Nichols College to Host “No Evil Project” Exhibit
Saturday, February 09, 2013
Straight from the mind of local photographer Troy Thompson, the No Evil Project was created with a very important cause in mind. Thompson describes the photography featured.
"Each participant picks three labels that describe themselves, from race, religion, or politics to things like hobbies or favorite sports teams, and then they write a good deed they've done to show that they're not defined by any negative stereotypes people may have about those labels. They also submit three photos of themselves posing as the three wise monkeys, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, to show they're not evil."
The idea behind the project is uncomplicated yet profound, and shows the important way in which art, even photographs that seem so simple on the surface, can have an important and positive effect on the world around us. Stereotypes help define our world, unfortunately, often in negative terms. Moreover, these stereotypes are often taboo to talk about in many circles, a result of the oft damaging "us vs. them" attitude. Thompson and the participants in the project hope to change that.
"So what the No Evil Project tries to do is to encourage conversation about labels and stereotypes in a fun and less confrontational sort of way, by showing that people of all kinds contribute and do good things in the community using silly photos."
Thompson started photographing people for the project at stART on the Street in the fall of 2011 where he photographed 230 people non-stop. Since then he's been invited to a number of other events to take photos, and people have uploaded their own photos from around the country and the world. So far, there are over 600 people featured on the website.
The first live exhibit was held at the Hanover Theatre. It was a great success.
"The best part of the exhibit at the Hanover Theatre was watching people interacting with the art, reading labels, seeing people they knew, and showing friends the ones they liked. I hope is gets visitors thinking and talking about how they view the labels represented as well as what labels they themselves represent," says Thompson.
He hopes the Nichols College exhibit will have the same result. Though this version of the exhibit will be much smaller than at the Hanover Theatre, it will also be much more intimate as a result, with people able to get up close and personal with the banners of photographs. The opening reception, which will be held on Monday, February 11 at 8 pm at the Fels Student Center, will have one large 8' x 7' banner containing the sets of 60 people. More banners will be added as more people choose to participate, which Thompson strongly encourages.
Unique to this exhibit is each person will have their very own QR code next to their set so that viewers scan it with their phones and be taken right the person's webpage where they can see their good deed.
"I think everyone is stereotyped in some way, from the way they look, to the things they enjoy, or where they live. The project allows them to represent their labels and help redefine stereotypes about them in fun way. It's also a growing community of people that are interested in bringing people together rather than being divided," Thompson remarks.
For more information on the No Evil Project, visit the website or find it on Facebook. The Fels Student Center is located 124 Center Road in Dudley.
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