This is an excerpt from a publication Steven Bridge’s group collaborated on that details the connections we made over the course of this project. It includes conversations between the artists and curatorial fellows, as well as our thoughts on our curatorial process. Download it here.
“Do you feel your work in the MFA show is a culmination of your two years of study at SAIC?”
Marla Sanvick : The work I’m presenting in the MFA exhibition is a continued reﬂection on my interest in human communication. All parts have been realized through the same investigation, of which has been most heavily researched within the past two years. A ‘culmination’ of two years of study, feels too heavy a deﬁnition, placing too much emphasis on it being an end. The biggest challenge for me in creating work for this exhibition was suppressing the desire to show it all; everything I’ve studied, failed at, learned from in an attempt to wrap it up. The exhibition is more a representation of my current position; it’s a moment of pause.
Ashley D. Hairston: My work involves themes I have been concerned with for years. As a graduate student, I have been given methods, authority, and support in addressing these issues through a variety of forms. The work I am presenting in the exhibition is just one iteration of possible presentations. I look forward to the reactions and comments as I provide a broader, more public audience access to my work.
Nick Parparian: My work has been a struggle with how technology affects our lives and the problems that can arise. This work is a continuation of this process, dealing more with the aging of the information revolution and the idea that this same technology is increasingly becoming a driving force in our lives.
Alex Zhang: The work in the MFA show is a culmination in a way that it represents my deepest and most sincere understanding of myself, as well as the world at this point in my life. I did not have a background in fine art before coming to SAIC where I learned almost everything I know about the field. In my two years of study I went through countless failed experiments. . Through this process it became more and more clear what it is I like, what I care about, what I believe in. Finally I created works for the show that, more than ever, my heart could truly echoed.
Min Jung Kim: For two years, I just expressed what I wanted, but surprisingly all of my work is connected through concepts of Parafiction and culture jamming. My work in the MFA show contains these interests while also addressing surveillance issues. Ultimately my approach to visual communication design starts from the question, “How to see and How to be seen?”
Kelly K. Jones: I chose to pursue an MFA at SAIC confident that I would be pushed outside of and beyond the art making practice I had grown comfortable with. The faculty, my advisors, and my peers both encouraged and challenged me. The work I’m presenting is truly a culmination of all that I’ve dreamt, researched, and questioned during my time at SAIC. My photographs are grounded in what has always been important to me, but now my work is able to go beyond the boundaries of self.
I spent the past two years pushing and pulling at every new idea and question. I picked at each critique and interpretation, trying to learn and grow as much as possible. There is no doubt that I am nowhere near any certain solution. However, I have learned to hold questions with confidence, and to trust in the making process. My hope is that this MFA show honors these pursuits. This exhibition offers closure to my graduate school experience as it prepares me for what comes next.
Derilyn Chambers: My work investigates the complexities of a racialized and socio-economically focused society. It considers new paradigms to encourage viewers to see and approach racial identity with new eyes, to look beyond “either/or” and to think in terms of “both/and.” The interdisciplinary and analogic scope in which my work is presented also challenges viewers to see that as much as there is difference, there is sameness, prompting to look beyond the mystery of the “skin” and to probe beneath it.
Through my two years at SAIC, I have also learned to feel more comfortable within ambiguity, to start from the middle when I don’t know the beginning or the end, and to keep moving no matter what. That’s art. That’s learning. That’s life.