AU Photo Collective brings Distressed and Distorted photography to life
Fourth exhibition introduces depth with every image
Dec. 1 marked AU Photo Collective’s fourth exhibition, Distressed and Distorted, at Studio 1469, located in the heart of Columbia Heights. Last semester’s theme was Vibrancy, so the turn to Distressed and Distorted is a noticeably important change.
The photos in the exhibition were selected based off of the famous Flannery O’Connor quote, “The truth is not distorted here, but rather a distortion is used to get at truth.” Students eagerly waited to see their artistic work be both accepted and showcased to friends, family and interested strangers.
Twenty-three total pieces were selected, lining the walls of the bright studio. Attendees took their time to peruse the works of art, some daring and straightforward, others difficult and vivid. Top picks were placed on the first wall visitors saw, with all eyes drawn towards the Best in Show piece, “Stand By and Gentrify (Leaving Places Weathered and Dry)” by Kendall Clayton, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Her piece introduced an issue that many D.C. residents are familiar with -- gentrification.
Jordan McCormack, the graphic designer on Photo Collective’s executive board, won an Honorable Mention for his piece, titled “Self.”
“That image, I took it at my apartment. I needed a new Facebook profile picture,” McCormack said. “I saw this theme so I was like, let me distress this in some way. I scanned it in, did that one, and I fell in love with that one.”
The theme provided photographers with room to be creative, McCormack said.
“I think last year, the theme was ambiguous but not as strong as it is this year. I think people have a lot more fun with processes as well as actual imagery, which is something I found very interesting,” McCormack said.
Other notable pieces were sophomore Anthony Holten’s “A Less Perfect Union,” photographed at Union Station, depicting cutouts of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump behind a woman with a hijab. Holten’s piece fit the Distressed and Distorted theme with a cutting sense of self-awareness and relativeness.
Many attendees cycled in throughout the night, conversing about the pieces on display and what they all meant. Andy Lalwani, a senior in SOC, appreciated the theme and its goal of distortion and truth.
“What’s in front of you is not always what it seems to be, so you see a lot of things that’s manipulated or distorted and its kind of deciphering what’s real and not,” Lalwani said. “Your eye and creativity can lead you to new perceptions and new ideas.”
Jarryd Delaney, a junior in the School of Public Affairs, had many favorites to choose from, but he ended up choosing McCormack’s second submission, “Location 3.”
“I really enjoyed Jordan McCormack’s ‘Location 3,’ just because,” Delaney said. “I just really enjoyed looking at it.”
Editor’s note: Anthony Holten has worked for The Eagle.