Opening May 23, 2018

Beyond The Frame

Photographs by

Nahal Mottaghian and Melanie Flanagan

May 23-30, 2018

Reception for the Artists Thursday, May 24 6:30-8:00 pmTwo photos. A little girl talks on a cell phone and a woman in a leopard print top takes a selfie.

Decisions on how and what to photograph enable photographers to disseminate a subjective, but partial, reality. However, when one perspective becomes the dominant discourse, it can negatively impact those represented in the photographs, as well as those viewing the images. In Beyond the Frame, photographers Nahal Mottaghian (Gallatin MA ‘18) and Melanie Flanagan (Gallatin MA ‘18) explore photographic representation. They both seek to demystify pervasive representations and to offer alternative interpretations based on their personal experiences.


Nahal Mottaghian is an Iranian-American multimedia journalist who spent the summer of 2017 researching women’s rights in Iran as a Gallatin Global Fellow in Human Rights. Images that surface from Iran often highlight the oppression of Iranian people. Nahal’s work captures everyday life in Iran with the aim of broadening available representations of Iranian people.

Melanie Flanagan is a commercial photographer from Australia, currently residing in New York. For this exhibit, she used her knowledge of commercial photography to stage and construct images that parody the stylized selfies found on social media. In her work, she uses art to explore contemporary beauty standards and their effect on self-esteem. It is her hope that, through photography, she will assist in creating a more inclusive representation of beauty that will encourage individuals to have a healthier relationship with their bodies.