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Exhibition: Past Shadowboxing the Axis: 2015 MFA THESIS EXHIBITION 3Apr 14–Apr 18, 2015

Tom MacDonald

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

The third in a series of three UIC MFA Thesis Exhibitions in Studio Arts, Photography, Moving Image, and New Media Arts.

Images of the domestic space, the slick interior of a skyscraper, and the cables of dispersed networks create hybrid propositions for living in the global, neoliberal systems of now. The works in Shadowboxing the Axis engage with myriad complexities in the physical and symbolic spaces of communication, capital, and culture. Soohyun Kim ’s photographs of Guryong Village in Seoul, Korea document the intersecting social and political issues in the refurbishment of this district and the everyday lives of its citizens. Using sound, image, and text, Meredith Lackey charts the path of a submarine fiber optic cable and the global centers of finance it connects. Sherwin Ovid draws from the experience of immigration as a space of contingent exchange, using the domestic space and its ornaments and heirlooms as a study of migratory aesthetics. Shadowboxing the Axis is an encounter with the postmodern sublime, teasing apart cultural imagery and systems of power felt physically and digitally.

In Seoul, Guryong Village is the biggest shanty town in the Gangnam, the city ’s wealthiest district. The town was built in the 1980s, ahead of the Seoul Olympic Games, as the city authorities pushed to refurbish forty humble districts, evicting thousands of residents from their homes in the process. This past winter, Soohyun Kim stayed in Guryong Village for five weeks in order to document the area while also providing photographic services such as passport photos and funerary images for the community. Drawing on his training as a photographer attuned to social and political issues, he has invested in making images that reveal complexities within these spaces, both physical and symbolic. He studied photography, art history and aesthetics at Seoul National University, and he earned an MFA degree in Photographic Design from Hongik University in 2010.

Meredith Lackey is a multimedia artist who uses sound, image and text to make global networks sensible. Her current research charts the path of a submarine fiber optic cable and the global centers of finance it connects. She is the recipient of a Princess Grace Award, and the University Film and Video Association Carole Fielding Grant. She received her B.A. from Hampshire College.

Channeling concepts of cultural transmission through the movement of mixed media, Sherwin Ovid draws from the experience of immigration as a space of contingent exchange. A morphology of forms encompass the dynamic interplay of material curiosity forged as a visual bricolage that make virtuous the implicitly uneven similitude of diasporic phenomena. Domestic spaces of leisure yield a plethora of objects in his study of migratory aesthetics, invoking class aspirations that fuse ornament and heirloom. Pigment, cotton, resin, dirt, are but a few of the cumalitive ingredients that entice us to the surfaces of the work. However, a melange of narrative idioms underpin the vernacular dexterity of forms that bristles against and along the primacy of formal cohesion. Ovid received his BFA from the School Art Institute of Chicago in 2007 and is currently a MFA candidate at the UIC where he received a Lincoln Fellowship in 2013. Ovid has exhibited with Unit 2 Art Collective in Chicago, University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Chicago Pop-Up Loop Alliance Gallery and Swimming Pool Project Space.

ARTISTS

Soohyun Kim, Meredith Lackey, and Sherwin Ovid.

SUPPORT

The 2015 MFA Thesis Exhibitions are supported by Gallery 400 and the School of Art & Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago.