The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Arts December 1, 2006

EVAlution Reveals Aesthetic Eye, Room for Further Evolution

While Obies sometimes complain about the lack of sophistication here on campus, those who attended EVAlution, senior Eva Green’s photography show on Nov. 17, witnessed the transformation of the art building’s Fisher Gallery into a mini-Soho. The room was nearly full the whole night, packed with an audience clad in leather boots and unnecessary scarves. In planning her opening, Green went above and beyond presenting the standard sacrificial table of crackers and cheese squares. Rather than red SOLO cups next to some jug wine, girls in matching red-and-black-checkered tops poured glasses of Two Buck Chuck for visitors. EVAlution also sported the ultimate accessory: the Theo Croker Quintet. In short, it was hipster heaven.

In her Artist’s Statement on the wall near the entry of the gallery, Green acknowledges that “the biggest problem [she] encountered was finding a coherent theme to link the body of [her] work.” Thus, Green chose to spin the exhibit as “the evolution of [her] photographic career beginning when [she] was fourteen.” Many of her photographs demonstrate her strong grasp on photographic technique, but the lack of organization left something to be desired.

Although the show focused on her evolution as an artist, there was little-to-no evidence that Green had intentions of breaking any artistic grounds. “Lovemaking,” a low-angled shot of a trumpeter playing his instrument, fueled the tired philosophy that “jazz equals sex,” a theme that ran through much of her work. “Dog with Flowers,” a photograph of a black pug sitting next to a bucket of flowers on a New York City street, was technically strong, but the subject matter had a cheesiness that made it seem as if the photo came straight out of a “Pug of the Month” calendar.

However, this superficiality worked to her advantage in some of her pieces. A series of black and white nudes were the audience’s favorite, and for good reason. Green’s photography is at its strongest when she is least concerned with making a statement. Her awareness of aesthetics gives her the power to make good-looking people look great.

If we use EVAlution to predict what will become of Eva Green’s photography, it would be safe to say that Green might make an excellent fashion photographer one day, though her work so far shows that she has quite some evolving to do before she creates something new.


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