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Rebekah Modrak

Rebekah Modrak

Associate Professor, School of Art & Design


Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Office: 2072 AA
Phone: (734) 936-1853

Curriculum Vitae

M.F.A. (Art Media Studies), Syracuse University, 1996 B.F.A., New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, 1992


Rebekah Modrak is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has a B.F.A. in photography and painting from Alfred University and an M.F.A. in photography and sculpture from Syracuse University. She is interested in encounters between art, commerce, photography, and identity.

In 2010, Rebekah completed a book that redefines photography (theory, history and technique) as a more expansive practice utilized by various types of artists, some who do not necessarily define themselves as photographers. This book, Reframing Photography, published by Routledge in January 2011, integrates history, theory and practice to dispel the myth that concept and technique are discrete choices, rather than considerations made simultaneously. The text addresses the many ways photography is utilized, within the arts and other disciplines, and acknowledges photography’s omnipresence in varying forms within the arts. Photography is reconsidered through acts of mediated vision, genetics, psychology, and literature, through the process of drawing with light or the act of generating copies, and as shadow play, projection, collage, and interactive internet projects, among other forms.

Rebekah’s artwork explores interests in shared concerns between art and commerce - each involving questions of labor, production and distribution. Her artworks on eBay offer recreations of historic photographs, each incorporating an implausible garment as the main event, such as Original Vito Acconci parasol with photographs, which added an ornamental parasol to five seminal Acconci performances.

In 2013, she founded Re Made Company, which uses recreation to directly echo and parody the rhetoric around designer tools, which includes the language of authenticity, appropriation of working class identities, and a revitalization of traditional male roles. The artwork exists as a "company" via website and social media. Re Made Co. uses the internet to encompass multiple facets of communication (website, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, emails, blogs, online magazines) and to allow the course of the artwork to be plotted over time in response to shifts of content, reviews, and other developments.

Rebekah led the team that curated the exhibition eBayaday. She, Zack Denfeld and Aaron Ahuvia (Associate Professor, UM-Dearborn, School of Business) curated the month-long show on eBay of site-specific work by twenty-five artists, including William Pope L., Nancy Hwang, Sheryl Oring, and Yashas Shetty. The work sought to use the online marketplace as a site for the exchange of ideas, objects, and commerce by incorporating the methods of eBay (item for sale, descriptive text, categories) as elements in the work.


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