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MFA Thesis Exhibition - Please Stand By
January 12—February 3, 2007
space other, 63 Wareham Street, Boston, MA

This exhibition is the second of an ongoing series of MFA thesis exhibitions shown annually. In 2007, this exhibition is being held at Boston gallery space other as part of the joint graduate degree program of Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

About the exhibition:
Please Stand By features the thesis projects of seven M.F.A. candidates, which were originally conceived as individual presentations. Acting as a platform where things can happen, develop and change, Space Other was approached by the seven artists, the result being a mutual engagement that activated potential spaces and true collective. The ability to tell stories and to take them beyond the personal level is a shared characteristic of the works. We discovered different approaches toward common notions of identity, and an interest to put the mediums of photography and installation under investigation. The group attempts to not to limit their production by textual definitions of a specific medium. These artists are self-conscious, well informed and keen observers, in an effort to act outside the parameters set by the institutions, curators and the audience. By sharing a poetic impulse to disregard and subvert traditional systems, the seven artists take an active stand as producers within their community. Action results in a defining commonality, namely, the group’s play with expectations. These graduates follow a romantic course of communication which is essentially theirs and an attitude which is not only promising but defining for the artists of the future: Please Stand By.

About the artists:

Leigh Brodie presents an interactive installation that addresses the photographic notion of the ‘decisive moment’, first introduced by the French photographer Cartier-Bresson. She translates this notion into the ‘chosen moment’ performed by a computer program controlled by an algorithm. As in previous work, she investigates the nature of the photographic medium.


Ryan Cheney presents an 8 hour video featuring a desk in his beloved Californian desert. Cheney takes the arid land with him wherever he goes. He even tried to bring it to life on the surface of a desk standing in his Boston studio. In a performative ritual, he brings the “desk-desert” and the Californian desert together. Cheney’s work refers to the politics of the deserted places: places where everything is possible, where time passes slowly, and where human intervention is changing the face of the land. Cheney states he plans to observe the desk over a period of ten years to capture change taking place.


Christopher Heynen produces watercolors from an iceberg he created in the parking lot opposite Space Other. The installation in the gallery will start out with flares that are shot into the space onto the wall. Heynen uses distress as a continual energy to create change. During the show his presentation will grow. His piece investigates Romanticism as a political process.


Darren Miller’s photographs deal with a search for identity, and comment on the ever lingering idea of photography as a medium of truth. Clichés of rural life, gender and identity are acted out in photo montages that have a performative quality. He presents them together with magnificent, claustrophobic interior photographs shot in upstate New York.


Andrew Stanbridge presents a narrow explosive landscape in the back room of Space Other. Stanbridge’s work reflects on his travels to post-conflict areas such as Laos and Cambodia, two countries still dealing with the aftermath of war. He not only works with the unexploded ordnance (UXO) as active objects, but also with people whose lives and livelihoods are affected by them. In this installation at Space Other, he allows the viewer to come face to face with the UXO, creating an experience for material discovery and awareness about the physical and phychological coordinates of the space of war.


Vanessa Tropeano shows two large photographs where she re-enacts a family history. As in previous work, she uses autobiographical elements to create or recreate personal and universal stories. The existence and importance of myths, the investigation of the relationships between occurance and myth production, and the idea of artistry as being related to these activities are central to her work. The mysterious photographs are accompanied by a letter that address issues of memory, truth and time. It is meant to be read, discovered and remembered in one’s own time.


Ernest Truely creates an environment where he brings together several pieces from his career as a performer; among them a crate chair with story books of his life and a vibrating love seat. Truely’s work attempts to bridge or establish connections between the narrative and relational aesthetics. During the exhibition he will occasionally perform as a story teller to procure his objects-sculptures and bring about the audience. Truely’s work reflects on the subject of personal and collective memories and how to keep them alive beyond the constraints of time. By passing on his work as mutually experienced stories, they travel further and move beyond his control.