Robert Becraft, Susannah Bielak, Micha Cárdenas, Matthew Coors, James Enos, Kael Greco, Nico Herbst, Esteban Martinez, Gretchen Mercedes, Clare Parry, Omar Pimienta, Yvonne Venegas, Julia Westerbeke
The University Art Gallery is delighted to present its annual exhibition of work by the completing class 2009-2010 of Masters of Visual Arts students, from the Department of Visual Arts, at the University of California, San Diego. The exhibition of these thirteen emerging artists reflects the culmination of their time spent at UCSD and ranges from painting and sculpture to video, photography and installation.
Robert Becraft assembles films from distressed images and footage of made objects and tableaux that look back to a time of stylized experimentation. Susannah Bielak’s fascination with earthquakes and their effects are represented through text, documentation, staged simulations and carving images into domestic tabletops traversing the territory between human and geographic disaster. Micha Cárdenas’ recent 365 hour performance “Becoming Dragon” immersed her in the online 3D environment of Second Life through which she explored issues of transgender and identity. Matthew Coors’ composite photographs focus on elements of disquiet in our urban environment. Combining wildlife with architecture his images tap into our fears of the unknown. James Enos maps and animates the confluence of landscapes in sculptural and pictorial form. His three dimensional collages intertwine a range of different architectural forms with modes of transportation, tracts of greenery and the products of an industrialized society. Kael Greco celebrates the video gaming experience with colorful explosive videos that collapses the experience of a multitude of play scenarios into a single screen. Nico Herbst multi-screen video installations mix together created incidences and casual footage to create a space for sensual surrender. Esteban Martinez’s fake cactus and ice cream cart proposes an alternative form of watching to the sanctioned U.S. surveillance of the San Diego/Tijuana border. Gretchen Mercedes video diptych unites contemporary footage of a helicopter approaching a boat out at sea and found Super 8 footage of an unknown island, thus allowing two different periods to come together. Clare Parry paints onto the surface of found wallpapers, proposing them as carrier of memory, a screen for reflection and site for the investigation of the possibilities of painting. Omar Pimienta fuses together American and Mexican culture in films and sculptural form that both speaks to its origins while proposing the possibility of something new that exists between the imagination and the image. Yvonne Venegas’ latest photographic series focuses on a powerful Tijuana family and the world they have created. Their framing speaks of the tenuousness of her relationship to them as well as her ability to move within and negotiate that space. Julia Westerbeke’s twisting organic shapes that make up her creeping and sprawling installations are created through the manipulation of decidedly inorganic materials. Graphically present in black and white they propose a new form and order of beauty.