Without is a themed exhibition of works by California MFA students curated by Meleko Mokgosi, graduate student in the UCLA Department of Art. This exhibition begins with the stipulation that all featured artists are either from or descendants of "non-Western" regions and cultures. As there is no trenchant division between "Western" and "non-Western," especially given today's transcultural context, we apply these terms in the loosest sense. Our definition of "non-Western" includes countries—specifically those in Africa, Asia and Latin/Central America—whose cultural and material histories have often been excluded within the Western canon of art history.
Observing individual artistic practices will re-locate the need for specificity in the gallery context; a need that has been lost within many contemporary trends that ignore differences in order to produce a more uniformed, global (and arguably more digestible) culture. Biographical details—where someone is from, receives an education and currently resides—are inescapable factors contributing to one's creative production. This exhibition will not only further engage viewers' sensitivities to geographical and cultural diversity but also examine how "non-Western" art is displayed and historicized.
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