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Announcement
March 28, 2016

Babylone—U.S.A.

Pratt Institute
Tal Gilboa and Elizabeth Stehl Kleberg, Waterfall Gate, 2015. HD video projection, acrylic sheet, wire mesh, wood, dimensions variable. Photo: Tal Barel.

Selected works by second-year MFA candidates from Pratt Institute curated by Daniel S. Palmer

French singer Colette Magny wrote “Babylone—U.S.A.” in 1972, but its subject is more relevant than ever. This powerful song embodies its tumultuous political moment, especially the widespread call for resistance against a totalitarian, fascist political regime. The architectural metaphor on which it is based—the collapse of a hubristic Babylon establishment status quo—evokes the cracks that may have begun to appear recently in the systems of power that dominated the 20th century. Yet the troubling inequities of race, gender, and class remain pervasive, with continued repression and control presenting fundamental crises on an international scale.

But why is this situation so dire and how can artists respond to the current predicament? It seems that these circumstances do not offer any hope for escape. (Magny begins by describing how George Jackson was shot to death by the San Quentin Prison guards.) Neither can we conceive of a utopian world after the collapse of unjust barriers and draconian controls, because of how central they are to our existence. Instead, these matters become even more universal and our current political situation more fraught as globalism and the internet reduplicate and intensify conditions. While displacement prevails, we continue to fervently object and protest and resist, only able to derive our own meaning within this system in the unique ways that we express that struggle.

Works by:
Rachel Marie Chaldu, Lan Chung-Hsuan, Evan Paul English, Lea Patrice Fales, Jessica Forrestal, Paul Gisbrecht, Joel Han, KJCooksey, Elizabeth Stehl Kleberg and Tal Gilboa, Annette Knol, Zachary Lucero, Teresa Lundgren, Joe Poon, Emmalea Russo, Yesuk Seo, Allison Yano

For more about this exhibition: www.pratt.edu/pal

About Pratt Institute’s MFA program in Fine Arts
Centrally located in Brooklyn’s thriving art community, Pratt’s MFA in Fine Arts immerses students in a culture of contemporary art supported by a faculty of working artists and peers. The graduate curriculum is both rigorous and flexible, allowing wide latitude for interdisciplinary exploration while fostering critical perspectives and a deeper understanding of the histories, issues, and cultural contexts that inform art-making today.

Pratt’s MFA degree is in Fine Arts rather than in a specific discipline. Students build their program of study in consultation with a faculty mentor and departmental advisors. Graduate instruction is offered in a wide range of media, including painting and drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, and integrated practices (installation, public art, performance). Beyond departmental courses, MFA students may choose graduate-level electives in any department in Pratt Institute. Concurrent dual degree programs (MS/MFA) are also offered in the History of Art and in Art and Design Education.

Participants work in individual studios and are provided access to shared shops and labs, including a fully equipped wood shop, metal shop, print shop, ceramics studios, darkrooms, and digital labs with high-resolution scanners and printers, as well as dedicated campus galleries. There are many opportunities to show work in a variety of traditional and non-traditional spaces on campus. Each fall, students open their studios to the public and second-year students mount individual thesis shows that are also open to the public. In addition to a regular schedule of studio visits by faculty members, the department’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series brings internationally renowned artists to give public lectures and have individual studio visits with graduate students. In addition, the graduate student group Pratt Artists League (PAL) regularly hosts artists and critics for studio visits and funds other student-run programming and exhibitions.

Pratt’s faculty members in Fine Arts are distinguished by their achievements, having exhibited internationally as well as received major awards from institutions including the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Tiffany Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Skowhegan, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Creative Capital, and Art Matters. Pratt’s graduate Fine Art students come from around the world and are selected for the program based on their promise and preparedness for the intensive and self-directed experience of graduate study.

For more information about Pratt’s MFA program: www.pratt.edu/gradfinearts

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