UAG presents 'On the Passage of a Few People through a Rather Brief Period of Time'

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Irvine, Calf., Sept. 29, 2023 – The University of California, Irvine’s Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) Gallery is pleased to host On the Passage of a Few People through a Rather Brief Period of Time by Juli Carson

Featured artists include Mary Kelly, Sharon Hayes, Every Ocean Hughes (b. Emily Roysdon), Damir Avdagic, Abigail Collins, Kerry Tribe, Latipa (b. Michelle Dizon), Karl Haendel, Meleko Mokgosi.

This exhibition is organized in coordination with the release of Mary Kelly’s Concentric Pedagogy: Selected Writings, published by Bloomsbury Press. Following the book’s lead, the exhibition focuses on “project-based” work by a younger generation of artists who have worked closely with Kelly. The exhibition position’s Kelly’s WLM Demo Remix as its thesis. Produced for her Love Songs project—featured in documenta 12 (2007) —WLM is a 90 second projected film-loop with a slow dissolve creating a bridge between past and present representations of the 1970 Women’s Liberation demonstration in New York, producing a visual palimpsest of the political “there-then,” in the “here-now.” In dialogue with the other works featured in this exhibition, WLM becomes a call to heed the repressive politics of the current moment, returning us to such historical pulse points as 1968, 1989, 2001, 2011, 2016 and 2020 as exemplars of resistance. 

The exhibition takes its concept of a “political primal scene” from the timely intergenerational, on-line conversation that Kelly moderated for the Tate Modern in 2015. The conversation’s title, On the Passage of a Few People through a Rather Brief Period of Time, was a nod to Guy Debord’s 1959 semi-autobiographical Situationist film of the same name. Kelly’s online conversation took a wide-angle view of the “discursive site,” which is, as she put it, fundamentally intergenerational, and at the same time, historically specific. Accordingly, the conversation framed those who were born during or after World War II, whose children were born in the late 60s and 70s, and their grandchildren in the new millennium. As Kelly explains, “What is passed on, from one generation to another, seems to be both a practical question, as Hayden White put it, ‘how to live in the present,’ and a riddle to be deciphered, as Walter Benjamin’s ‘secret agreement’ implies, the transmission of unconscious collective desire, which is, ultimately, the foundation of historical memory. Seen in this way, an era could be defined as the discursive footprint of shared aspirations left by a few people passing through an infinitely brief period of geological time.”


About the Artists:

Mary Kelly, an artist, writer and educator, is known for founding a branch of first-generation conceptualism informed by feminism and psychoanalysis. Her project-based artworks include Post-Partum Document. The Complete Work (1973–79), The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi (2001), Love Songs: Multi-Story House (2007), and The Practical Past (2017). Produced during her tenure at UCLA, they attest to the significance of collaborative work extended by Kelly to her practice of teaching and artmaking. Her notions of the ‘method’, ‘project’ and ‘discursive site’ are the keystones to this combined practice, which have defined the ethos of her Interdisciplinary Area, and in turn, continue to inform the pedagogy of those who have worked with her. 

Kerry Tribe is an artist and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Known for expansive and profound works in film, video and mixed media, her practice explores elusive aspects of human consciousness including memory, love and doubt. Tribe’s solo projects have been exhibited at SFMOMA, San Francisco; The High Line, New York; Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Cambridge; The Power Plant, Toronto; and Camden Arts Centre, London.

Sharon Hayes uses video, performance, sound and public sculpture to expose specific intersections between history, politics and speech to reveal historic narrative and reignite dormant pathways. Hayes’ solo exhibitions have been shown at the Tanya Leighton Gallery in Berlin (2013), the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (2012) and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid (2012). She currently teaches in the Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania.

Latipa (b. Michelle Dizon) is an artist, writer, film-maker and Associate Professor at the University of California, Riverside, where she founded and directs the Memory and Resistance Laboratory. Her work summons sites of memory and resistance in the wake of historical dispossession, migration, and diaspora. Latipa has lectured and exhibited internationally at the Center for Feminist Studies in Zagreb, Croatia and School of Oriental and African Studies in London, UK and more.

Meleko Mokgosi is an artist and Associate Professor at the Yale School of Art. His works engage history painting and cinematic tropes to uncover notions of colonialism, democracy and liberation across African history. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, recently with solo exhibitions at the St. Louis Art Museum, York University Art Gallery, The Pérez Art Museum Miami, Williams College Museum of Art, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, and the University of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery.

Karl Haendal practice revolves around the appropriation of visual signifiers and their recontextualization through drawing. For Haendel, the act of drawing articulates both the human impulse and labor associated with draftsmanship, while offering a physical system to reconsider accepted imagery. His work has been included in group shows such as Cowboy at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (2023); 100 Drawings from Now at The Drawing Center, New York (2020); Copines-Copains-Berlin at Wentrup Gallery, Berlin (2019); Game On! at the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa (2017) along with recent solo shows at Vielmetter Los Angeles (2023).  

