Scholarship in Favour of Ms Olimpia Ferrari at the International Center of Photography, New York

Project location: United States, New York
Project start date: August 2009 - Project end date: August 2011
Project number: 2009-16
Beneficiary: International Center of Photography

First Activity Report - May 2010

The first semester of the Master Programme aimed at making the students "begin again"; forget all the technique learned in the past after having absorbed them, letting go the "polished look" of the final piece.
Olimpia Ferrari really appreciated such an approach, finding it very useful and challenging. In particular, it helped her to change her point of view and moving somewhere else to get a new, "fresher" perspective on her own work. She was, in fact, encouraged to try to provide the opportunity to people to think about their reaction on what they see in her work, without forcing into it something she believes is interesting.
Also, she is now pushing herself to create meaning of the pictures she make regardless the fact that she feel connected to them. She is incredibly interested in what she is representing, but this is the engine not the goal of what she is doing.
These are the concept and process Olimpia first learned at ICP, together with the importance of keeping a wide-open mind and approach to the world and all the knowledge she can get from it.
The first-year students of the program were only 10 people. This small amount of students allowed the interaction with teachers to be very intense and productive.
Olimpia had the chance to dig into the subjects she was interested in and to understand the reason for this interest.

In the first Semester Olimpia had five classes and one Internship.

1) Critique - Nayland Blake.

The graduate seminar blend in-depth study, intensive discussions, and individual work. Olimpia was to learn firsthand from contemporary artists about the practical conditions of making art and innovative approaches to photographic practice. With its strong emphasis on writing, this class encouraged her to articulate the relationship between her practice and that of other artists. Through ongoing studio work and critique, Olimpia challenged her own ideas and test new approaches to image making, synthesizing the program's varied experiences and defining her own way of working.

2) Critical Practice: Artists Using Photography, 1960-1982- David Deitcher
This seminar examined key artworks and critical texts in weekly roundtable discussions. Olimpia was required to present a report based on independent research.

3) Graduate Seminar- Nayland Blake - David Deitcher - Janaina Tschape
This seminar explored the range of possibilities for project work through individual critiques. Each week both first and second year students met to constructively critique one student's work.

4) Practices, Techniques, and Strategies Jean Marie Casbarian
This seminar was a forum for the discussion and critique of work in progress. It incorporated readings and photographic assignments relevant to the development of students work.

5) Internship
For her internship Olimpia decided to work for Christopher Phillips, an ICP curator; former senior editor, Artin America. Widely published critic and photography historian. He curated and co-organized numerous exhibitions, including Heavy Light: Recent Photography and Video from Japan; Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China; The Rise of the Picture Press; Cosmos; Voices; Montage and Modern Life; and The Metropolis and the Art of the Twenties; books include Shanghai Kaleidoscope; Photography in the Modern Era; The New Vision (with Maria Morris Hambourg); and Steichen at War; BA, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; MFA, Rochester Institute of Technology.
Olimpia found very interesting working with him, as she gained an understanding of the role of art historians through working with ICP's curatorial team and the Museum's extensive archives-learning how exhibitions are curated, archives are maintained, and research is conducted.

6) Video for photographers , Cecila Dougherty

7) Mass Appeal, Hank Willis Thomas

think global, act local
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