Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 15:05

UCI MFA Thesis Show 2
May 16 – May 29, 2015
Opening Reception: May 16, 2015 | 2 PM - 6 PM
Performances at 3 PM and 5 PM in the Room Gallery

Ben Boatright
Aaron Guerrero
Lisa Sitko
Matthew Warner-Davies
Kim Zumpfe

University Art Galleries
712 Arts Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697

In the Room Gallery, Benjamin Boatright presents An Island of Lost Returns, an intermedia performance and installation work that addresses the psychological and social effects of financial loss as told through the rise and fall of a beach resort on Jekyll Island, off the coast of Georgia. Characters play varying roles of real and imaginary people who managed or vacationed at the resort in performance vignettes and rituals. Nostalgic ballads, depictions of the landscapes, and narrative fragments specific to the history of Jekyll inform the shape and aesthetic of the installation. Performance times: May 16th 3pm and 5pm.

In the front of the CAC, Aaron Guerrero presents Looking Forward to Being Attacked, an immersive composite wall drawing made from research and fieldwork conducted on a coastal military base clandestinely used as a nude beach. This site offers itself to sight, to being seen, a showing of itself as an arena, a training ground, a neutral space of potential war where conflicting interests overlap between the nude beasts and the domestic animals of the state.  As the war machine trains and the libidinal economy expends itself, this promise of a showdown constantly (un)veils itself in a competition of camouflage crystallizing the opacity of self-interest with a veil.

On view in the back of the CAC, Lisa Sitko presents 52NDST8, a three part installation mapping, archiving, uploading, seceding and navigating through past, present and imminent laws placed onto the residents of Detroit, Michigan. Taking the form of a speculative app, a series of drawings, a vanity license plate and a flotation device, Sitko probes three case studies: an expropriated neighborhood of Detroit for private interests, Michigan's No-Fault auto insurance law, and the deprivation of regional resources, most importantly the right to access water. Playful yet stern in it’s color, Sitko proposes that Detroit, a speculative island and test site for parasitic state legislation, leave the abusive relationship with Michigan and become a state unto its own.

Matthew Warner-Davies presents Bookish in the front of the UAG. No longer whole, but book-ish, the material processes of molding, embalming, re-casting and gluing, the particulate and ashes of books, are employed to reconfigure what it means to look and read. The act of book burning, for Warner-Davies, is an access point in the tension of honoring books while marring their intended function to ultimately interrogate systems of toleration.

In the back of the UAG, Kimberly Zumpfe presents Lump Projects. Comprised of both sculpture and documentary photographs, Lump Projects is a response to the exchange of trust, improvisation, play, consent and decision making that potentially develops when individuals online encounter cues and inquiries from an anonymous voice. This work examines ways that power structures ingrained within social activities and written modes of conversations on the Internet can become re-inscribed back into physical space.