Graduate Course


2016, Oil On Canvas, 130×195 cm

Artist Statement // Gal Cohen My main mediums are painting, drawing and installation as my art is figurative and self reflective. My art is acting on the delicate balance and the integration between formal matters of painting, and the external issues that my painting serves such as socio-political statements and criticism. Within the dynamics of these formal and conceptual aspects, my socio-political criticism and statements function as sort of an after-taste to the formal, sensual experience that the painting installations provide the viewer with. In terms of conceptual aspects, my artistic production explores potential interactions between facts and fiction as my main ambition is to generate new narrations concerning collective memory, social inherited conventions, history, identity, gender, and otherness in contemporary societies. In other words, my work is a concrete attempt to critique dominant modes of normality. The imagery and content I deal with include socio-political criticism, representation of gender identities and roles, awkwardness and ironic scenes, heteronormativity, generational perceptions and gaps. In terms of formal issues, my work contends to challenge painting conventions and break down hierarchies between different painting methods in terms of the painting as an object, gravity and physicality of paintings, matters of site specificity and installation, the way paintings interact with each other and charge each other with meaning under a certain context, the process of painting as the final piece and more.

Pieces of New York

2016, Collage with Acrylic,

Palimpsests – “Pieces of New York” “Pieces of New York” is made of various layers of torn stickers; stickers, flyers and posters that I found in different walls, trashcans, posts and throughout the corners of Manhattan. This piece resembles a collection of memories that I have collected from my time living here; each coating representing a different part of the city and what I have experienced there. All of the billboards that I have ripped off are pieces that have caught my attention as I walked pass them, ones that I consider art. I wanted to create a personal, final piece made out of small art pieces from anonymous artists. The bottom layers are made of stickers from the furthest neighborhoods. The middle layers are composed of pieces that I came across in Greenwich village and Parsons area (places where most of my time is spent at). The top layer is composed of posters that were made by other Parsons students that are hanged in the hallway of Kerrey Hall building, where I live. Finally, the outermost layer are paint stains. I intentionally splashed paint on top of the collage to make it personal and to include something of my own.

Recyclable Humanity

2016, Sculpture from Recycled Paper, 1’x3′

The overall dedication of this piece is to the pollution and ultimate destruction of our planet on the account of us, humans, living on it. The impact our actions have had and continue to have on this planet are truly devastating. The most alarming thing to the population that inhabits Earth is that it not only that our carelessness destroys the ecosystems but will inevitably seize our existence as well. Through this sculpture, I wish to display an eye-opening proactive standpoint at the direct effect the devastation of the environment has on Humanity as I believe this will, unfortunately, be the only thing that awakens the people of Earth. The piece displays the suicide humanity is committing by not taking matters seriously on a large enough scale to reverse the effects of climate change and destruction. The bodies head is covered by a garbage bag to show the veil of blindness that too much of the public still currently holds to the effects we have on our planet. The reason for the sculpture of trash underneath the hanging body is to represent all the infrastructure we’ve constructed on unstable and reckless terms of how we use Earth’s resources that will inevitably fall out and quite literally, ‘leave us hanging’. The trash pile also goes hand in hand with the common tipping of a stool during hanging suicide attempts. The last aspect of the piece is the recycle symbol on the bodies chest; this is used to keep the idea that humanity itself os quite recyclable as well similar to the many species that previously followed our existence. Humans will not push forward through our most taxing world issue until we as a collective realize, and take action with togetherness and strength to change the infrastructure of unsustainable large corporations whose end goal is to maximize profits at all cost. Until we can do this and more importantly IF we can do this then our fate will not end up like my sculpture presented before you. Thank You.

Tainted Memories

Materials used: Newspaper Glue Acrylic paint Pencil Indian ink

Made on: Oct 28th 2016 Dimension: Canvas 2D with texture

Tainted Memories: The ar’st’s interpreta’on of the artwork looks into how some memories, represented by the newspaper pieces, get tainted with nega’ve emo’ons which don’t seem to wash away, just like the dark Indian ink itself. The subject of the piece is not based of anyone, in a@empt to give it an amorphous form. It gives the audience a chance to find their own form of self-reflec’on within the piece and make their own meaning.


