APR 30–MAY 28, 2017
12 Degrees: 2017 MFA Exhibition
The Mills College Art Museum is pleased to announce the 2017 Mills College MFA Exhibition on view from April 30-May 28, 2017. The MFA Exhibition features work in a wide range of media—painting, photography, sculpture, installation, and video—created by the emerging artists of the Mills College MFA in Studio Art Program. Students showcase a final body of work produced as the culmination of their graduate experience. This year’s presenting artists are Whitney Aguiñiga, Charles Bass, Steven Berroteran, Gail Cooper, Matt Floriani, Gregory G. Geiger, Ali Haselbeck, Erin O’Malley, Kate Pruitt, Boris Scherbakov, O.M. France Viana, and Bria Williams.
Whitney Aguiñiga uses the narrative potential of raw material to explore evolutions. Through sculpture, image, and installation, Aguiñiga documents visual traces left by bodies in time and space, questioning whether we are molding or being molded and what will happen to the residues that are left.
Charles Bass designs systems (semiotic, behavioral, critical, and ludic) that expose the core dynamics of contemporary society. Inspired by free culture approaches to authorship and ownership, he distributes his work for free through the Internet to foster collaboration and attack luxury commodity art production.
Steven Berroteran deals with Endurance, Suffering and Emotion by using it as a driving force to create performances, sculptures and videos. Enduring repetitious and durational actions that are pushed to a state of failure, he confronts weaknesses similar to an athlete or musician that practices for hours.
Gail Cooper mines photographic and filmic deficiencies to explore her own subtle shifts in perception from the mundane to the phenomenological. Through the process of drawing, painting, scratch animation and sound, she aims to transcend physicality and evoke the ethereality of her own abstruse experiences.
Matt Floriani feels an immediate connection to the place we call home, a place not only for comfort, but a place for control. The sense of order, in whatever form it takes, acts as a mask against the erratic and volatile chaos of the outside world.
Gregory G. Geiger uses classic darkroom techniques to cement the transitory disposable videos of Snapchat onto photographic slide film, creating an analog record of this easily consumed ephemeral media. These new solid archival objects become a beautiful complicated amalgamation of time, movement, and environment.
Ali Haselbeck is a painter and interdisciplinary artist who alters the history of naturalism and cabinets of curiosity through excavation and process. Featuring real places and their animal inhabitants fractured through layering and sanding, her work depicts a hybrid nature where animals begin to merge into new ever changing intangible organisms.
Erin O’Malley uses alternative processes to induce emergent behavior in materials such as plastic, resin or ink. The work documents chaotic, fleeting states of matter and explores the agency and creativity inherent in our material world.
Kate Pruitt approaches her work as a training in tenderness. With vibrant materials like clay, breath, salve and skin, her videos and tactile sculptures explore the pleasures and pains of earthly entanglement. Through touch, language and movement, she seeks to create spaces for radical affection, where multitudinous ‘others’ are free to meet and the boundaries of self may soften.
Boris Scherbakov hears the world as the polyphonic play of frequency and rhythm. Incorporating sculpture, sound, photography, and performance, his work targets a visceral experience that bypasses the intellect, privileges daydream, and forms a rhythmic dialogue with the body’s native pulsations.
Metaphysician/Artist O.M. France Viana wanders in the realms of Sacred Art and Cosmic Mythologies, reinterpreting Venuses and Black Madonnas, reanimating ancient idols, and apotheosizing ube (purple yam), creating a deity out of the mystical essence of this lowly root, star of Philippine desserts, in neon, photography, and sculpture.
Bria Williams focuses on the theme of exile to manifest a mixture of interrupting space, creating different forms of intangible protection, and confessing personal revelations. The medium is composed of regurgitated images and quintessential found objects/materials. Her work investigates identity politics and the physical and mental properties of a body that is seen as both inferior and feared in a social space.