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School of the Art Institute of Chicago Master of Fine Arts in Photography

2019

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MFA 5

2019 Molly Brandt

Foreword

9 2 11 Guanyu Xu 17 Rian Allen 23 Colin Roberson 29 Brittany Laurent 35 CĂŠleste Cebra 41 Jake Silby 47 Xavier Robles Armas 53 Caroline Wood 59 Astro Escudero 65 Travis Mitzel 71 1 73 Billie Carter-Rankin 79 Stephanie Schwiederek 85 Jenny Rafalson 91 Megan Tepper 97 Teiko Ang Zheng 103 Chelsea Emuakhagbon 109 Olivia Alonso Gough 115 Austin Pope 121

Artists + Works


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Molly Brandt Foreword

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Molly Brandt

Foreword

I can’t be alone in finding that there is a shift in what constitutes studying photography today. Holding my degree in this medium, I am in a constant state of renegotiating what it means to be a photographer. “Photography,” in its brief history, can be understood as a medium that is in a state of permanent flux. As a medium its definition has been argued, reconceived, and expanded over decades, forever open to reexamination. Our culture, shaped by the ubiquitous presence of photography and the photographic image’s subjective nature, leaves the study of photography as a space for the artist’s practice to destabilize the medium. During my studio visits with the students and through revisiting their work, I found myself focusing on this role the students undertake as individual controllers of a medium that’s history and use inadvertently names them photographers. In this catalog we are given an expansive view of the possibilities of this study. Limitless, the definition of its practice is shown through each student’s interventions of the photographic form in a multitude of reformations and dissections of the photograph’s materiality, processes, and objecthood. Whether it be through documentation, narration, or inspection, each student uses their practice—whether unconsciously or not—to redefine what it means to work photographically.

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Guanyu Xu

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Rian Allen

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Colin Roberson

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Brittany Laurent

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CĂŠleste Cebra

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Jake Silby

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Xavier Robles Armas

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Caroline Wood

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Astro Escudero

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Travis Mitzel

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Billie Carter-Rankin

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Stephanie Schwiederek

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Jenny Rafalson

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Megan Tepper

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Teiko Ang Zheng

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Chelsea Emuakhagbon

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Olivia Alonso Gough

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Austin Pope

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Artists + Works

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Artists + Works

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11–15 GUANYU XU Guanyu Xu uses photography, new media, and installation to examine the intersectionality of race, sexuality, and citizenship. He brings his entanglements of personal and transnational perspectives to disrupt the visual hegemony and political oppression. 12

The Living Room from “Temporarily Censored Home” 2018 Archival inkjet print 87 x 70 in

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Room of Convergence from “Temporarily Censored Home” 2018 Archival inkjet print 50 x 40 in

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The Dining Room from “Temporarily Censored Home” 2018 Archival inkjet print 87 x 70 in

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Space of Mutation from “Temporarily Censored Home” 2018 Archival inkjet print 50 x 40 in

17–21 RIAN ALLEN Rian Allen uses photography and installation to explore topics related to gender representation and the body. Through material exploration she challenges the systems in our culture that limit the spectrum of gender in relationship to identity and expression. 18

Who Sees You Before You See You? (detail) 2018 Inkjet print on transparent film, wood, mirrors, medical supplies Dimensions variable

19 How long can we hold (hide) something inside of ourselves? (detail) 2018 Inkjet print on transparent film, glass, thread, used dilators, pamphlet distributed by person named, wood 24 x 14 x 3 in Looking at Someone to See Yourself (detail) 2018 Inkjet print, inkjet print on transparent film, gridded vellum, mirror, used face towels (VOQ 012-027), mirror, broken mirror, Estradiol in a stainless steel bowl, found historical materials, wood 71 x 70 x 24 in

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(888) 910-6207 2018 Documentation of Worldwide Waiting’s phone number tear sheet 16 x 20 in

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Loud Object Inventory 2018 Laser engraved porcelain 12 x 24 x ½ in

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Nonument No. 1: The Space Between Neighbors (detail) from “Caverns of the No-Life” 2017 Faux marble, archival prints, cyanotype, mirror, glass, porcelain Dimensions variable

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23–27 COLIN ROBERSON Meth = addiction. Love is dependency alcohol rots the liver youth is almost up father provides and withholds to impose his will we loathe or emulate our grandmothers. Gay born 1988 New Orleans. 24

Real Love 2018 Gelatin silver print 20 x 24 in

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Enema, Dildo, Nose, Tub 2018 Gelatin silver print 20 x 24 in

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Micky on Block 2018 Gelatin silver print 20 x 24 in

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Horseshoe Triple Portrait 2018 Gelatin silver print 20 x 24 in

29–33 BRITTANY LAURENT Brittany Laurent studies the commodification of the self within a late capitalist, hyper-accelerated information economy. She uses writing, sound, sculpture, and photography to reify the space between corporal and corporate bodies.

