In Print

9 August 2013

Photo by John Noltner


Zerrin Dagli ’13

Hometown: River Forest, Illinois

Major: Studio art

Comps project: woodblock and screen prints highlighting language from TV shows and advertisements that reinforce female stereotypes

Inspiration: “One day I picked up a piece of scrap wood and started carving the words from something ridiculous I’d seen on TV the night before. I realized that I’m frustrated by how the media is detached from the lives of real women.”

Example: “On the Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, a pretentious housewife in the Hamptons, spends all her time going to local markets in her BMW convertible and making food for her husband, Jeffrey. On one show Ina said, ‘I’m going to go make cocktails for Jeffrey and me’ in a snooty tone, and I thought that line encapsulated the show’s shallow portrayal of the idealized domestic woman.”

Relevance: “As viewers, we’re often too mesmerized by the bright lights to recognize the underlying messages of what we’re seeing.”

Favorite part: “It was a collaborative process. My adviser, art professor Fred Hagstrom, is very thoughtful and he wouldn’t let me slack off. I also talked each day with four other art majors. Although we were working on individual projects, we would ask each other for advice and share ideas. There was a great sense of community.”

Takeaway: “I don’t know how to solve the problem of media-perpetuated stereotypes. Even if women have full equality in society someday, there will still be other disenfranchised groups. But this project showed me that I enjoy confronting challenges with creativity. That’s something I plan to keep doing.”   

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