Maggie Genoble ’24 is going big with her upcoming solo exhibition in the Richardson Family Art Gallery, taking on the theme of technology and its connection to the human body and society. The 2023 Whetsell Fellow from Jonesville, South Carolina, spent her summer working on numerous mixed media pieces, from etched computer screens to silicone molds of body parts.
“During my summer research, I began diving into readings about the posthuman body — the cyborg — and what that means for identity,” says Genoble, who is majoring in art history and studio art.
Genoble began researching her topic after completing a project in a drawing class that involved etching excerpts from scenes found in historical paintings made by 19th-century male artists into the screen of a broken laptop. The body of work Genoble is preparing for this exhibition consists of a television screen etching, silicone molds, clothing and discarded medical equipment.
Alongside the theme of technology, she includes elements that reference questions about gender and sexuality. She primarily invokes this with the silicone body parts and medical equipment, reminding the viewer of plastic surgery and gendered labor.
“Just like AI, the internet knows nothing that we do not know. We feed it all of our information,” Genoble says. “It has all of this without being constrained to a body, an identity, a sexuality or a gender.”
Each year the Whetsell Fellowship is awarded to a student artist providing funding and mentoring for a personal project. Michael Webster, assistant professor of studio art, and Rebecca Forstater, assistant professor of studio art, have mentored Genoble during the project.
The exhibition will be on display in the Richardson Family Art Gallery from mid-January through the end of February. Genoble hopes that the audience will think deeply about the theme, while also receiving individualized messages from each piece. She wants to convey both an overarching concept and moments of ambiguity.
“It’s about occupying both the physical and digital worlds and what that means for our bodies,” Genoble says. “If we don’t need these markers on our bodies that confine us in the physical world in the digital realm, then users on the internet have the potential to explore ideas of identity beyond physical binaries.”