of elements that are rearranged according to rules of syntax and grammar. To speak is to play with permutations. But language is fraught with exceptions and redundancies. Slang and colloquialisms break the rules, and words are prone to misunderstanding. To listen or to read is to resynthesize, translate and interpret.

    A Place for Each Thing and Each Thing in its Place employs a visual language, a dictionary of elements derived from an extensive archive that documents my childhood home, from its architectural minutia to its historical narratives. The archive deconstructs the house, breaking it into its parts of speech—its nouns and verbs, its synonyms and signs—in order to construct something new from the pieces. The resulting compositions exist primarily as maquettes, but when the installations are realized to scale, the line between reality and reproduction and two dimensions and three dimensions is shifted.

    The spaces, laden with artifice and inaccuracy, question whether a reproduction can be a sufficient substitute for lived experience. Can a photograph eliminate the need for the real thing? Can documentation satisfy one’s desire for ownership? Or, like a word repeated over and over, does obsessive reproduction sever context and meaning, leaving only simple forms, colors and materials?