“The Icon Industry”: Exhibit Curated by MFA|EDA Student Caitlin M. Kelly Explores Images of Human Rights

"The Glass," by  Malina Chavez

“The Glass,” by MFA|EDA candidate Malina Chavez from the exhibit “The Icon Industry”

Duke University MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts candidate and Kenan Graduate Arts Fellow Caitlin M. Kelly has curated an exhibit that explores, critiques, and celebrates the notion of the iconic image in human rights issues. The Icon Industry: The Visual Economy of Human Rights features work from six students at Duke and the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, including Kelly, and is on view through the month of November.

The Icon Industry: The Visual Economy of Human Rights 
On view through November 30
101 West Duke Building, first floor hallway
1364 Campus Drive, Durham, North Carolina
Map/directions

The term “visual economy” in art is commonly defined as a minimalist approach. But, what happens when this search for simplicity becomes a standard for representation of human rights? Often one iconic image comes to define events, groups, or issues, boiling down the complexity into a singular representation that we grab onto as the “right” image. Read more about the exhibit in a Duke Chronicle article here.

Caitlin Margaret Kelly worked for more than seventeen years as a photojournalist—with a focus on social issues and women’s rights—before entering the MFA|EDA program at Duke, where she is now a second-year student. Past work has included a project combining photo portraiture and audio narratives of women living with HIV to explore the moral stigma that those women face.

The three founding units of the MFA|EDA program are Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, and the Program in Arts of the Moving Image.

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