2016, Acrylic Paint, Marker, Mixed Media, Colored Pencil, 10 x 6.3 inches
2016, Watercolor, Pen, 6.3 x 9 inches
2015, Graphite, Marker, Tape, Mixed Media, 9.8 x 6.5 inches

Palimpsest was introduced to me as a type of layered manuscript. That idea of layering not only got me thinking of the city itself and the architecture but also about the people who make up New York City. I dove deeper into what it means to be a New Yorker and examined what layers formed a palimpsest that attribute to my identity here. Some layers I identify with have personal meaning that would be hard to explain to those who haven’t had the same experiences I have. To simplify it all, I decided to look into my sketchbook and find some layering to exemplify my palimpsests. Layers of packing lists, college essay drafts, and sketches lie beneath imagery that speaks for the emotions involved in those processes, creating a window to my experiences.

Permanent Change

2016 Mixed Media

Create. Destroy. Create. Destroy. This is the process of renewal. Those who create, destroy, and those who destroy, create. This is necessary for change, and we need change or we’ll grow stagnant, wither, and decay. In order to change, we must build upon what once was. We can place our mark on what that may be, better things for the whole of society or for ourselves. Change need not be on a large scale always instead it can be a small scale for it can still have a large impact. Scale is relative. Change is painless, change hurts, it depends on the circumstance. But the wounds will heal, it takes time. You can make yourself whole again. You can mend yourself. Damage needs to be done to change, some form of it. If you remain you are destroyed. You should not remain. You cannot remain. For those who remain become destroyed, and change overtakes and creates again.


2016 Photography 11 x 17

Palimpsests are everywhere but we usually tend to overlook them. It’s defined as a writing that has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain. It can also be something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form. The eight images portray the concept of something that once was. The idea of an abandon home leaves room for the mind to wander of its earlier state and of the unknown memories that it holds. The abandon house was discovered during a journey through the woods. When I came upon it my first instinct was to walk in and see what I could find. Stepping through piles of broken furniture and trash I could see the life that once lived. All that remained were the traces but those traces were already enough. Now I ask the one who observes, what do you see?


1. “Success in the City” , 2. “Time to Come and Time to Go"

1. “Success in the City” Date: June 28, 2014 Medium: Photograph Dimensions: 17×12.75

2. “Time to Come and Time to Go” Date: March 24, 2016 Medium: Photograph Dimensions: 17 x12

1. Title: “Success in the City”
Statement: How far can you go? How big can you become? How long will it last?

2. Title: “Time to Come and Time to Go”
Statement: People come to this city for many reasons, but is there a particular time in a person’s life to come here and then to leave?


2016 Film prints, timber, wrapping paper, ink on bristol 297 x 420 cm

Palimpsest to me isn’t just the traces of writings, or the torn posters on the side of buildings. Palimpsest is a concept of layering time, it is the happenings; moments which we know wouldn’t exist the next second. Ten photographs displayed were taken when I explored the city at night. When the streets quiet down, and lone shadows drift through the wind. I was there. All happenings are merely actions layered on actions on a canvas called time, and at some point, they all vanish. A bridge, a vehicle, a furniture, a party, a shadow, me. “Here I would come to remember not so much the beauty of the past as the beauty of remembering,” written by André Aciman in Shadow Cities (Letters of Transit). Thus I capture moments to capture time, to remember the happenings as they are happening. In so, the act of remembering is what layers on top of each other. In such a pace city memories deteriorate; our minds are always occupied by one or more tasks, and we forget time. But this neglecting of time is different; it is to be self-conscious. How often do we wander on the streets middle of the night and let our minds be? I marked down the times of the photographs because I lost count during the moment; because I was in the moment. Thinking of nothing yet aware of how surrounded I was. Surrounded by all happenings, vanished happenings, and those yet to happen. because self-consciousness is what makes us human. I am a four year tourist, arrived in August 2016, only months have I been here yet this city feels like home. The irony of avoiding a city life is when you’ve lived in one for your entire life and still chose New York. Thus I come to terms with myself, recognize the need to find comfort halfway across the world from home, to be self-aware, and to feel alive. New York City the never-sleeping-city is most beautiful when the streets are empty, because it is then you see the marks left by the happenings; without distractions, to really feel the city’s livelihood beyond the overwhelmingness to the senses. This is New York in a Minor Key, but it’s not the city which creates the melody, it is those who reside within. Portfolio: Instagram: xceandust_



2016, Pencil on paper,11’17,

A Palimpsest is something that is reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form. For the past two terms President Barack Obama has led our country to greatness. He has achieved many great things over the past eight years and to think that all of his hard work will be erased is worrisome. In my palimpsest project I am portraying two images of Obama in which one is erased. The concept of the images being side by side is to convey the idea that Obama is now leaving his presidency with the possibility of these two candidates, in my opinion who are unfit and incapable of being our next President. The erased image has the same concept of the idea that one of these candidates could erase all of the accomplishments that Obama has achieved.

