Rahshia Sawyer 2020

Rahshia Sawyer is a creative professional based in the Washington DC area.


She teaches undergraduate and graduate students the nuances of photography at George Mason University.  The Head of Privacy and Data Ethics Design at Capital Onee, she focuses on the intersection of humanity and data privacy. As an internationally recognized photographer, she is active in the art world, presenting her work on resilience, where she examines the balanced (or imbalanced) relationship between beauty and chaos.


Dis_PLACE-ment, an installation, is a 38-foot long hanging piece that plays with our ideology of vision and the binary opposition of images/ideas. The work is hung from the ceiling, causing the viewer to look up at aerial photographs of a figure. Each photograph is angled with an adjacent mirror to reflect the viewer and the photograph. This system of mirror, image, and viewer demonstrates how we see, and flips the binary opposition of image/idea. Does the idea of the image and how the viewer sees it change the image? Does the viewer become the work with his/her reflection? Should the viewer access the imagery through the photograph, or the reflection of the combined image with his/her reflection? The reflection creates an ever-changing image with the viewer becoming the subject. This work illustrates Louis Althusser’s essay Ideological Sate Apparatuses – where the idea (image) needs to be concrete enough to be recognizable, but abstract enough to be thinkable (viewed) and that gives rise to knowledge (questions).

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The long installation ran the length of the White Walls gallery at the Corcoran College of Art and Design Fall 2003.