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2018 MFA showBodies In Trouble: MFA Exhibition at MCASD


17 May - 17 June, 2018 at MCASD Downtown, 1001 Kettner Blvd. San Diego

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily, closed Wednesdays

View Exhibition Catalog

Bodies in Trouble presents the work of ten graduating artists in the Master of Fine Arts program at UC San Diego. Many of the works on view react to the ever-increasing coding and disciplining of bodies along lines of gender, race, legality, and economic status. In response to such pressures, these artists have adopted strategies that range from efforts to subversively inhabit and symptomatize bodies, to satire, social critique, camp performance, and even what might be called re-enchantment.

For many, the body is the foundational site through and upon which social and political power is exerted, as well as a surface inscribed with signifiers of desire, gender, and race. The work of both Corey Dunlap and Garrett Pointer exists at the threshold of formlessness and the bodily, either approaching representation or devolving into something abject. Jessica Frelund undoes what the body learns, while Evelyn Walker explores how objects such as puppets and dolls might develop their own uncanny bodiliness. Jessica Buie and HeeJung Shin both cross the wires of heteronormative desire and redistribute its signifiers in different directions, heightening ambiguities of gender, erotics, or language.

Ultimately, the relationships between bodies are always mediated and reconstructed in the context of larger built and virtual worlds. Andrew Sturm’s work deftly exposes the absurdity of Trump’s proposed border wall and Sindhu Thirumalaisamy considers the environmental exhaustion wrought by urban development. Dustin Brons points to the ideological and economic forces that shape the urban spaces we live in while Jonathon Paden uses augmented and virtual reality to reveal the overlap between our real and virtual lives.

By displaying these artists’ works side by side, Bodies in Trouble makes visible the shared themes, concerns, and dialogues that have emerged in the three years they have spent together.

Bodies in Trouble: Artists from the MFA Program at UC San Diego is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the University of California, San Diego Department of Visual Arts. Institutional support of MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund.


Installation images of Bodies in Trouble: Artists from the MFA Program at UCSD, at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 2018. Photos: Pablo Mason.