Palimpsest No. Infinity

Palimpsest No. Infinity, 2016
Glass, paper hole punches, photographs, recycled plastic shreds, acrylic paint, spray glue, light strand

In my multiple perspective palimpsests piece, I chose to combined minor key and major key elements to create a balance of joyousness and inviting reflections. The piece titled Palimpsests No. Infinity is meant to symbolize all of the palimpsests that cover the city with their hard or delicate elements to create an often unrecognized symphony that interest those who choose to observe. Palimpsests No. Infinity is made from glass, metallic print photographs, spray glue, shaved plastic, paper hole punches, acrylic paint and string lights. The lights represent the restlessness of a city that never sleeps. The light struggles to seep through the layers of the palimpsests which symbolizes the inner struggle of those who view the piece, each time walking by adding an emotional layer that will never be seen but will be felt by the viewer. Palimpsests No. Infinity is thoughtful and richly inspired by the palimpsests around New York that spark wonder for the viewer. Personally, the wonder is about what the original material is made of and who decided it would become acceptable to layer over that material, whether it be a graffiti artist, a contractor or the elements of mother nature. What draws your attention, is it the top layer of the palimpsest, the base for the existing layers, or the multiple layers combined to create a repository of memories; what do you wonder?

Lost and Confusion

2016 Charcoal, gesso, and pencil on collage 11 x 17 inches (Tabloid size)

These past few months in New York City away from home have been overwhelming for me to say the least. I had to juggle the frustration on trying to figure out the subway system here, budgeting to make sure i have the basic necessities i needed to live here as well as get art materials to complete assignments, while trying to ignore the freedom of junk food due to the fact that nobody is here to watch over me by eating healthier and to limit myself from online shopping. The palimpsest in my work is evidently demonstrated through the layers of papers that represents all these feelings and experience i have had in New York that acts as the background of my piece. My decision to do this was influenced mainly by one of the pictures i took when i was assigned to stroll around this specific location to find inspiration for this assignment. It was a picture of a wall with many different posters stuck to it. There were old posters that left marks of its existence that it was once there and also newer posters that replaced and on top of those marks. In addition to that, i wanted to incorporate something else that will emphasize the idea of palimpsest in my artwork. For me, graffitis are forms of palimpsests. Someone might start with one idea but someone will add something to it and sometimes overlap on top of an already existing work. For this reason i wanted to create my version of a graffiti using charcoal to create a person expressing the feeling of frustration. I used charcoal mainly because i was going for the messy look and also because it would go well with the different colored papers i used for the background. I also used gesso at the end to create the overall feeling that i wanted the piece to have. I felt that the different papers and charcoal drawing were not completely interacting and unified. Not only did it put all the different elements of the piece together, it also to me represented the act of tearing layers of posters down and replacing them with new ones.

Layers of New York

2016 Transparent paper, plastic holder, oil based pens 8.27 x 5.83 inches

I decided to depict layers of New York, using architecture from three time periods. The first and the bottom one is 19th-century architecture. It is made using black color, representing a stable structure and a solid base. It is a starting point for skyscrapers in the future. The second and middle layer represent architecture from the 20th-century. Buildings are drawn using gold color, which represents the golden time for architecture with innovations which are iconic now, like Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. The color also echoes the beige color of the buildings made at that period. The third and the top layer represents the 21st-century and is completed with silver color. It is most contained from tall skyscrapers. Silver color echoes the materials like mirror glass, steel, and concrete which are used in modern constructions. I created the artwork transparent because the layers interfere with each other, like in real life. Those are not three different layers, they are not supposed to be isolated, they should stay together, and create a portrait of New York City.

