MFA Thesis Exhibitions: Part I
The Department of Art at the University of California, Irvine presents the solo exhibitions of Mariah Csepanyi, Maura Murnane, and Christina Tsui. This is the first round of 2017 MFA thesis exhibitions.
\\ ALWAYS BIGGER (semper maior) //
Mariah Csepanyi — Contemporary Arts Center Gallery
It started as an interest in her grandfather’s stolen ancient marble column and a phrase he whispered in her ear—semper maior. From there a landscape began to take shape in the form of a dark ride. Mariah Csepanyi’s surreal installation is guided by the logic of her vivid reoccurring dreams, where the artist finds herself a thousand years in the future forced to help a group of people struggling to survive after their empire has collapsed. Playing with allegorical images that have percolated through a TV screen during a flicker-induced hypnosis, Csepanyi attempts to weave her own story into the fabric of human mythologies.
Shapes for the Deep Unrest
Maura Murnane — University Art Gallery
Murnane’s work explores the meditative states of slowed-down or looping time, emotional and material entropy, the transubstantiation of objects, and ego-free experiences of “shopping” through imagery. Shapes for the Deep Unrest is a visualization of the 2nd through 4th dimensions in the form of a sculpture, image, and acoustic installation.
AN EDGE THAT HOLDS LETS GO A CONDOR
Christina Tsui — Room Gallery
Tsui presents an installation of enigmatic monochrome drawings and photographic banners. Tsui’s work is the result of time spent with literary works that attend to collective trauma under the recurring conditions of social and institutional racism, settler colonialism, and the regulation of difference. The drawings, situated between body and dwelling, suggest ways of being and relating under these rubrics. The forms follow the interplay between shadow and structure. Simultaneously holding up and being supported by each other, these relational forms drape, fold, and collapse on top of themselves. Tsui’s formal bodies exist in the unknown, peripheral, and temporary space of drawing. In their sculptural impossibility, they reject revealing themselves in their entirety. Often a fear of otherness functions by forcing categorical clarity on that which cannot ever fully be known. These works resist this kind of demand; instead, they can only be felt through their relation to each other. Verbs of intimacy are useful here: to touch, cling, grasp, lean, hold, slip, and support.