Artists: Dalia Bañuelos & Daniel Bonilla-Vera
Gallery: Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Media: Photography/ Sculpture
Instagram: @dbvqp & @deliaeffect
About the Artists
This week, I got to hear of Dalia Bañuelos and Daniel Bonilla- Vera’s story. Both are students here at CSULB. Dalia transferred from Los Angeles Community College in hopes of getting into the photography program, but instead was rejected twice. She was accepted into the studio arts program, and although she lies exploring other types of artistic media, she feels a particular connection to photography. After her rejection, she felt very upset just as anyone would to the rejection of something they love. Daniel is a transfer student from the College of the Sequoias, and first became interested in photography when he was in high school. Daniel has also been rejected to the BFA in photography program, although he remains hopeful in that he will be accepted the next time around.
Upon walking into the exhibit, the first thing that catches your eye is the array of photographs arranged across the room, in particular a web-like series of them hanging from yarn. When getting closer to this piece, you find someone nestled up in the middle of the floor, but upon closer inspection you realize that it isn’t a person at all, but a sculpture made out of clothing meant to represent an actual person. I actually was looking at this particular portion of the exhibit for a while before I was startled by yet another person nestled in the corner, which is again just another sculpture part of the exhibit. There was also a trashcan located toward the entrance of the exhibit which held even more photographs. Some of the photos on the wall weren’t properly held down, and as a result appeared to be coming off, as if the could fall onto the floor at any second. All the pictures in the room were connected by an ongoing black yarn.
The exhibit has a lot to do with the feeling of rejection and failure that comes with something that means so much to you, in this case getting into the photography program, not becoming a reality. This was a way for both Dalia and Daniel to let out their feelings of frustration, sadness, and anger in a form that would be more productive and be able to get to more people than simply letting their raw emotions into the world. The two people in the back, both in a rolled up position, as if protecting themselves from something are meant to be a representation of Dalia and Daniel and their negative feelings after their denial into the program. The trashcan with the pictures is meant to represent how on a particular occasion they were told that the pictures weren’t up to standard and “belonged in the trash.” This exhibit serves as a release of emotions after the inability to be admitted into the program that would mean the world to them.
When walking into the exhibit, the first thing that caught my eye was the giant web-like array of photographs held up by yarn. The more time I spent looking at it, the more I got a feeling of uneasiness, especially after seeing the two dummies on the floor. They appeared afraid, or perhaps plagued by the images surrounding them, while overwhelmed at the same time by everything around them. This is also I feeling I had, as there were so many photographs scattered everywhere that it would take quite a while to truly get a chance to examine all of them. I also remember thinking that some of the photos not hanging completely up in the gallery were falling accidentally, until realizing it was all part of the exhibition. The feeling of rejection is something that is familiar in all of us, and walking into the exhibit, you really get a sense of frustration, and after learning the meaning behind this work, you really understand the feelings that went into putting together “Infraction.”