Abigail Raphael Collins is an interdisciplinary artist using experimental documentary and video installation to consider relationships between intergenerational transmission and sound through a queer feminist lens. Recent exhibitions have been at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Pasadena Armory, Marathon Screenings, Angels Gate Cultural Center, PØST, Torrance Art Museum, and Seoha Gallery. Collins currently teaches video art at California Institute of the Arts. 

Damir Avdagić is an interdisciplinary artist who uses performance, video and text to address issues of historical memory and identity. By collecting and performing dialogues that are circumscribed by a single historical event, Avdagic reflects on how the civil war in former Yugoslavia has intergenerational conscious and unconscious effects on cultural identity, nationality and the self. Avdagic’s work has been shown at Whitechapel Gallery, London, Changwon Sculpture Biennale, South Korea, Kunsthall Charlottenborg Copenhagen & Kristiansand Kunsthall Norway amongst many others. He was awarded the BKH’s Photo Art Prize at Fotogalleriet, Oslo in 2014.

Every Ocean Hughes (b. Emily Roysdon) is a transdisciplinary artist who utilizes performance, photography, video, and text to explore kinship, queerness, and grief. Before returning to her studio in New York, she lived in Stockholm, Sweden for ten years working as a Professor of Fine Arts at Konstfack University College of Arts. Hughes has been featured at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Studio Voltaire, and Moderna Musset.

About the Curator

Juli Carson is Professor of Art, Theory and Criticism in the Department of Art at UC Irvine and Director of the University Art Galleries. From 2018-19 she was the Philippe Jabre Professor of Art History and Curating at the American University of Beirut. Her books include: Exile of the Imaginary: Politics, Aesthetics, Love (Vienna: Generali Foundation, 2007) and The Limits of Representation: Psychoanalysis and Critical Aesthetics (Buenos Aires: Letra Viva Press, 2011). Her most recent book, The Hermeneutic Impulse: Aesthetics of An Untethered Past, was published by PoLyPen, a subsidiary of b_books Press in 2019. Forthcoming is Mary Kelly’s Concentric Pedagogy: Selected Writings, edited by Juli Carson (UK: Bloomsbury Press, 2023).


About the UAG: The University Art Galleries are committed to promoting an intergenerational dialogue between 60s/70s neo-avant-garde art and contemporary visual culture. Accordingly, the curatorial mission is to keep an eye on the modernist past while promoting the most innovative aesthetic and political debates of the postmodern present. From this vantage, the projects commissioned provoke intelligent debate on the subject of art in its most expansive poetic definition. What distinguishes the program is its unwavering commitment to publishing scholarly texts in catalogue/book form in order to disseminate research-based information into the community, providing a venue for the promotion of innovative discourse surrounding mixed media production today. The UAG program provides several exhibition platforms for inter-generational and interdisciplinary dialogue. The Major Works of Art Series commissions original projects by canonical artists working today. The Emerging Artist Series features solo projects by a set of younger artists informed by the legacies showcased in the Major Works series. The Critical Aesthetics Program commissions new work by internationally renowned mid-career artists. Augmenting this intergenerational dialogue, UAG also produces larger thematic group exhibitions alternately showcasing historical and contemporary art and film projects. UAG further promotes an active dialogue between UCI residents and the local and international art communities through colloquia, conferences, visiting artist lectures and theme-based films series, all of which are open to the public. As the galleries continue to mature, they stand committed to being an experimental exhibition space different from the current - but largely traditional - art biennial and film festival platforms.

About the Claire Trevor School of the Arts: As UCI’s creative engine, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts has proven itself to be a national leader in training future generations of artists and scholars who go on to inspire audiences in theaters, galleries and concert halls – as well as in entertainment and technology-related venues throughout the world. CTSA combines artistic training with a top-ranked liberal arts education. It is home to the departments of art, dance, drama and music, offering 15 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and two minors. CTSA is currently ranked No. 1 in affordable fine arts, drama/theater and music degrees by the College Affordability Guide. Courses include extensive studio, workshop and performance experiences; theoretical and historical studies; and arts and technology practices. CTSA’s nationally ranked programs begin with training but culminate in original invention. The distinguished, international faculty work across a wide variety of art forms and forge interdisciplinary partnerships with others across the campus. For more information, visit www.arts.uci.edu

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

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Posted Date: 
January 12, 2024
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Contact Information: 

Sasha Ussef, Associate Director
University Art Galleries
949-824-9854
sussef@uci.edu

Jaime DeJong
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949-824-2189
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