May 8–31, 2015
The University of Oregon Department of Art 2015 MFA Thesis Exhibition presented the culminating work of ten master of fine arts graduate students at Disjecta.
Communicative act, as affirmative destruction; or autopsy of the self; An unconventional context; that Malone Dies within; And The Severed Head, a body without identity; A Cultural object, of vulnerability, and impregnated subjectivity; And a fragmented body; for self-destructive realization; As if John Cage plays Mao Zedong; As destruction is, for Pier Paolo Pasolini; Complete disintegration; Negation; Rather than Mediumship, or spasmodic ignorance; A synthesized existence; Metamorphosis; Distributary production, of medium un-specificity; From SNAFU to FUBAR; From Narcissus to Orpheus; As A Musical Portrait of Chuck Close; or Grey by Krzysztof Kieslowski (2020); Domus within Megalopolis; Delocalization; Radicant; Rhizomatic displacement; of A Saxophonist who has a Girlfriend in Frankfurt; or Farhad Bahram of Iran; of Nomadism; Concurrent assumptions; of Saying « A »; a non-verbal schizophrenia; Like photography; Something dimensionally agnostic; A transformational object; Something participatory and process-based; As verb; Enunciation; of unintended message; Ma (間); or In-betweenness; And a lateral reception, which is Against Interpretation.
Sichuan Province, China
My studio practice since beginning graduate school has mainly focused on questioning the controversies and conflicts of social development in modern day China in order to unravel the dualistic relationships between tradition and modern, Eastern and Western. After experimenting with a few of large-scaled works, I realized that to repeat grand narratives wasn't sufficient for my research. I now embark on the abstractions of the everyday encounters, the weird moments and subtle changes of my life in the United States, in order to specifically comprehend the big questions about what tradition is, what culture is, and what humanity is.
I used to sit in church as a kid and look at the legs under the pews. We had different rules down there. Years of hardened gum decorated the corners and it smelled of pine sol and feet. Occasionally I'd feel daring enough to carefully untie a man's shoelaces, or, if I was lucky, a purse would be left open. Down there I would forget the legs were part of the bodies up above singing the Lord's praises. I sometimes think that my art practice is an excuse to get back underneath the pew and play with the gum, lust over the panty hose legs, and rifle through a stranger's purse.
I make lots of different things: drawings mostly, stop motion animations, theatrical performances, and sometimes music. My work deals with impulses, sex, tragedy, insects, comedy, allegory, shit, and lovely, lovely colors.
Mt. Tabor, New Jersey
My practice involves surrendering control to a variety of generative processes as a way to create an image. By exposing gelatin silver paper to obscure chemical processes or using simple machines to create photomechanical drawings on large sheets of gelatin silver paper, the work is actively directed by the process. While I produce the work, the process creates the aesthetics and form, as with the series Machine Based Artistic Production (MBAP). The pieces that make up this series are unique images produced by the dance of several self-propelled machines mounted with lights, drawing their paths across the page. This work creates an illegible record; capturing a moment photographically without the mediation of the camera, tracing an event that I set in motion. Through my practice, I investigate the relationship between the exercise of control and the element of chance, in a process that actively and self-consciously embraces both.
Focusing broadly on the body in relationship to landscape and painting, my work addresses rhythm, rupture, and space. Electing to paint on wooden panels, I utilize the table saw to cut open my once unified pictorial spaces. Each pass through the saw results in a loss of painted ground. Omissions, gaps, and discontinuities undermine the seamlessness of perception and grant me a new array of artistic permissions. I remain committed to playfulness, remixing depth and flatness, figuration and abstraction, painting and sculpture with external and internal sensation.
San Diego, California
My current and continuing practice involves an investigation and exploration of the multiplicity and iteration of things. This work began with the intuitive and athletic construction of objects from plastic material. Plastic operates both as a material as well as a method in which I make. It is a material whose life span matches its infinite mobility as a raw material. From found plastics, these objects are created through a rapid unedited process forming a massive accumulation of colorful wall mounted trophies. The project then turned to the nature of how these objects existed outside of the studio. Moving out of a singular existence as a plastic object, they are photographed, organized into a book, printed as magazines, posters, free digital files, legal purchase contracts, and wrap and package them into shipping crates. Moving fluidly between dimensional and material manifestations, these iterations take no preference or hierarchy over each other, further expanding their mobile nature. This process involves a continued exaltation and normalization of each iteration; the images, objects, image-objects, books, signed purchase agreements, written documents, drawings, and digital image projections become evidence of process.
Bossier City, Louisiana
A quilt made by my grandmother in 1977, the space between this text and your nose, a fossilized inner ear bone of a whale, a lightning strike, an enlarged photomicrograph of an Apollo 11 moon rock, my dog Mosey, the sound of a hiccup, a fingernail, a meteorite, a cast shadow, a plastic tissue box cover, a sunset, a handmade porcelain marble, a tornado…
I am interested in a flat ontology of objects where no hierarchies exist; the lump of gold is the same as the dirt clod. The symbolic cultural status of the object is dismantled and established hierarchies are interrupted. Value is cast as a cultural fabrication that considers both the authentic origin of the object as well as its sensual allure.
Megan St. Clair
BA, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas
The root definition of paranormal breaks down into two parts: para — meaning beside, alongside of, beyond; and normal — meaning conformity, usual, regular. It is the space of being alongside or beyond the normal that I have come to question. Currently I am researching what lies beneath the appearance of things; what is unknown and what is unseen. Working with cinematic and religious tropes, I examine the use of the window, the armoire, and the hallway which have been used in cinema to the point of cliché. These objects reflect and house the body, acting as portals into other worlds; residing in the home, threatening the sanctity of the space where you live. Through the use of video, projections, objects, and sound I explore the possibilities of the collapsing of space and time, the opening up of other realms.
San Diego, California
The Flower series is a distillation of my work with painting, combining the dynamic textural painted pattern on top of a slick metallic surface. Your reflected image is visible in the surface, imprinting upon your perception a visual field of rhythmically abstract vegetation. Your identity in the painting is not wholly discernable, but hides within the camouflage of image. The Playing Puppy sculptures represent social dynamics through observations of dog behavior. As a pack the polar dynamic of submissive and dominant gives way to a web of influences. Together with the paintings the scene constructs and defines ways of being that linger beneath the superficial.
Jessie Rose Vala
My work involves ongoing research into historical and mythological narratives and ecological events that shape and change the world in unforeseeable ways. This unfolding exploration bleeds into my making, often in irrational ways. I construct highly intuitive abstract narratives through multimedia installations. The Daughters of The Western Trace is a surreal rendering of enigmatic communications between enduring nuclear forces and masked figures clothed in HAZMAT suits and glittering silver as they blur in and out within the epic sacrificial landscapes of Nevada Test Site and the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.