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Nonument No. 2: Ill Defects (Oblivion and Discovery) (detail) from “Caverns of the No-Life” 2017 Faux marble, archival prints, cyanotype, mirror, glass, porcelain Dimensions variable

35–39 CÉLESTE CEBRA Cebra’s current artistic practice incorporates thrifted, discarded, and found items as a way of investigating quotidian notions, the connection people have with objects, and their urban environment. Cebra also has a nascent glassmaking practice. 36

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Glass Drawing III 2018 Archival inkjet print 24 x 30 in Logan Square II, October 19 from “Urban Shells” 2018 Archival inkjet print 40 x 60 in Logan Square Stack III, August 30 from “Urban Shells” 2018 Archival inkjet print 40 x 60 in

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Logan Square Bricks II, October 19 & 20 from “Urban Shells” 2018 Archival inkjet print 40 x 60 in

41–45 JAKE SILBY Jake Silby uses photography and installation to consider histories and functions of land, and how this affects individual perception and the construction of memory. 42

Looking North on Drake Ave from “Localized Disturbance” 2018 Archival inkjet print 42 x 36 in

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Invisibility Measure (detail) from “Localized Disturbance” 2018 Color laser print, banner stand archival inkjet prints, sidewalk fragments from Wolf Road Prairie Dimensions variable

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Samuel Insul after extraction back to the United States, April 1934 from “Localized Disturbance” 2018 Archival inkjet print 8.5 x 11 in

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Untitled from “Localized Disturbance” 2018 Archival inkjet print 24 x 32 in

47–51 XAVIER ROBLES ARMAS Xavier Robles Armas investigates the rhythms and textures of labor that produce spaces of excess and luxury through photographic power structures in the “ordinary.” 48 49

Disposable 2018 Digital photography Dimensions variable Untitled 2018 Digital photography Dimensions variable

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Brown on White 2018 Digital photography Dimensions variable Celebration 2018 Digital photography Dimensions variable

53–57 CAROLINE WOOD Caroline Wood’s work takes the form of books, photographs, writing, and walks, and addresses the complications involved in inhabiting and traversing sites of history and memory. 54

Serve Nicely 2018 Archival inkjet print 11 x 14 in

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She Had to Walk to the Grocery Store 2018 Archival inkjet print 24 x 42 in

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New Work: Unprofitable Actions and Tender Labor in the Age of the Pocket (detail) 2018 Monopress, Risograph, and laser prints 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 in

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What We Save and What We Give (detail) 2018 Archival inkjet print on washi paper 60 x 60 in

59–63 ASTRO ESCUDERO Astro, short for Astronauta, obtained a BA from Wheaton College, Norton, MA, and has exhibited in Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Quito and Museo Camilo Egas, Ecuador. Not being from here nor there, they float high above the Earth.

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Breastplates for a history book (detail) 2018 Wire mesh and copper Dimensions variable

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Ripe as fruit (detail) 2018 Light and casta painting print Dimensions variable

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Carbon Sequestration (detail) 2018 250 pounds of bituminous coal, ten black 40 gallon trash bags, ten priority mail boxes, one sheet of 8.5 x 11 in paper, one nail Dimensions variable

79–83 STEPHANIE SCHWIEDEREK Stephanie Schwiederek grew up in a motel in Pine Brook, New Jersey, which was a hive of prostitution, drugs, and violence. Her ongoing work, Domestic Discomfort, explores the notions of masculinity and femininity within a relationship.

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The Pupfish Shelf (detail) 2018 Eight archival inkjet prints (unframed), two archival inkjet print (framed), mock bumper sticker, twelve cheeseburgers, six empty Miller Lite cans, five aquarium tubes, aquarium air pump, filament bulb, two black extension cords, two pieces of foam insulation, quikrete, three plastic toy pupfish, glass jar, three fishing lines, clipboard, sheet of paper, hand drawn sketch (ink), live spirulina Dimensions variable

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Bruises I 2018 Archival inkjet print 6.7 x 10 in

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Shower 2018 Archival inkjet print 6.7 x 10 in

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Untitled 2018 Archival inkjet print 8 x 10 in

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Bruises II 2018 Archival inkjet print 6.7 x 10 in

Three Approaches to light, resin and hair 2018 Digital photography Dimensions variable History written on bedsheets, too 2017 Digital photography Dimensions variable

65–69 TRAVIS MITZEL Travis Mitzel’s artistic practice seeks to create niches for non-humans, dismantle interspecies hierarchies, aestheticize new ecologies, and build new eco-mythology. This is attempted with photographic, performative, sculptural, and scientific forms. 66

Unidentified Moss Specimen #1 from “Global Moss Generator Studio Variant” 2018 Unidentified species of terrestrial moss, dirt, plastic take out container Dimensions variable

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Global Moss Generator Studio Variant (detail) 2018 Glass fillable lamp, energetic daylight LED bulb, end table, plastic take out containers, dirt, Earth System Science: A Very Short Introduction, The Whole Earth Catalog (B&W photocopy), The Selfish Gene, The Ecological Thought, Dark Ecology, Global Warming and The Sweetness of Life, The Aliens Among Us, Sterne, five unidentified species of terrestrial moss, java moss, marimo moss, marcellus mhale, cyanotype framed Dimensions variable

