Apprehensions of The Material World
SACI MFA students present their final works and research in the 2021 SACI MFA Final Exhibition, Apprehensions of The Material World.
Apprehensions of the Material World is an exhibition of selected works by SACI MFA candidates in Studio Art, Photography, and Communication Design. The exhibition will take place at the Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Visual Arts in Florence, Italy (pending orange zone restrictions). The works can also be viewed on SACI’s website and social media platforms.
April 20-23, 2021*
Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Visual Arts / SACI Gallery
Via Sant'Egidio 14 - Florence, Italy
Lindsey Campbell - MFA in Photography
Joseph Cimino - MFA in Studio Art
Eric J. Frey - MFA in Studio Art
Bridget Hannah - MFA in Communication Design
Arais Meteyard - MFA in Studio Art
Melissa Morris - MFA in Studio Art
Rudransh Nagi - MFA in Photography
David Neal - MFA in Studio Art
Victor Restrepo - MFA in Photography
Marie-France Robichaud - MFA in Photography
Apprehensions of the Material World
Apprehensions of the Material World is the final collective exhibition of SACI’s graduate students, on view April 20-23 at Studio Arts College International in Florence in the exhibition spaces of SACI’s Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Visual Arts.
The show is the conclusion of a two-year graduate-level journey conducted for more than half of its time during the global Covid-19 pandemic. This critical situation, which affects the lives of us all, certainly played a part in determining the recent research of the artists, showing in many ways an apprehension for the condition of the individual in the society we live in. This material world is both a planet whose fragile equilibrium of living material elements are continuously struggling to find a balance, and a world driven by a materialistic economy, which is one of the main causes of the disequilibrium that affects all ecosystems. Apprehension is a condition we are all experiencing, a state of mind that influences how we behave and our representation of the world. It is also a drive to critically re-think and change the conditions that determine the world we live in, imagining, representing, and creating different ways of life.
Lindsey Campbell, Joe Cimino, Eric J. Frey, Bridget Hannah, Arais Meteyard, Melissa Morris, Rudransh Nagi, David Neal, Victor Restrepo, and Marie-France Robichaud have researched in their respective fields of studio art, photography, and design. The works presented use several mediums that suggest to us many possible paths: an installation archiving memories through a complex bureaucratic system on the edge of potential failure (Frey); an animation where irrationality, chance, accumulation, and poetry create a world of continuous transformations (Meteyard); a multi-channel video installation on the American landscape that recomposes film footage sequences and sound, deconstructing its hidden histories and giving us a new perspective gaze on our natural landscape (Cimino); images and sound that address issues of control, surveillance, and inequality in the American education system (Neal); and abstract paintings of collapsing grid structures that are a reflection on the construction of knowledge and its potential to undo itself (Morris).
On a more personal level, some of the works treat how individuals live moments of difficulty, fear, and anxiety. These are narrated in a photographic series, where the unfinished temporary experience becomes a state of mind (Restrepo); in a series of postcards, where drawings trace photographs that could not be taken, representing the everyday effects on a personal life of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (Campbell); in photographs that suggest how anxiety affects all aspects of life and how it slowly deteriorates physical, social, and emotional life (Nagi); in photographic collages, which represent eroded landscapes and portraits where slices of different images compose an ongoing consumption of a fading memory (Robichaud); and in blob maps as design depictions of mental memories of a physical world (Hannah).
The works are presented on the SACI website and are on view in the SACI exhibition spaces from April 20-23, from 9am to 5pm, pending orange zone restrictions.
*Event subject to Covid-19 prevention procedures and local zone restrictions. Entry will be limited to comply with social distancing recommendations.
Lindsey Campbell - Photography
In Light of IBS
This work focuses on my relationship with my irritable bowel syndrome and the moments that happen because of it. Many people think that the only things that come from it are my painful symptoms, but there are also many moments in which I realize more than ever that I have strong and intimate connections with my loved ones, mainly my host mom Marta, my boyfriend Chris, my closest friends, and my parents.
Joe Cimino - Studio Art
Video and sound Installation
American Landscapes is a 3-channel video and sound installation that uses an original soundtrack paired with appropriated footage from Western Genre films to focus on the landscape rather than the main characters. Ranging from the 1950’s to 2018, the films appropriated for this work span the use of painted backgrounds, panoramic shots, on-site footage, or geography from a different country as the backdrops for their stories. These scenes are isolated and re-composed together in their given channels to paint an overall depiction of landscape in these films, bringing the foreground, midground, and background onto three video channels. This work looks to investigate and deconstruct the mythologization of the American West and reveal its hidden histories that have been overlooked in favor of a fabricated one.
Eric J. Frey - Studio Art
Embrace the Red Tape. In the digital age where memory has been converted into bits and bytes, Eric Frey recaptures the essence of memory retention and transmission before the digital age. Utilizing the bureaucratic aesthetic and the practices of governmental institutions, he created a new institution to preserve and protect memories. Having built the International Mnemonic Object Registration Administration as an umbrella organization, the Administration’s Ministry of Mnemosyne collects memories that have been imprinted on mnemonic objects by humans and non-humans through this ongoing participatory art project. Incorporating verbal, written, visual, and haptic memories that are imprinted within banal objects the Ministry of Mnemosyne’s Memory Registration Commission methodically transforms these ephemeral mementos into precious artifacts that are authenticated and preserved within the Archive of Memories.