Layers of a Place

2016, mixed medium, 11x14in

Layers of a Place a photo opportunity a landmark a stage a place to sell art a place to show art a source for income a source for food home a political platform a social space a place to take a break a place to walk my dog don’t go there after dark don’t walk through alone where I eat lunch an open space a safe space a space to organize a space to occupy …………… A park has many different meanings to the people who experience it. It holds on to the memories and moments lived there, while opening up opportunities for change. It is a place shared by the masses of people that experience the environment everyday, some as their home and others just for a second. In “Layers of a Place”,photogrpahy, printmaking, and drawing are combined to visually depict the ever-changing scene of Tompkins Square. This specific site, located in the Lower East Side, is rich with history and has changed dramatically from where it once was to now. As the physical and social dynamics of the park shift, traces of the past remain anchored.

I Remember NYC

Digital Photographs on Inkjet paper, Leica M9 12×18 each

I have a fascination with strangers, people watching and things generally overlooked by most people during everyday life. Every person on this earth is living a life that is equally as vivid and complex as my own and I want to show that through my photographs. With every photograph I take I want to tell a vivid story to the viewer. Though most of the time I like to keep my photos very ambiguous, with I Remember NYC I wanted to provide more context to each photo. Alone, the photographs convey their own narrative articulated by composition, light, and the subject. With the addition of the captions, the photographs work to articulate not only their own narrative, but also the experience of taking the photograph allowing for a greater sense of empathy between the viewer and my work. Photography is what keeps me sane and with this piece I want to convey the emotion that is attached to these images but is not generally conveyed by the photographs alone.

Metro Traffic Lights

2016, Photomontage

These artworks are part of a project with a stylized and artistic twist, composed of graphic design attributes and photographic imagery. The visual themes revolve around the city’s metro possibilities and the pedestrian perspective of the city.

a memorial for the future

a memorial for the future video (which is the main piece):2016, film, 1920 x 1080.

My project, titled A Memorial For the Future , is a memorial based video that serves the purpose of honoring the people who have participated in the worldwide protests the day of Trump’s presidential election. The outcome of our president-elect sparked outrage amongst millions of people, resulting in the partaking of the protests. I wanted to highlight and memorialize the unity of the people who stood for what was right, just like the people who took part in the Occupy Wall Street protests and the Ferguson protests. Although this is not your conventional memorial, I want people to understand that our generation is incredibly quick to react to controversial events. We will be remembered for our unity against racism, sexism, hate, and bigotry — everything that Donald Trump and his supporters promote. Getting this video to the final piece took an incredible amount of time. At first, I didn’t have any idea about what to do. My initial idea was far off from actually making a video and taking pictures. Instead, I was going to make a memorial honoring the artist, Keith Haring. Realizing that I am not well versed in making things with my hand other than taking pictures in them, I decided to not even go through with it at all. I just waited for something to pop up in my head. The night of the presidential election came along. After waiting a painstakingly long night to see who would become the 45th president of the United States, Trump had won. I realized that this was a huge turning point for the future of our country, and millions of people would be outraged that he had won the presidency. The day after, protest after protests had taken place. I decided to wake up, and take the risk to go film them myself. I had no help in doing so, and I would rather it be that way. After nearly getting arrested, I came home and thought, “How could I possibly turn this into a memorial that could be notable?” I did not this to be a conventional memorial. I wanted to challenge that idea of what it means to remember something. Something visual and auditory, not tangible. So, I instead came up with the idea of creating a memorial for the future — something that our sons and daughters will remember us by. The idea remained central — capture the human body in unison with others. I chose the song “The Drop” by The Haxan Cloak (Bobby Krlic), as part of my video because it represented the influx of emotions that soon encompassed my body when I kept coming to the realization that Donald Trump has become our 45th president. Surely, no one expected this, and neither did I. Bobby has an incredibly knack for producing extremely unsettling drone music, and this song a bit of a deviation from his usual works of music. “The Drop”, while eerie at times, has an underlying sense of hope that instills a gratifying , which is what I wanted to convey. We are all devastated by this unexpected outcome of the presidential election. This video was created with the intent of instilling hope in people in the present, but also in the future. We are the reason why change exists, and I want the future generation to see this as an ode to them. I think of it as something that is kept in a I hope that they will continue the political revolution that was started only so long ago.