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73–77 BILLIE CARTER-RANKIN Billie Carter-Rankin uses photography, installation, and moving image to push underrepresented narratives forward rather than to be solely reactionary. She uses experimentation in her work to present new perspectives on contemporary social issues. 74

blurred 4 2017 Gelatin silver print 8 x 10 in

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blurred 2 2017 Gelatin silver print 8 x 10 in

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blurred 3 2017 Gelatin silver print 8 x 10 in

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blurred 1 2017 Gelatin silver print 8 x 10 in

85–89 JENNY RAFALSON Jenny Rafalson is a photographer and video artist currently living and working in Chicago. In her work, she revisits the material and immaterial “baggage” brought by her family to the new land (Israel). Recently she had a solo exhibition at Israel’s 6th International Photography Festival (2018). 86

Untitled 2018 Archival inkjet print 47 x 39 in

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Sabra 2018 Stills from video Color, sound 06:12 min

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Tree NO 1 2018 Archival inkjet print 43 x 31.6 in

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Flower Bucket 2018 Archival inkjet print 43 x 31.6 in

91–95 MEGAN TEPPER Megan Tepper is an interdisciplinary artist from Ohio. Their practice is primarily an ongoing exploration of what it personally means to be a fat body and how it relates to the influences surrounding; namely the familial, the romantic, the other, and the self. 92

Untitled (No One Can Tell You’re Fat From Behind) 2018 Archival inkjet print 20 x 16 in

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an attempt at exhausting a half bag of grapes 2018 Archival inkjet print 30 x 30 in

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screw-shaped parts (detail) from “arucsbo aremac” 2018 Archival inkjet print 124 x 19 in

103–107 CHELSEA EMUAKHAGBON Chelsea Emuakhagbon employs photography as a tool to acknowledge and process pain that is too much to bear alone. While it’s not her job to rescue people on the wrong side of history, Emuakhagbon actively does what she can. 104

Double Negative 2018 Archival inkjet print (2) 12 x 24 in

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ntitled (The Only One Like Me) U 2018 Archival inkjet print 20 x 16 in

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Double Negative 2018 Archival inkjet print 24 x 36 in

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Untitled 2018 Archival inkjet print 20 x 16 in

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Untitled 2018 Archival inkjet print 12 x 24 in

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Untitled (Getting Ready) 2018 Archival inkjet print 20 x 16 in

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Untitled 2018 Archival inkjet print 12 x 24 in

97–101 TEIKO ANG ZHENG Teiko Ang Zheng uses the camera to explore the idea of documentation. The images selected concern the roles of the photographic apparatus and the photographed subjects in the process of documentation and the desire of its production. 98

an attempt at exhausting a box of cherry tomatoes 2018 Archival inkjet print 30 x 30 in

109–113 OLIVIA ALONSO GOUGH Olivia Alonso Gough investigates the intersection of the photograph and memory. In using personal history as a foundation, she considers what it means to base one’s identity in memories. 110

Jose Perdro 2018 Archival inkjet print 24 x 36 in

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Piel 2018 Archival inkjet print 15 x 17 in

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Self Portrait 2018 Archival inkjet print 20 x 24 in

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Naranjas 2018 Archival inkjet print 17 x 17 in

115–119 AUSTIN POPE After his tour in the Army, Austin discovered a passion for photography. Since then, Austin has been using photography to express issues related to his life experiences post-military; as well as the issues facing his community. 116

Untitled from “Jeremy” 2018 Archival inkjet print 8 x 12 in

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Untitled from “Jeremy” 2018 Archival inkjet print 8 x 12 in

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Untitled from “Generational Conversations” 2018 Archival inkjet print 8 x 12 in

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Untitled from “Generational Conversations” 2018 Archival inkjet print 8 x 12 in

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MFA

2019

Editor MOLLY BRANDT Molly Brandt is the curatorial coordinator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in Chicago, IL

Thank you to all artists in the Master of Fine Arts in Photography program at SAIC for their hard work and contributions.

Director AIMÉE BEAUBIEN Aimée Beaubien is an assistant professor in the department of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, IL. Designer LUCAS REIF + SHELF SHELF Lucas Reif is a graphic designer and co-founder of the publishing and design studio Shelf Shelf in Chicago, IL. Shelf Shelf publishes, features, and distributes editioned works in multiple formats. Printer

GRAPHIC ARTS STUDIO Barrington, IL

Edition 100 Typeface MONUMENT GROTESK Dinamo + Kasper-Florio Paper

MOHAWK Keykolour 111C DOMTAR Cougar Smooth 80T

© ALL ART © 2019 the artists. ALL TEXT © 2019 the authors. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any other information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Thank you to Molly Brandt for the time spent learning about each artist through extensive studio visits. Thank you to Aimée Beaubien for the time spent facilitating the production of the annual catalog publication.


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