Related
Exhibition
June 2015

PennMFA 2015 Thesis Exhibition

University of Pennsylvania

Daniel Haun. "disaproval," 2015. Vinyl.

Annie Zverina. "More Machiavelli in Brussels. Box 13 of the Robert Anderson Papers, Department of State: Press," 2015.

Annie Zverina. Untitled, 2015. Inkjet print.

James Howzell. "Clumsee," 2015. Wood dust.

2015 Penn MFA Thesis show installation, 1st floor.

James Howzell. "Nile," 2015. Copper.

Ava Hassinger. "https://www.sheisgoingtowantyouASAP.NoMatterWHERE.inbox.tower.com," 2015. Foam and inkjet print.

Corey Herynk. "Tower 2," 2015. Aluminum, wood, steel.

Charles Hall. "continuous indignation," 2015. Painting and drawing on insulation boards.

2015 Penn MFA Thesis show installation, 1st floor.

James Howzell. (from left to right) "Ronin," "Cyklops," "Miles," "Arkor," "Fet," "Monk," 2015. Bushido wood.

Annie Zverina.

Jacob Been. "Bon appétit," 2015. Plastic toys, plaster, shelf.

Joan Oh. "May the good spirits be with you.," 2015. Cherry wood frame, documents.

Natessa Amin. "An unearthed imaginal space for contemplation," 2015. Screen printed newsprint, pigments.

Natessa Amin. "cascade and combine," 2015. Wood, fired clay, screen printed paper, copper, wire, silver leaf.

Derek Rigby. "Thurston’s Peak," 2015. Video with sound, wood.

Derek Rigby. "Thurston’s Peak," 2015. Video with sound, wood.

Corey Herynk. "Allo-," 2015. Aluminum, wood, steel, twine.

Jennifer Berman. (from left to right) "Sinkhole," "$10," "J.A.G.," "Phosphorous," "We live on Waller," "Poison Saag," 2015. All oil on panel.

Jennifer Berman. (from left to right) "Sinkhole," "$10," "J.A.G.," "Phosphorous," "We live on Waller," "Poison Saag," 2015. All oil on panel.

Jennifer Berman. "Sinkhole," 2015. Acrylic on panel.

Jennifer Berman. "Phosphorous," 2015. Oil on panel.

Jing Qian. "still scanning," 2015. Two-channel video, 11:12 min.

2015 Penn MFA Thesis show installation, 2nd floor.

Ava Hassinger. "Let’s Make a Deal," 2015. Inkjet print on fabric, stuffing.

Ava Hassinger. "Petit Poucette," 2015. Plaster, ink, wires.

Ava Hassinger. "Petit Poucette," 2015. Plaster, ink, wires.

Sascha Hughes-Caley. "#3 Shelly Newhall" and "S97 E7," 2015. Videos.

Sascha Hughes-Caley. "Here," 2015. Book edition.

Charles Hall. "Air Force Publique," 2015. Found rubber tires, mutilated nike sweat suits.

Charles Hall. "Air Force Publique," 2015. Found rubber tires, mutilated nike sweat suits.

Daniel Haun. "ennui," 2015. Vinyl.

Ashley Kuhn. "A system to pointing," 2015. Mixed media installation with two panels and twenty two drawings with oil, ink, acrylic, graphite, inkjet watercolor and colored pencil.

Ashley Kuhn. "A system to pointing," 2015. Mixed media installation with two panels and twenty two drawings with oil, ink, acrylic, graphite, inkjet watercolor and colored pencil.

Ashley Kuhn. "A system to pointing," 2015. Mixed media installation with two panels and twenty two drawings with oil, ink, acrylic, graphite, inkjet watercolor and colored pencil.

Ashley Kuhn. "A system to pointing," 2015. Mixed media installation with two panels and twenty two drawings with oil, ink, acrylic, graphite, inkjet watercolor and colored pencil.

Ashley Kuhn. "Tender system not pointing," 2015. Ink and acrylic on mylar.

Chiara No. "Tenet 5," 2015. Cotton, burlap, linen, industrial black reactive dye, thread, small traces of skin and blood.

Chiara No. "Tenet 5," 2015. Cotton, burlap, linen, industrial black reactive dye, thread, small traces of skin and blood.

Chiara No. "Untitled (Swallow)," 2015. Seven microphones, two rubber bands, microphone stand, three microphone extender arms, four 5-disc CD recievers, tape receiver, found wood, two slabs of concrete, power strip, sound, silence.

Chiara No. "Ovary Gang #1 and #2," 2015. Inkjet bitmapped photograph of a crochet human hair, 100% wool, two hand sewn screen, printed black demin balls stuffed with plastic hacky, sack pellets nailed to the wall.

Jing Qian. "still scanning," 2015. Two-channel video, 11:12 min.

Lydia Rosenberg. "A meal is a war, a tunnel is a meal" 2015. Spoons, steel, wood.

Lydia Rosenberg. "A meal is a war, a tunnel is a meal" 2015. Spoons, steel, wood.

