Happy: UBC Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition 2011

Friday September 2, 2011

Opening Reception Thursday, September 8, 7 – 10 pm. Exhibition runs Sept 2 to Sept 18, 2011


Joe Bérubé, Marilyne Blais, Jordy Hamilton, , Chunping Huang, Nick Lakowski, Joomi Seo, Damla Tamer

UBC Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition 2011
September 2 – 18, 2011

Reception Thursday, September 8, 7 – 10 pm

Public Critique with Nigel Prince
Executive Director, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver
Saturday, September 10, 12-5 pm

The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery is pleased to present Happy, an exhibition of work by the 2011 graduates of the University of British Columbia’s two-year Masters of Fine Arts program. The work of these seven emerging artists explores various themes that intersect with one another at many points, questioning the dualities of art and everyday life; object and representation; real and virtual space. The time-based aspect of artistic practice is considered in relation to labour and as a collaborative process. The focus on temporality leads to questions of what is emergent in artistic practice, how the present is experienced in the conscience and envisions anxieties surrounding the future.

Joe Bérubé uses painting, installation and video to explore spatial complexities and the potentials of perception. The imagined or virtual and the real coexist in a space of explicit contradiction, whether in landscape (such as with the phenomenon of the mirage or phantom island) or in social relationships (as in the distance between intention and perception), which he explores in his work.

Marilyne Blais is interested in artistic practices that are engaged with collectivity and material experimentation, and how these aspects are experienced in the present. She investigates the notion of ‘making’ as open-ended and unfinished in sculptural works that are collaborative and processual in nature.

Questions surrounding the words ‘work’ and ‘labour’ are central to Jordy Hamilton’s thinking about art. Working intuitively from the embedded histories and formal properties of found paintings, Hamilton employs Giorgio Agamben’s concepts of praxis (an action engaged with political structures and ideas of productivity) and poesis (an engagement with the flux of time that allows for emergent social possibilities) by re-stretching and repainting the canvases.

As an artist and immigrant from China to Canada, Chunping Huang is interested in how notions of cultural identity are constructed, interrogated and represented in the visual arts. Huang uses the medium of video to examine multiple subjectivities, allowing for images across time and space. She considers life to be the stage of everyday performances and examines situations where boundaries of identity are crossed.

Nick Lakowski’s figurative sculptures are driven by anxieties around surveillance, resuscitation, immortality, medicine and bio-power. Disease, sexuality, pornography and the un-dead are used as tropes for the understanding of control, technological progress, reproduction and mortality. These themes are set into play with dystopic and hysterical futures to create disturbing, comical and misanthropic fictions.

Joomi Seo finds it relevant to draw attention to the permeation of visual culture and the tendency toward democratization in contemporary art. Following Allan Kaprow’s assertion that the distinctions between art and non-art are ‘pseudo-distinctions,’ and how the ‘found object’ implies various aspects of everyday life, Seo’s on-going projects (including graphic notations, experimental sound performances, YouTube tutorial series, and installation) blur the boundary between art and life.

Damla Tamer’s practice has developed around storytelling and anecdotes, investigating notions of memory and truth. Tamer is interested how the memory and recital of past events generates new narratives. By combining drawings with her anecdotes, Tamer’s work explores the possible connections that an image can have with an event, allowing for a playful and open relationship between the two.

The exhibition is presented with support from the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia.

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

URL: http://www.belkin.ubc.ca/current/ubc-master-of-fine-arts-graduate-exhibition

Event Address:
Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
University of British Columbia
1825 Main Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6T 1Z2

Photo: Clockwise from left: Nick Lakowski, How Can We Not be United Against Death, 2011. Wood, wire, urethane foam, paint and silk flowers, 228.0 x 90.0 x 30.0 cm; Damla Tamer, One Day Last Summer I Went Down to the Beach, 2011. Performance photograph;  Jordy Hamilton, Untitled, 2010.Oil and acrylic on found canvas, 40.6 x 50.8 cm each; Chunping Huang, Journey (still), 2011. Video, 1:35 min.; Marilyne Blais, You Were Not There (still), 2011. Video, 2:44 min.; Joe Bérubé, The Garden of Inconsistent Realities (still), 2010. Video, 3:50 min.