Candidates for the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) present the “Steady/Retcon” exhibit for two weekends in May at Syracuse University’s Governors Island House, 407A Colonels Row, Governors Island, New . York-City.
Curated by Laura Dvorkin in 2006, Steady/Retcon features the work of 17 MFA candidates from the VPA School of Art (studio art and illustration programs), the School of Design and the Department of Film and Media Arts. There will be a reception on Saturday, May 7th from 3pm to 6pm
Traditionally a literary and cinematic technique, ‘retcon’ is short for ‘retroactive continuity’ and refers to new information introduced into a story that alters the interpretation of a previously established narrative. “Retcon” is not only used in a fictional context, read in a book or viewed on a screen, but is experienced in the world around us. In the current climate, we’re constantly absorbing new information (like it or not!) and it challenges our perspective on everything—day by day, hour by hour. Our internal database is developing at record speed. What was accepted as commonplace just a year ago is being re-examined, and sometimes in unison by the whole world.
The artists in this exhibition evaluate and reframe their personal history, traditional standards of art-making, and history as a whole. While in everyday life the constant introduction of so-called “facts” and opinions seems unpredictable; The investigations within the artworks in the exhibition are much more intentional, slower, more steady. They are careful and inquisitive reviews scooped from the web of media and transformed into meticulously presented ideas.
About the curator
Laura Dvorkin ’06 is co-curator of The Bunker Artspace: Collection of Beth Rudin DeWoody in West Palm Beach, Florida. She has worked with the collection since 2008 and directs major presentations of the collection at institutions and exhibitions that DeWoody curates. Dvorkin’s recent exhibitions include “In the Absence of Light: Gesture, Humor and Resistance in The Black Aesthetic” at the Rebuild Foundation, Chicago, and “A Very Anxious Feeling: Voices of Unrest in the American Experience” at the Taubman Museum of Art in Chicago Roanoke, Virginia.
Dvorkin is Associate Art Consultant for the Eventi Hotel, New York; co-curator of 53 West 53, the Residential MoMA Expansion Tower, New York; and advises on acquisitions for private clients. Dvorkin lives and works between New York City and West Palm Beach.
Patrick Boehmcke is a writer, filmmaker and visual artist. Using video as his primary tool, his work spans a variety of forms and genres, including poetry, documentaries, comedic sketches, and sci-fi/horror narratives. His work focuses primarily on the alienation, strangeness, and longing of American suburban life. patrickboehmcke.com @xxbottomless_pitxx Vimeo: Patrick Boehmcke
Aaron Burleson is a photographer born in Hartford, Connecticut and raised in Glastonbury, Connecticut. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography with a minor in Art History from Hartford Art School and is currently a Master of Fine Arts candidate and Associate Professor at Syracuse University. aaronhunterburleson.com @aaron.burleson
Kevin Frazier is an artist from Chicago currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. He received a BFA from the University of Missouri and an MFA in studio art from Syracuse University. When he’s not in the studio, you can find him at the climbing gym or the skate park. @lazerbeams_unlimited
Sierra Haynes was born in Syracuse, New York. In 2015 she received a BFA in Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Her work explores ideas of family, memory and childhood by observing her surroundings to gain a deeper understanding. Sierrahaynes.com@sierramhaynes
Jan Herman is an artist working with image and text, originally from Massachusetts. Her practice takes into account memory, forgetting, and the evolution of understanding over time. She has supported artists and educators across all mediums and graduated from Oberlin College in 2015. www.janaherman.com @janaherman
Doug Johnson is curious about painting, digital space, world building, video games and always wants to see beautiful things when he can find them. Originally from New England, he grew up in the Carolinas. From a young age he was interested in drawing, painting, games and music. Today he works at the interface between painting and digital technology. www.douglasbjohnson.com @komodo_baggins
Mike Kalish spent his childhood outside of Albany, New York. He discovered his interest in sculpture during his freshman semester of college. An interim life brought Kalish back to upstate New York and the organized pursuit of his art. As an affordability student, our sensibilities still baffle him. @kalishmichael
Alex Kulick is an interdisciplinary artist working with artificial intelligence, machine learning, video projection, printmaking and installation. Using her Southern roots as a thematic influence and through the use of deepfakes, AI-generated moving images and sculptural installations, she explores how interpersonal, domestic and public space impacts the individual. @kulickarts
Xuan Liu is an interdisciplinary artist. She works conceptually through social engagement actions and performances that provide places for her to explore strategies of dealing with real-life struggles. Her work has been exhibited internationally in New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai, etc. www.artistxuanliu.com @liuxuan1895
Yanyi Liu was born and raised in Chongqing, China, a place where almost all food is spicy. Her work has a clear personal style and each character in her illustrations has their own personality. Recently her work has been selected in Communication Arts, AI-AP Motion Art Awards, 3×3 Illustration Annual, World Illustration Awards, etc. www.yanyiliu.com @zoooeliu
Valeria Chikaodile Oha was born to Nigerian parents who ensured that she was exposed to their culture during her childhood. She currently works with mixed media to show the struggles of a black woman in America. Her current work focuses on exploring the idea that society both demonizes and fetishizes the black body. @themelantedfemme_valeria
Shuoran Zhou manufactures wearable objects made primarily of glass beads to address common stereotypes regarding women’s social role and aims to promote women’s autonomy. Her work has been shown internationally in Spain, China and the United States, as well as in various online exhibitions. @shuoranzhou
Zhu Zhu grew up in a family with an artistic tradition, so she found art attractive even as a child. She decided to choose art as her undergraduate major and resume. In 2018 she came to the USA and started learning computer art. During this time, she began trying new ways to show her concept in her work. She is doing experimental animation and some sculpture in her MFA studies. zhuzhu19962017.wixsite.com/website @zhuazhua_zhu
Leah Bella Zinder is an artist passionate about historical crafts, including bobbin lace and metalsmithing. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Studio Arts from Syracuse University and received a BFA in Metals from the University of Illinois. She is also involved in the local Jewish community, where she teaches young children. LeahBella.com@LeahBella.Z
Michael Christopher Zuhorski received a BFA in Photography from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. His practice deals with gradual change, sustained attention, and the fragile relationship between seeing and knowing. michaelzuhorski.com @michael_zuhorski