Lydia Rosenberg. "A meal is a war, a tunnel is a meal" 2015. Spoons, steel, wood.

Lydia Rosenberg. "A meal is a war, a tunnel is a meal" 2015. Spoons, steel, wood.

Lydia Rosenberg. "Joachim’s Dreaming of Getting the Fuck Out of this Giotto Fresco book," 2015.

Lydia Rosenberg. "Joachim’s Dreaming of Getting the Fuck Out of this Giotto Fresco book," 2015.

Lydia Rosenberg. "Joachim’s Dreaming of Getting the Fuck Out of this Giotto Fresco book," 2015.

Lydia Rosenberg. "Joachim’s Dreaming of Getting the Fuck Out of this Giotto Fresco book," 2015.

Annie Zverina. "untitled (Goddamn)," 2015. Nixon Tapes 001-004 to 538-015, lamp, floor tiles, dates.

Annie Zverina. "untitled (Goddamn)," 2015. Nixon Tapes 001-004 to 538-015, lamp, floor tiles, dates.

Annie Zverina. "Box 9, folder 'Arrival Statement, Brussels, Belgium' of the President’s Speeches and Statements: Reading Copies," 2015.

Annie Zverina. "Box 9, folder 'Arrival Statement, Brussels, Belgium' of the President’s Speeches and Statements: Reading Copies," 2015.

Annie Zverina. "Box 9, folder 'Arrival Statement, Brussels, Belgium' of the President’s Speeches and Statements: Reading Copies," 2015.

Annie Zverina. "Box 9, folder 'Arrival Statement, Brussels, Belgium' of the President’s Speeches and Statements: Reading Copies," 2015.

Annie Zverina. "Box 9, folder 'Arrival Statement, Brussels, Belgium' of the President’s Speeches and Statements: Reading Copies," 2015.

Annie Zverina. "Box 9, folder 'Arrival Statement, Brussels, Belgium' of the President’s Speeches and Statements: Reading Copies," 2015.

Annie Zverina. "Box 9, folder 'Arrival Statement, Brussels, Belgium' of the President’s Speeches and Statements: Reading Copies," 2015.

Annie Zverina. "Box 9, folder 'Arrival Statement, Brussels, Belgium' of the President’s Speeches and Statements: Reading Copies," 2015.

Annie Zverina. "Box 9, folder 'Arrival Statement, Brussels, Belgium' of the President’s Speeches and Statements: Reading Copies," 2015.

Kasey Short. "Tracking Movement Amnesiac series: Family Hobbies, Social Club Activity and mold for Jean-Claude Van Damme," 2015.

Kasey Short. "Tracking Movement Amnesiac series: Family Hobbies, Social Club Activity and mold for Jean-Claude Van Damme," 2015.

Kasey Short. "Tracking Movement Amnesiac series: Family Hobbies, Social Club Activity and mold for Jean-Claude Van Damme," 2015.

Kasey Short. "Tracking Movement Amnesiac series: Family Hobbies, Social Club Activity and mold for Jean-Claude Van Damme," 2015.

Wilmer Wilson IV. "Modern Hair Designs," 2015. Found flyers, staples, acrylic on wood.

Wilmer Wilson IV. "Quilt," 2015. Lottery tickets, safety pins.

Wilmer Wilson IV. "Philadelphia/Schaerbeek Fly-by," 2015. Fuji instant prints.

Joan Oh. "The Notebook (kissing scene)," 2015. Video, 2:35 min.

Charles Hall. "continuous indignation," 2015. Painting and drawing on insulation boards.

Katie Locke. "Mise en Scène (excerpt)," 2015. Opaque plastic drop cloth, blue linen fabric, beige jacquard fabric, screen mesh, acrylic paint.

Katie Locke. "Mise en Scène (excerpt)," 2015. Opaque plastic drop cloth, blue linen fabric, beige jacquard fabric, screen mesh, acrylic paint.

Daniel Haun. "whatever," 2015. Vinyl.

Joan Oh. "A study of centrifugal forces," 2015. Twelve porcelain jars, wood vitrine, inkjet print.

Joan Oh. "A study of centrifugal forces," 2015. Twelve porcelain jars, wood vitrine, inkjet print.

Joan Oh. "A study of centrifugal forces," 2015. Twelve porcelain jars, wood vitrine, inkjet print.

Joan Oh. "A study of centrifugal forces," 2015. Twelve porcelain jars, wood vitrine, inkjet print.

Lydia Rosenberg. "Part-time Gargoyles, friendship as a concurrent perception of existence," 2015. Two inkjet photographs.

Natessa Amin. "Drawings from the Past and for Future," 2015. Pigment on antique grid paper.

Natessa Amin. "Drawings from the Past and for Future," 2015. Pigment on antique grid paper.

Natessa Amin. "Drawings from the Past and for Future," 2015. Pigment on antique grid paper.

Natessa Amin. "Drawings from the Past and for Future," 2015. Pigment on antique grid paper.

