School of Visual Arts presents “4 x 4,” an MFA Fine Arts group exhibition that presents four student curated shows, each featuring artwork by four students. Each exhibition offers a distinct angle from which the student-artists perceive and interact with the art worlds of New York and beyond: from interactive, world-building and deconstructing performance art, to figurative works that bare mixed identities, to irreverent multimedia art that places the viewer inside exaggerated set pieces and queer art that queers the gallery itself. The exhibition will be on view Saturday, January 12, through Saturday, February 2, at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York City.
“‘Living’ in Performance,” featuring HeraHaeSoo Kim, Mengxia Shi, Pei-Ling Ho (curator) and Shannon Michelle Stovall, is a performative exhibition that brings together four artists whose mediums include the human body, video, sound and text as a means of exploring the synergy that arises from the convergence of performance and art-making practices. Based on the concept of Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ), which are liberated and transformative spaces of energetic exchange, each artist invites the public to experience live-action art that exists between domestic and psychological interiors.
The exhibition combines static display with live art that discusses themes of family, gender and human desire. With each artist transforming the space into surreal living space, they combine performance, participatory practices, installation, sound, healing methods and food to present a unique experience for the viewer. The exhibition aims to pose questions regarding the relationship between viewer and artist, and the social and public aspect of art environments.
One of the challenges that people continue to face is the question of identity: who you are and where you belong, what you're supposed to look like and the acceptance of your difference. “Figures of Mixed Identity” features a group of artists—Bianca Lott, Latefy Dolley, LaTonia Allen and Ferguson Amo(curator)—whose practice is keen to engage with current challenges in contemporary art, particularly in the area of identity and representation.
The artists will show a series of works that explores their personal experiences and issues concerning cultural, sexual and racial identities. The exhibition does not seek to group these artist as one, but regards them by the procedures they use or the problems they encompass. Their aim is to show that there are many voices in the world and all are fascinating. A common form found in each artist’s practice is figuration. In this sense, the artistic processes are analyzed as a creative power that allows different understandings of ways to depict figures, whether by painting, drawing or performance.
“Super! Fun! Elastic! Sinister!” takes as its starting point the idea of the cartoon. Bright color, exaggerated form, graphic simplicity and manipulative cuteness are on display in the work of the Weird Eggplant Collective, comprised of Marianna Peragallo, Min Ding, William Patterson and Wushuang Tong. These four artists interpret or appropriate from such consumer-friendly and “cartoony” media as comic books, animation and video games as well as toy models, dolls and action figures. But each artist manipulates these broadly understood forms in a way that complicates their reception, turning what is often friendly and benign toward ambiguous and discomforting ends.
To queer is to challenge the normative, to cause confusion. It is a queer's most political act. Resisting assumptions by fostering a language that speaks with its own voice. It is performative and it is personal. “Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, showstopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before, unafraid to reference or not reference, put it in a blender, shit on it, vomit on it, eat it, give birth to it” celebrates the personal by bringing together the collective cultures and iconographies of four queer artists: Zac Thompson, Jason Elizondo (curator), Megan Elaine Wirick and Daniel Arturo Almeida.
Click here to learn more about the artwork on display.