Vague Space is a hybrid documentary project and photo-sculptural art installation by Casey Hayward, Associate Professor of English and Media Studies at Bentley University. The components of the work—still photographs and found objects—come from the cities of Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn and Salem, MA. These cities have been hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic and the exhibit serves to shed light on that environment. Mattresses, doors, highchairs and other castoff items found in dumpsters, forested areas, back alleys and roadsides become canvases for imagery of a life lived “rough.”
Please join us in celebrating the opening of Vague Space at a reception for the artist in the RSM Art Gallery on Wednesday, October 16, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
October 2 – November 5, 2019
Wednesday, October 16
Casey Hayward: Artist Statement
In my work, be it documentary filmmaking, photography or installation, I seek to explore social justice issues through art, with an appreciation for the imperfection of lived experience. The flaws of humanity often afford a more impactful entrée into the investigation of the world we inhabit.
I am particularly interested in the entropy of cultures, communities and systems. From an aesthetic standpoint, I have always been drawn to rusted metal, rotting wood and other detritus surrounding us. To me this detritus–the less desirable output of our way of life–has a beauty all its own.
I take photographs, interview participants and consider the most effective ways of sharing my work, all with the complexity of imperfection in mind. While I cannot avoid digital technologies due to their ease and ubiquity, I do enjoy physical processes like exposing and developing analog film. I find the process is challenging and introduces flaws based on a myriad of environmental factors and my own abilities. I enjoy the serendipity of “happy accidents.” These can serve to remind viewers that they are experiencing not just a body of work but also a process. Reflexivity in this way is something I instill in much of my work. I trust that participants are keen enough to examine more than just the product, but my role and the problems it can inhere in making the art.
Casey Hayward, Associate Professor
Department of English and Media Studies
This project was made possible with the support of the Bentley University Health Thought Leadership Network, Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Department of English and Media Studies.