If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash
Brooklyn College MFA 2018 Thesis Exhibition
May 25 – June 3, 2018
Curated by Sara Shaoul
Thursday, May 24, 6 to 8 PM
Featuring William J. Simmons, Yasmin Ramirez, Ph.D & Jane Ursula Harris
Friday, June 1, 6 to 8 PM
The Department of Art at Brooklyn College CUNY and 601 Artspace is pleased to present the 2018 MFA Candidates’ Thesis Exhibition.
“Poetry is just the evidence of life” noted the late, great Leonard Cohen. “If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” The artists of the 2018 Brooklyn College MFA thesis group recalled this sentiment to me because their work feels, overwhelming and consistently, like a form of proof. Proof of complex personal narratives, proof of the deeply flawed world we inhabit, proof of the theoretical, conceptual and political beliefs that motivate their work. The artists in this show offer poetic evidence that their claims are true. And in doing so, they prove that the lives of artists are not footnotes to be relegated to the background or basement of artwork. They are its source.
In her book “Hold it Against Me” theorist Jennifer Doyle describes a pressing need for a new language of contemporary art criticism that can effectively discuss work that is emotional, difficult, personal: work that deals with feeling and affect, work that sometimes turns the viewer into a witness or participant. Doyle points out that such a sea change would not only underscore that identity and emotion are inextricably linked, but would challenge the art historical canon to acknowledge a “broader spectrum of viewers seeking a wider range of experiences than those recognized by traditional articulations of that discipline.” The Brooklyn College thesis class openly and unapologetically mine their life experiences to make art, offering up their personal histories and challenges, acknowledging the influence of their day jobs, laying bare their spiritual and material explorations. They collectively embrace the sincere, the emotional, the challenging, the difficult.”
– Sara Shaoul, Curator and Gallery Director at 601 Artspace
Featured artists are Lexi Campbell, Megan Cavanaugh, Madeline Donahue, Joshua Gabriel, Celie Gruber, Helena Halvarsson Hagg, Megan Heckmann, Tom Hemmerick, Elizabeth Insogna, Georgie Flores Mendéz, Eliza Moore, Samantha Rivera and Olivia Taylor.
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