Residue: The 2022 Undergraduate Honors Thesis Exhibition
Residue, The 2022 Undergraduate Honors Thesis Exhibition
Opening Reception: Thursday June 2nd from 6-8pm
Location: Undergraduate Art Gallery and Room Gallery
The Department of Art at the University of California, Irvine is pleased to present Residue, the 2022 Undergraduate Honors Thesis Exhibition. The show features thesis presentations by eight students from the Art Honors cohort and one student from the Campus Honors Collegium: Andrea Badillo, Christina Calma, Sarah Coscolluela (Campuswide Honors Collegium), Ruilin Huang, Dai Sam Ma, Ashlyn Miles, Arios Munoz, Renee O’Connor, and Teresa Bernadette. Please join us for the opening reception on Thursday, June 2nd from 6–8pm.
Residue is defined as “something that remains after a part is taken, separated, or designated or after the completion of a process.” Residue is present in the work through traces of bodies, trauma, consumption, and psychological landscapes. A wide range of material explorations evidence each artist’s unique processing of the uncertainty in the present moment. The artists leave marks as timestamps, recording their responses to a rapidly changing environment.
Themes of consumption, devourment and use value are explored by three of the artists featured. Christina Calma’s thesis focuses on the relationship between her own body and her daily consumption of waste. Her thesis, 24 Hours of Waste, constructs a bodily index of how consumption can be framed within a temporal environment through abstract mark making and sculpture. Ruilin Huang explores the value of shoes that he collected from friends and family. His thesis, entitled Currency, allows the audience to consider the appreciation and depreciation of shoes, leaving the space for the viewer to consider their own relationships to these objects. Ashlyn Miles portrays remnants of lived experiences through hyperrealistic paintings created in dialog with ceramic sculptures. Her installation features highly aestheticized paintings of food juxtaposed with the sculptures of the same subject matter decomposing.
The female body as it exists in digital spheres is explored by two artists through performance and painting. Renee O’Connor presentes an installation of video performances titled Growing Pains, inspired by home videos discovered during the pandemic and a reflective process of finding threads connecting her current self to her inner child. Through compassionate self-reflection she addresses issues of feminism, community, and radical self-acceptance. Sarah Coscolluela explores the repercussions of a generation obligated to live and participate in the digital age of social media. Through figurative paintings and a sculptural installation derived from her own archive of time spent online, she articulates the unique but not entirely aberrant experience of what it means to be a consumer. Themes of voyeurism, consumption, and the feminine experience subdue the works, though the motive of participation is perhaps the most consequential. They focus on the female body in their work while the next group of artists delve into their experiences of the body both physically and psychologically.
Trauma and loss have inspired several artists to produce abstracted forms reflecting upon these experiences. Andrea Badillo explores the extreme desensitization the public has developed during this technologically mediated age, and the alienation one feels when suddenly one becomes the very spectacle that people are watching. Using video and sound-installation within a brash reconstruction of a car accident, they invite the exhibition’s ‘spectators’ to feel some semblance of being on the other side of the apathetic gaze - to be watched and consumed. Through their mental health journey, Arios Munoz developed their thesis on the psychology of art, dreams and mental health through their personal experiences of generalized anxiety disorder, depression and PTSD through a materially experimental painting and sculpture installation. Dai Sam Ma’s work of Loss conceptualizes the idea of loss through the passage of time in her abstract paintings. Her work records the effort of honoring a lost one, and simulates the process of grieving through a series of blockages and false continuations on the canvas. The work of Teresa Bernadette also explores loss as a subject. Compelled by the conflict between what is revealed and what is concealed, Teresa Bernadette empowers the viewer to selectively make the invisible visible. The artists grapple with their personal experiences through integrating fragments of their past recollections in their chosen art practice.
Residue becomes a point of reference for this diverse group of artists as they reflect upon objects and experiences from the recent past. Through a diverse range of media and approaches, the 2022 Honors cohort considers many of the central concerns of their generation, from digital and physical consumption to loss and traumatic personal experiences, inviting the viewer to join in a process of collective contemplation.