Bridget Hannah - Communication Design
How do we interact with the physical, cultural and social aspects in our environment? What is it about a specific place, building or location that holds significance for you? Is there a certain street that you just “like” and don’t know exactly why? Why do we find some places more attractive or repulsive than others? In a physical space, each experience forms a memory and we attach those memories to a physical world. Every single interaction, experience and emotion that we’ve individually sustained connects itself to the corresponding physical area.
Blob maps are a depiction of our mental maps and personal attachment to a physical place.
Arais Meteyard - Studio Art
Insect Hunter developed from my interest in investigating imagination, irrationality, chance, and disrupting the mind’s ability to form a narrative. I experiment with the potential in creating a narrative that is disjointed and seemingly without purpose, yet through multiple viewings connections can be formed. The animation is based on the founding principles of Dada with a Surrealist attitude of automatism and the desire to create a work of art that has no obvious focal point of meaning. The present popular trend is for a work’s worth to primarily come from its meaning, so I would like to make the work itself be the focus that stimulates independent thought. I pivot off this using chance and imagination with the aim of having the audience feel as if viewing a dream. This dream will continue to expand.
Melissa Morris - Studio Art
Untitled (And the grid's heart fluttered), 2021
oil on canvas, 180x180 cm
Untitled (Having stripped awareness naked) II, 2021
oil on canvas, 180x180 cm
Untitled (There doesn’t always have to be a reason), 2021
oil on canvas, 180x180 cm
The series of paintings entitled Un/Doing is a meditation on systems of ordering and knowledge-construction, using the grid as the starting point. Rather than seeking to map a predetermined, human-centered perspective within the painting’s frame, I look to other principles such as chance for the line and composition, and consider color a form of thinking. As the grid bends and collapses, what happens to the whole system of measure upon which it's based, with the eye/I at the center? The grids in a state of undoing are an alternative to the grid of Modernity--rooted in rational and logical systems of knowledge--and suggest dynamic systems with their own nature and inner logic. The interaction of color is such that the image won’t settle, and the scale of the paintings invites an experience that is more than meets the eye.
Rudransh Nagi - Photography
This project is about living with anxiety disorder. How it affects everyday life which goes unnoticed like relationships with the partner, family and friends, career, work, and just day-to-day life. As it is in mind, the project house is used as a metaphor to show the slow deterioration of mental, physical, social, and emotional life.
David Neal - Studio Art
David Neal’s work addresses inequality, surveillance and control using video, photography, performance, and installation in order to critique institutional power. Institutions play an important role in society to assist communities by administering facilities and programs that promote learning. Artists and thinkers are taking actions to decolonize institutions and have shed light on the drawbacks. Neal is interested in how institutional powers give access and control to a person's visibility and identity. Who has access and who does not? Are the pathways to access equal? The U.S. education system still follows outdated standardized learning systems and teaching practices that are not equitable to students with learning disabilities or BIPOC students. In his work, Neal addresses these issues raising questions as to how we might break from these outdated systems. The three works: Blackboard, Code 27, and F&D revolve around the classroom setting and the pangram, “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Blackboard has the passage written in cursive in English and Italian. Code 27 is an in-class assignment to figure the puzzle and interpret the music score. Lastly, F&D is a result decoding the puzzle into a drawing, while the score is an audio file.
Marie-France Robichaud - Photography
Fragmented Memories: Yvon, Dorothée, Dollard, Gabrielle, Roméo
Inkjet prints on fiber based paper of scans from negatives and digital files
Paper: Canson Baryta 310
60cm x 60cm, 2021
This ongoing artistic research explores eroded landscapes as a metaphor of disintegration of one’s ability to recall the past. As natural erosion is the material trace and evidence of an ongoing consumption, it is through this metaphor that the fading of memory can be visualized and thus investigated.
My primary source of inspiration is my paternal grandmother, Gabrielle, who lives with dementia. Her thoughts and stories, that I have collected, drove my artistic research towards exploring the memory loss and its connection with natural erosion
The fives portraits as digital collages obtained through digital collages or in form of digital collages are a further development of many other visual outcomes. They derive from the association of faces extracted from one of my grandmother’s family group pictures, and strips of landscapes, combined vertically, so that they create a sort of vertical, displacing skyline in the middle of the face.
The faces from family pictures belong to Gabriel’s brothers and sisters’ -faces that she no longer remembers, though she does remember their existence in her life. By covering the faces with sliced landscapes, I got the erasure of the recognizable features of the face together with the transfiguration of the landscapes. As the faces become anonymous, the landscapes become surreal.
Victor Restrepo - Photography
Everything in life is unfinished. The landscapes I have begun to observe, people's faces, the details, and above all me. So were the portraits with which I concluded, with joy and surprise, my first year of study, before the shadow stepped into my life.
We think of the unfinished as a temporary experience, but perhaps we should begin to accept its permanence. It is a condition that affects us all. Life is not a book, just as time is not one. Perhaps that is why every image of mine seems on the verge of falling, of breaking up.
An operation, illness, treatment, recovery in pandemic times, lockdown, the strangeness of having to communicate my ideas from a distance, when direct relationships are so important, so vital to me, have made it clear.
These images are the loose, fragile pages, shaken by a spiteful wind, of the diary of this labyrinthic and forever unfinished exploration.
I am not what I was, nor what I will be. I know that now.