2016, Ink on Cotton, 28″ x 22″ x 11″

I am caught in the present of my father’s past.
This photograph of my father as a child is foreign yet familiar in character; He sports his usual frown yet his playful attire is unexpected and stirs a curiosity that inspires me to investigate this persona. I want to unravel the compelling qualities of this photograph but I feel distant from it.
My father’s childhood not only feels physically distant in the scope of time, but also emotionally distant from my lack of knowledge and exploration. The intimate relationship I have with my father prompts me to delve into his childhood, using this photograph that was taken in September 1966, South Korea, as a gateway. My father was four years old when he took this picture – a moment too early for him to recall. This part of his youth remains mysterious even to him. The photograph seems simultaneously distant yet close and there is a compulsion that I cannot decipher. In an attempt to adapt this persona and recreate the un-recreatable, intangible past, I constructed the shirt worn by my father in 1966.
Seeing my father as a child, a child from a rural city in Korea, and seeing my father today as an intelligent, honest and respected diplomat traveling the globe, summons an eruption of sentiments: Pride, gratitude, respect, adoration.
Part of the foreign quality that I feel from the photograph stems from the innocence seen in the child; A child who has not experienced the world yet, who will soon be hard working and dedicated in studying to be where he is today.
It also produces sentiments for my country. I sense a pride for Korea – one that is similar to what I feel for my father – for slowly healing itself from the scars of the Korean War, for the socioeconomic progress it made until today.
It is these sentiments and development seen in both my father’s character and Korea that draws me close to the seemingly distant past. However, there is still a greater distance that needs to be reduced. In order to unravel the mysterious of the past, I obsessively documented my efforts to replicate this shirt and held psychoanalytic interviews with my father. By exploring my father’s childhood in Korea here in New York, I formed a relationship with the past. I had to weave through a variety of resources and services provided by the city to produce the shirt that is the token of his childhood. I encountered several technical problems and mistakes including issues with printing on fabric but nevertheless pursued the past. I engaged my university, where I stayed for hours to create the garment, New York, Korea, and Laos, which is where my father is currently living. A great deal was revealed to me about his childhood via the interviews, such as the context of the peaceful rural city, the anecdotes of my uncle stealing fish from the local vendor or how my father enjoyed studying. There were also disappointing interview outcomes but these in the end served to reveal my father’s current persona. For example, when asked about his intimate past, my father responded in a diplomatic manner that centered around Korea and his parent’s lives – almost as if to avoid giving away personal information. I formed a narrative upon these interviews applying experimental approaches such as speaking in Korean versus in English and asking about his surroundings rather than himself.
Through this assembled narrative and the garment that contains a retrospective aura, I discovered the impenetrable past.

God's Eye View?

Year: 2016 Medium: Coding (Processing) Dimensions: Variable

We have evolved and harnessed some of the physical laws of the universe, to create technology. The non-material & non-superfluous, is ever getting lost, in this race of satiating the senses. While we go further in terms of our technological prowess, the scales are being balanced at the cost of something else. If there was a supreme being who can see all of creation, what would it be watching? What can it see it if space & time are at it’s fingertips? Will it see us as dots running around with a cluster of information around it in terms of cell phone signals, radio waves, wifi signals? Will it see what drives our actions through our actions? Where do our actions originate, within our own innately human parts or is it the result of a giant interplay between humanity, technology & the rest of the elements involved? The digital art piece allows the viewer to take the place of this supreme being’s point of view, adjusted, of course, to human capabilities. The viewer sees a visualization of the number of humans in the world and the information being exchanged among the & the emerging patterns in all their order & chaos.


2015, Multimedia, 17.5″x 12.5″

There’s a fine line between poor taste, satire, and good advertising. You decide which is which.

Palimpsests of Palimpsests

2016, Mixed Media, 10 X 8

This piece consists of two fire hydrants which have essentially been transformed into palimpsests through graffiti, writings, and stickers. Although both fire hydrants have been altered, one can still see their initial meaning and form. For my piece, I decide to photograph two fire hydrants, both located in SOHO, New York. Both Fire Hydrants are filled with objects that altered their original plain color. After photographing these hydrants, I printed two copies of each hydrant (one in color and one in black and white). They where then individually cropped from their background and then pasted to a white background. The purpose of this was to make the hydrants the main focus of the piece. The color version hydrant was left alone and the black and white hydrant was embellished with feathers, paint, book pages, and writing done in markers. The purpose of the piece was to juxtapose an image of an actual palimpsest next to my own interpretation of an alteration to that palimpsest. This shows that even though an object can be altered as many times, it does not change its purpose but instead adds history and originality to the object.

