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Presented by MFA Photography, Video and Related Media

MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Thesis Exhibition and Screening

June 18 - August 1
A photo of Grand Central's Main Concourse, with many people bustling around an information booth that's topped with a clock. One person in the middle of the shot is still and in focus, looking at the viewer and holding a bright green canvas under their arm.

Chen Chen, Here to There 017, 2020, Archival pigment print, 13x19 inches.


Thu, Jun 18; 6:30pm - 12:00am

School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents its annual exhibition of thesis work by the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media class of 2020. Curated by Nat Trotman, curator of Performance and Media at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the exhibition features work from the program’s distinguished 30th graduating class and can be viewed here. The exhibition launched on Thursday, June 18, with a Zoom reception and virtual screening event, which was recorded and can be viewed on YouTube.


This year’s thesis exhibition takes place during a time of widespread upheaval, as historic protests against systemic racism intersect with the radical social impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). In this moment, the 20 MFA Photography, Video and Related Media graduates in this exhibition have gathered to reflect on issues of intimacy and isolation, fantasy and reality, sanctuary and displacement. These artists’ works are as varied as their backgrounds, expressing a global range of experiences and identities through photography, video, film and installation.


As geopolitical boundaries are being reinforced both nationally and internationally, many of the graduates explore feelings of dislocation. Their projects alternately invoke a sense of alienation from one’s surroundings, a desire to reconnect with one’s past, or a resistance to the structure of space and time itself. Other projects chart a territory between harsh truths of race, class and gender inequity and the psychic release offered by fiction and the imagination, often documenting specific places, individuals and communities in varying degrees of realism. Finally, a number of artists have turned their cameras toward the human body, probing the fluidity of the self and the emotional power of touch.


Throughout all these works, this year’s graduates expertly convey their unique viewpoints through a combination of wit, intelligence and technical skill. Culminating two years of dedication and hard work, their thesis projects demonstrate a sustained commitment to the conceptual and formal power of art during these turbulent times.

Free and open to the public
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