The School of Art & Art History welcomes you to join us for the reception of Gush, the first in a series of three UIC MFA Thesis Exhibitions in Studio Arts, Photography, Moving Image, and New Media Arts. Artists Soheila Azadi, Jessica Cobb, Meg Nafziger, and Lauren C. Sudbrink will present artist talks at 5pm.
Elements converge in a charged formlessness, bodies defy their bounds, and vessels are saturated to the point of overflowing. The works in Gush touch, congeal, and drip from above. Soheila Azadi uses performance art and performative installations to materialize and narrate stories about women’s everyday struggles. Race, religion, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity intersect in works that allude to social structures of Iran and those of western countries, but traverse boundaries outside of restrictive, gendered expectations placed upon the body. Conflating sculpture and the human experience, Jessica Cobb invents systems with material and technology that generate a charge, providing a platform between people and space that establishes frequencies of awareness. Meg Nafziger’s paintings and drawings erase the form of the female archetype. Liberated from formal anxieties, her bodies droop, splay, and coalesce in erotic swirls of paint. The skin of the body and the skin of the photograph’s surface in Lauren C. Sudbrink’s evolving photographic processes have an ethereal, ghostly presence. Her raw and delicate sculptures hover above the ground, showing their flaws and intricacies, while asserting their energy and physicality. The haptic, sensuous works in Gush are activated by bodies, by movement, and by the charge of elements that make up experience.