Natessa Amin. "Drawings from the Past and for Future," 2015. Pigment on antique grid paper.

Natessa Amin. "Drawings from the Past and for Future," 2015. Pigment on antique grid paper.

Michelle Yue Wang EE. "The Nervous System Symphony," 2015. Video with three channel audio, 14:28 min.

The Master of Fine Arts program of the University of Pennsylvania presented the 2015 thesis exhibition in Brussels, Belgium. The exhibition was the culmination of a six-month exchange between the graduate students and curator Agata Jastrząbek. During their residency in Brussels, the students installed selected works, and through various activities organized by the curator, immersed themselves in the local contemporary art scene and visited major Belgian historical venues.

The thesis exhibition project acknowledges that emerging artists work from a globalized state of culture and respond to a new perception of site specificity. The exhibition presented work impacted by a collective discussion on the premise that travel, cultural exchange and the examination of cultural relativism are all markers of a profound evolution in our vision of the world.

This year’s edition questioned the power of globalization and cultural relativism by enhancing and paying tribute to particular characteristics inherent to North American culture. It was titled “Down to Earth” and curated by Agata Jastrząbek.

PennMFA Thesis Exhibition Artists
Natessa Amin, Jacob Been, Jennifer Berman, Charles Hall, Ava Hassinger, Daniel Haun, Corey Herynk, James Howzell, Sascha Hughes-Caley, Ashley Kuhn, Katie Locke, Chiara No, Joan Oh, Jing Qian, Derek Rigby, Lydia Rosenberg, Kasey Short, Michelle Yue Wang, Wilmer Wilson IV, Annie Zverina

Amtrak train from Philadelphia to NYC, 1 May 2015
Down to Earth

On Amtrak (The National Railroad Passenger Corporation) trains in the U.S.A., when a conductor enters a coach compartment, she/he shouts: ‘prepare your tickets!’ so everyone pulls her/his ticket out and it’s checked. There is no aggression in this shout; it is no more than a loud voice legitimized by its function to inform.

In Belgium, a conductor enters a coach compartment and she/he might not open his mouth even once as he strolls down the ally checking the tickets. He might say something, but he will most probably not shout.

There is no good or bad in the conductors’ conducts. It’s great that the difference prevails on two sides of the ocean.

Some time ago, a Polish writer in exile, Witold Gombrowicz, compared cultures by looking into their basics: what people eat, how they eat, how they dress, and what women they fall in love with. He compared the sophisticated French cuisine, savoir vivre, and elegantly made up women with Polish food served in big chunks, eaten often by hand; the ideal of woman being the one working in the fields and of natural beauty. He concluded that the quintessence of national high culture is best expressed in the basic aesthetics of every day life.

So there is a possibility that the behavior of a train conductor has something to do with art that originates from the same land. Even if far-fetched, my experience has proven that Gombrowicz was quite right.

The difference in artwork from the U.S. and Europe makes sense from the perspectives of history and education. America is younger than Europe. There are less architectural, aesthetic and narrative burdens resting on the shoulders of young students in America than young Europeans. (Or the burden is of another sort)

American art education tends to be more open towards students with non-artistic backgrounds. I mean that it is more common for a graduate of Physics to pursue Masters in the field of Arts in U.S.A than in Europe.

It has been called a land of dreams. The American dream implied that anyone could become what she/he wants. It is very different from the old European determinism of the class system that is continuously in favor of preserving the status-quo. Again, as in the case of the different conductors, those differences imply simultaneously both positive and negative characteristics.

The point is: art develops differently on different grounds. In Europe, there is (still) extensive government support which is often connected to academia and the intellectual elite whereas in America, it’s the secret powers of a free money market that make things happen. It is more likely that things happen out of the blue in America than in Europe, careful by nature & culture.

The sky seems to be higher in America, the air lighter and the distance between buildings bigger. There seems to be more physical space for risk-taking, daring, shouting, learning from scratch when it seems to be already too late, making mistakes and starting anew.

I have stayed there briefly enough (and only in New York and Philadelphia) to not develop strong counter points to my first impression. Maybe for the better – to preserve the clarity of the first impression.

So it all comes together, in the European context of surreal Brussels. It’s all down to (earth of) the present as it is: direct, responsive, reality-related, contemporary. Altogether it is not so referential and enigmatic. It is engaged, blunt communicative, daring, rooted, uprooted and fresh.

It has been a great experience.

—Agata Jastrząbek

*I mean western Europe (from Berlin westwards). Eastern Europe, with some of its European history literally erased by years of communism, has a lot of attitude common with young America.

Participating Artists

Natessa Amin
Jacob Been
Jennifer Berman
Charles Hall
Ava Hassinger
Daniel Haun
Corey Herynk
James Howzell
Sascha Hughes-Caley
Ashley Kuhn
Katie Locke
Chiara No
Joan Oh
Jing Qian
Derek Rigby
Lydia Rosenberg
Kasey Short
Michelle Yue Wang
Wilmer Wilson IV
Annie Zverina

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.