No Right Angles: The 40th Annual University of California, Berkeley Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition
No Right Angles is an exhibition created by UC Berkeley’s graduating M.F.A. students. Miguel Arzabe, Bonnie Begusch, Amanda Eicher, Matt Mullins, Aliza Rand, aZin seraj, and Becky Suss weave a story about contemplative reflection and artistic production. From unconventional photographic processes to community development projects, these seven artists challenge preconceptions about both the media and the motivations of art. Undaunted, thinking outside of the lines of traditional engagement, they open the practice to exciting new strategies of intervention and visual innovation.
Miguel Arzabe operates on the tenuous terrain of sensory perception, locating an original subject through measured deviations within time and space. Creating markers for his expeditions in different media, Arzabe’s work investigates our literal and imagined sightlines on material existence.
Bonnie Begusch’s animations are studies of sequence and motion, analyzing the primary structures within which we often unconsciously frame expression. Altering in cadence and density, the panning shots of punctuation marks, graphed and lined paper, and digital placeholders create a synergy that tests a viewer’s perceptual flexibility.
The work of Amanda Eicher exists in an interstitial space between art, activism, and education. Mining the resources of each discipline for effective dialogue, Eicher enables a cross-continental digital network to engage the practical and psychological desires of communities in Richmond, California, and Colima, El Salvador.
Matthew Mullins meticulously paints archives, libraries, botanical gardens, and otherwise banal sites of storage. His meditations on our collective drive to research, catalog, and sometimes just accumulate things are mysteriously emptied of human instigators, suggesting at once the function and the futility of this motivation.
Aliza Rand’s cyanotype photographs require both a unique chemical preparation and involved on-site exposures to bright sunlight. This combination of scientific experimentation and performed interaction with materials creates a mysterious, ghostly record of public space.
The videos of aZin seraj exude a quiet familiarity, enveloping us in a space of visceral observation that conjures personal recollections of family meals, regional tourism, and unguarded wonder. The fact that this space is Iran figures prominently in our expectations of the video, countering Western popular media and allowing both cultures to dwell thoughtfully within its inferred space.
Becky Suss paints with an instinctual comprehension of the parameters of memory, dappling her landscapes with identifiable imagery that dissolves into indecipherable, undulating patterns. The elusiveness of her surfaces becomes a psychic trigger, drawing us into a scene that is compelling in its imprecision.
MATRIX Curatorial Assistant
The annual M.F.A. exhibition at BAM/PFA is made possible by the Barbara Berelson Wiltsek Endowment.