Billboard City

2016, Magazine Scraps, Nailpolish, Sharpie, Cardboard; dimensions variable

As I walked around my designated address, I was very satisfied to see a lot of fashion ads around me blown up into insane scales. I took out my phone to capture these huge images and was shocked to noticed that everyone was on their phones. I realize it is New York City but with all the insane work around us I was surprised to see not one other person doing what I was doing. It reminded me that sometimes people don’t take those small stops to smell the roses and see the true art the lies all around them. It was also interesting to see the metamorphosis of the building and the older images and graffiti behind the newer coated images. As a photographer I love working in photoshop and manipulating layers on top of each other to achieve a specific look. Using all sorts of layers I mainly like to mesh them all together for a final outcome. What I truly loved about the space I saw was that you could see bits and pieces of each individual billboard. If you looked closely you could see the remaining shots from past billboards and begin to get an idea of what was advertised there before the current photo. I took what I saw into consideration and decided to create a billboard with layers that have been taken down or ripped off. I also wanted to incorporate the people on their phones below the advertisements so I decided to attach a wide spread shot of all types of people on the go but focused on their cellular devices. While including graffiti, paint, and torn ads, I believe my scale sized palimpsest could easily on a New York City skyline or on a side of a building today.


2016 photography, computer graphics 18″x24″

I decided to take to the streets and photograph anything and everything I considered to be a palimpsest. I took pictures of stickers on walls, graffiti on mailboxes, and chipping paint. I was not sure what my direction was with this project while I was taking the pictures, so when it came time to do something with them, I was at a loss. The first thing I thought of doing was layering the pictures the same way the subjects of the pictures were layered. I edited the pictures and then put them into Adobe Illustrator. After editing the opacity and placement in relation to each other, I brought them into photoshop to do even more photo manipulation. In Photoshop, I isolated certain parts of the pictures to layer them on top of the layered pictures and give it an even more hectic feel. Once I stepped back from the collage of pictures, I realized I had added too much. This began a long process of reduction and addition of photos into my project, along with a lot of peer review. Ultimately, I was satisfied with my final project, which was still a complex collage of photos, but it felt organized to me. Since the opacity is low on all of the pictures included in my piece, the viewer is able to see through to the last photo through all of the photos on top. The concept behind my photo collage is this whole idea of layering. Palimpsest is the layering of things while still being able to see what is or what underneath, thus I wanted my piece to have that same feel.


2016,collage,11×17 in

In my series of pictures and collage, I show the artistic intentions of street art. This beautifully done art style is one that must be praised and decriminalized. By collaging these pieces, I hope to show people the actual value within the spray paint. Many will not understand, but the street art community will prosper and continue. No policeman can arrest ambition.


2016 | birch, steel, printed photographs | 16″ x 8″ x 1/2″

As a recent transplant to the city of New York I frequently find myself walking aimlessly, searching for visual inspiration. It is not uncommon to accidentally stumble upon a bit of history while strolling, but it is the hidden history that truly strikes me as interesting. Pre-war buildings, covered with fresh paint and graffiti are found on every corner, and hidden underneath those fresh coats of paint are the traces of the building’s past. My untitled wooden panel is inspired by the buildings of New York and their hidden histories. The remains of old advertisements and street art bring to mind the old phrase “If these walls could talk…”, and provide insight into not only the buildings’ histories, but also the histories of the neighborhoods and the city itself. The city’s skyline offers a distant look at New York, while the overlaid images of street art and graffiti allow for a more magnified view. It is important to pay attention to history, not only to learn from mistakes, but also to gain inspiration and understanding of how our current world came to be what it is. Nicholas Whitfield November 2016


2016 Digitized charcoal drawing layered with text and digital photography
Dimensions TBD

The basis for this piece is women; what it means to be a woman, and especially what it means to be a woman in New York. I believe that being a woman in different cities varies greatly, it’s almost a given since every town or city has their own culture, their own values, their own sets of morals and ethics. However, it may be posed that this sort of difference affects women most heavily, where it becomes a thought that actively inhabits our mind and hesitates our movement, because so many of the restrictions and rules were made to apply to women. The palimpsest that I have created consists of some imagery and text that I had created before diving into the “city that never sleeps”, as wells as signs and text from the streets of New York. The layering effect that synthesizes with the concept of a palimpsest physically demonstrates the synthesizing concepts in my mind in the discovery of place and role of my gender in this new city. As each new layer is placed upon the previous, a new realisation is found about the embodiment of women in a given location. Within this palimpsest concept, there is imagery that can be obviously traced back to my thematic goal as well as some that are more broad, and more vague, to encompass that it is not only nuances that are deemed explicitly feminine or relating to feminism that can influence the creation of a woman’s identity in relation to their gender. This piece that I have created is both an expression of personal growth in an expansive form and an expression of the cycle of information that instigates growth for women as a community. The layers are formed from my growing sense of embodiment and connection to self, while the content of each layer exhibit the intake and output of information in a community that allows it to evolve.

