Work From Home
School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents “Work from Home,” an exhibition of work by eight MFA Art Practice students. Curated by Jacquelyn Strycker, faculty member and director of operations and online curriculum, the exhibition will be on view from Tuesday, July 13, through Monday, August 2, at galleries.sva.edu.
“Work from Home” explores the fractured domesticity that we’ve all experienced over the past 15 months. Zoom declared, “The workspace is no longer just in the office—it’s wherever you are.” And for many of us, that was home. So we worked from home. Home was work. The bifurcation between home and work has been erased.
Only connect. We are always connected, through video conferencing, workspace and chat apps, but do we ever connect? Christianne Ebel’s “Pandemic Fine” portraits inquire of her subjects what we’ve stopped asking—“How are you?”—because we don’t want to hear (or elaborate on) how we are not okay.
Lisa Lee Freeman’s ink-splattered charts, annotated with symbols, text and numbers, often illegible, attempt to quantify a palpable sense of uncertainty and anxiety.
Juliet Walzer’s drawing series, “Waiting for a Connection,” documents snippets of Zoom sessions with her middle-school art students—drawn portraits from their gridded digital images, offering small glimpses of their home lives.
Several of the artists are presenting purely digital works. They have no dimensions. They were made on and are experienced on a screen—a nod to the absence of four walls and a roof that we navigate online. India Lombardi-Bello makes “Meridian Charts,” created from found photography and digital painting, for the television characters and pop-culture icons that remind her of her own Italian-American heritage.
Maria Dolores Gregori’s “Praising Shadows” are digital photographs that find poetry and nuance in the mundane.
Indeed, what is an “online art exhibition?” It’s a website. Or a feed. Or a livestream of something taking place somewhere else. Fei Jia paints portraits that explore her friendships. Her subjects’ awkward poses are rendered with expressive brushwork, and at times almost grotesque color. But you can’t see her paintings. These are not paintings. They are images of paintings.
There is a melancholy to the work in this show, a pensive mournfulness that reflects a year of shared trauma. Theodora Eliezer’s “Soft Decay” series, made from vintage stuffed animals being consumed by fungi, welcomes vulnerability and precarity, finding beauty and purpose in loss.
And finally, Maya Ballen presents us with hope, a way forward. She has used this time to critically examine her colonial perspective, connect with nature and develop a sense of phenomenological awareness. The resulting project, “Exercises in Animism,” invites others to engage in a more caring relationship with the inanimate world.