Don’t ask. She won’t tell you what they’re about.
“Tunisia and Libya: What Lies Beyond Scarcity” is the most recent Sudler Fund visual arts exhibition on photography, open to the public on November 5th in the Swing Space Activities Room.
Entirely captured, printed and put on display by Ava Socik ’12, the 22 pictures taken during her trip to North Africa last summer seek to convey a message of humility and anti-consumerism to a community that, in Socik’s words, “complains about everything too much.”
Or at least that’s what I got out of it.
“There’s no formal order, no particular way to look at these,” Socik said. “They make sense to me in many ways, but I’m not spoiling it for you by giving you my take.”
All untitled, the photographs contrast the rural and urban life of the places she visited: portraits and landscapes that resemble a modern Aladdin’s Aggrabah — markets, turbans and Arabian huts splotched with Coca Cola ads. But where are these images actually from?
When asked, Socik said she “couldn’t remember.”
That’s right, to this day, she has no idea where she really went — besides the fact that it was Tunisia and Libya, for sure.
“I like going to places that most people wouldn’t choose, places that aren’t very touristy,” she said. “I travel to see and learn, not to just ‘be there.’”
Socik, who has spent every summer she can remember traveling the world, visiting places from South America to the Middle East and Europe, said this last trip was her idea.
But it is her mother who taught her the value of traveling as a learning experience, “the best way to understand the world,” she said. “Definitely better than summer school.”
Though Morse Master Frank Keil has yet to confirm a closing date for the exhibit, Socik’s “photos from nowhere” should be up for at least two weeks.