Untitled Park

2016, photos on vellum paper, metal, wood, plastic, glue, 5″x5″x6″

I decided to create my own representation of an architectural palimpsest. A space “reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.” I took a broader sense of the word and applied it to a place that I see having many layers of memories and now, restriction. When walking past a park, I began to reminisce the memories I have of childhood and the restriction I feel from fun. I used three photos of a primary colored park scene, each photo cropped closer and closer, printed on transparent plastic, and placed in layers in a transparent box. The photos are taken from behind a fence, showing a sense of being locked out of this place of memory and emotion. The transparent box allows the viewer to feel this sense of being locked out as well, because they can’t reach inside. This causes many to feel a sense of resistance and invites reflection. The drips of glue give a sense that childhood and emotion are messy. There are many places in New York that are true palimpsests of overlapping writing, but this expression of overlapping photos creates a similar visual intensity, and rather eludes to the idea of a palimpsest through the location being a trigger for deep emotion, reflection, and memory.

Memoir Noir

Photograph, Ink jet print 11 x 17

Born in Brooklyn, New York into a conservative orthodox Jewish community, Diane views art and making art as an escape from her traditional community life, her sense of comfort in a sometimes-chaotic world in which she doesn’t belong. Much of her work takes place in New York as she’s grown up and watched the city gentrify over time. With an early start into the world of photography at age 9, Azrak has always been interested in candid street photography. Her eye always searching for those moments that can best be described with just one photograph. Her attention to light as well as more formal qualities like shadow, line, shape, and an ambiguous sense of time are what connects her many different themes of work.

A block in NYC

2016, tracing paper, color paper, rubber cement, thread, 6.5″x7″

I decided to cut different photographs I took of NYC and make a basket weave out of them because they reminded me of the graffiti and posters that are stacked on top of each other around NYC. Layering the photos was a way of creating a palimpsest on a smaller level. The change and history of NYC as a whole inspired me to create multiple layers of the basket weave because NYC has also attained many layers throughout the years.


The Palace of Culture

The Palace of Culture:
An Exploration in Design, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

2017 Spring Intensive Course

Tues. Feb. 14 and 28, 7:00-8:50 pm in NYC
March 18 to 28 in Warsaw, Poland


A tall skyscraper towers over a sprawling complex of shorter, but still imposing outbuildings surrounded by a vast, empty space. This is the Palace of Culture and Science, Stalin’s “gift” to Warsaw emerging from post-World War II rubble. Completed in 1955, it continues to dominate Polish capital’s center and remains the tallest building in the country. Many in Warsaw will agree that it is a design that wields enormous city-making power, whether they like it or not. Multiple modernities incarnate, it embodies Soviet imperial designs to dominate the region and revolutionize social relations by reclaiming the downtown for the proletariat, but it borrows from a form recognizable on the other side of the Iron Curtain, that of a Chicago or New York art deco high-rise. It has been an invader and a savior, a blessing and a curse, a silent witness and a violent genius. It was construed as a beacon of a bright future to come, then as a ruin of the fallen order, and recently as a site of struggle, innovation, and resignation for urban activists, city planners, private developers, and architects. Today the Palace continues to lead complex lives: symbolic, ideological, historical, practical, and infrastructural.

This international project, which will take place in lecture halls of the Palace itself, brings together matters of history, architecture, and the urban future, in order to develop new capacities and strategies for design education. Seniors and graduate students from Parsons School of Design and The New School for Social Research in New York, and seniors and graduate students from the School of Form, Poznań, will collaborate in a design workshop that will move from a rigorous but imaginative research into contemporary urban complexities to the creation of speculative design propositions.  Over five days, students will meet in morning seminars to discuss readings on the nature of memory and complexity of spatial interventions as political gestures. In the afternoons, they will work in teams to propose alternative visions for this site (or others like it elsewhere in the world, i.e., the Freedom Tower in NYC).

The course is offered in conjunction with Making Home in Wounded Place: Memory, Design, and the Spatial symposium, and Far Away from Where? exhibition, both held at Parsons.