These Canyons: The 38th Annual University of California, Berkeley Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition
The 2008 UC Berkeley M.F.A. exhibition gathers seven artists who,
despite working with disparate styles and subject matter, root their
practice in a common acknowledgment of the contemporary moment.
Rethinking critical concepts from personal vantage points, each artist
manages to relate aesthetic discourse to organic experience in a
tangible and meaningful way.
Implicit in the ceramic work of Adrianne Crane is both the labor of manufacturing objects (often ritual series of vessels and shapes) and an intimate confrontation with the tactility of clay. Crane exhumes a childhood narrative for the exhibition, creating snow-angel imprints on slip in performative deference to the mark-making process.
Renée Delores subsumes her work in the pursuit of a communicative relationship between man and nature, often to the point of complete erasure. The mulched pages of her handmade book, composed of over three years’ worth of drawings and notes, exemplify the undercurrent of sacrificial atavism driving each piece.
Rosalynn Khor’s intensely self-reflexive videos are a conscientious response to the common modes of representation taken up by the tourist trade. Using humor and experimental documentation to strip the veneer off the tourist experience, Khor compels us to recognize the complex labor and race relations underlying not only the tourist industry but also her own artistic endeavors.
The paintings of Indira Martina Morre suggest psychological landscapes that experiment with the interaction of elemental spaces and ideas. In an effort to reframe our understanding of the dots and dashes that make up both the passwords to our virtual lives and the DNA of our bodily presence, Morre’s painstakingly marbleized canvases are recoded with nail holes and primal marks.
Emily Prince investigates the irrational relation between identity and time. Manufacturing contemporary versions of early-nineteenth-century zoopraxiscopes, one of the earliest forms of the projector, Prince animates the resistance of memory to attempted reconstructions of the fixed image.
The digital storytelling of Wenhua Shi is an exercise in psychogeography—tapping into individual narratives to illustrate a landscape composed of more than just geographical and economic vectors. Digitally capturing the travel stories of various people he encounters in his daily routine, Shi allows gallery visitors to rendezvous with strangers at random, as if they were in a train station or airport.
Sunaura Taylor’s paintings subvert our expectations of natural landscape by creating an unexpected portraiture that is disarming in its realism. Taylor’s depictions of animals devastated by the farming industry are distinctly intelligible—the viewer must take responsibility for understanding such an image as part of an interpersonal and political consciousness.
MATRIX Curatorial Assistant