INTERROBANG: UBC Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition 2009

MFA 2009 Graduate Exhibition

Shea Allan-McCachen, Scott Billings, Krista Dragomer, Julio Lopez, Jen Weih

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 10, 7 – 10 pm
External Critique by Liz Magor: Saturday September 12, 12 to 5 pm

Interrobang. This uncommon typographic ligature superimposes the meaning of a question mark onto an exclamation point and indicates a common connection and bonding between different characters whose meaning depends on their surroundings. Interrobang, the exhibition, presents divergent work by five emerging artists who work in the mediums of video, sound, sculpture, drawing, painting and new media.

Shea Allan-McCachen’s drawings, paintings and collages investigate bodily abstraction, making reference to the interstice between a penetrating gaze and the penetrated body. Incorporating primary source material from Hustlermagazine, her fragmented assemblages of genitalia, bodiless apparel and indistinguishable swatches of skin evoke an anxiety about the body while partaking in an aesthetic search for beauty. The result is a matrix of fleshy exploration in which the traditional concept of a figure is absent.

Scott Billings’ media works explore the relationship between the body and the cinematic machine. By taking apart and reconfiguring older obsolete machines, such as turning theatrical lighting into a projector, Billings’ creates both moving objects and moving images that play with the concepts of mimicry and motility to depict and understand the quality of being animal. Often using his own body and figures of animals, his work resides somewhere between cinema and automata. The modified machine apparatus delivers a moving image to activate the viewer’s body and prompt a physical interrogation of the exhibition space.

Sound artist Krista Dragomer works collaboratively with video artist Rashin Fahandej to explore moments that occur between historical events, borders, and identities. Their sound and video works engage the audience in a sensorial experience of “culture” as something that exists within one’s body. The artists’ audiovisual installations combine projection with monitors and multi-channel stereo sound. Their works incorporates ideas about shared literature, music, art, traditions, dreams and nightmares—common struggles and stories told by different people in different places, past and present.

Built around the principles of the Open Source movement Julio Lopez’ current project HUB, is an experimental web-based initiative focused on collaboration, the sharing of ideas and knowledge, and the creative exploration of information technology. For the duration of the project, Lopez will operate a computer lab that provides a workspace and access to software and technologies free of charge, and delivers educational programming focused on providing participants with technical knowledge. A series of talks will highlight the work of local Vancouver artists that use a variety of technologies within their artistic practice. More information and a schedule of events can be found at www.hubcentre.org.

Jen Weih’s practice investigates a combination of the rational and the irrational. The work proposes a dialog between construction and collapse, elegance and horror, sense and non-sense. Her projects include a range of aesthetics from “bad” fonts to geometric balance and can include found, manufactured, or crafted materials. Work for this show will include a collection of 8 ½ x 11 inch, 20 lb. bond, paper sculptures produced through a combination of conscious decision making and unconscious and chance-based processes.

The department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory will be hosting an afternoon event where each graduating student will speak about her or his work, followed by a discussion led by Liz Magor.

The public is invited to participate in the critique of and conversation about the MFA students’ presentation and work.

For further information please contact: Naomi Sawada at naomi.sawada@ubc.ca,
tel: (604) 822-3640, or fax: (604) 822-6689

Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
http://www.belkin.ubc.ca/