Thesis exhibitions by School of Art 2020 MFA graduates were abruptly upended when campus went into lockdown in spring 2020, barring them from their typical studio spaces. Students have combatted these limitations in Time is Out of Joint, a series of three successive exhibitions running Thursday, Sept. 3 to Saturday, Oct. 31 at the MAK Center’s Mackey Garage Top and Courtyard Spaces in Los Angeles.
Organized by School of Art faculty Scott Benzel and the participating artists, the postgraduate exhibitions offer a new solid platform to share their work as they enter the next phase of their practices as working artists. The works reflect the artists’ process of “remembering,” “starting anew,” and “constructing homes” for themselves in recent months while addressing the maelstrom of racial and social issues amplified by the pandemic. Each of the three exhibitions feature 10 artists.
Participating artists (all Art MFA 20) include: Alia Ali, Naama Attias, Karlis Bergs, Casey Baden, Claire Chambless, Woohee Cho, Sophia Daud, Jenny Eom, Tracy Yue Fang, Ashu Gera, Holly Harrell, Sterling Hedges, stephanie mei huang, Erin Kapor, Vinhay Keo, Lucy Kerr, Mia Yao Meng, Morgan Ogilvie, Minga Opazo, Alexeis Reyes, Hannah Rubin, Freddy Ruiz, Michelle Sauer, Andrew Siedenburg, Lillian Liyuan Yang, Evelyn Hang Yin, Ken Yuen, Erica Zhang, and Xiaoyun Zeng.
Time is Out of Joint takes its title from Act I, Scene V of Hamlet: “The time is out of joint; O cursed spite!/That ever I was born to set it right!” The exhibitions also echo the work of French philosopher Catherine Malabou, specifically her 2020 essay “To Quarantine from Quarantine: Rousseau, Robinson Crusoe, and ‘I.’” The essay quotes a passage from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions, in which he documents his confinement during a plague outbreak in Genoa:
I began to arrange myself for my one-and twenty days … I proceeded to furnish the chamber I had chosen. I made a good mattress with my waistcoats and shirts; my napkins I converted, by sewing them together, into sheets; my robe de chambre into a counterpane; and my cloak into a pillow. I made myself a seat with one of my trunks laid flat, and a table with the other. I took out some writing paper and an inkstand, and distributed, in the manner of a library, a dozen books which I had with me. In a word, I so well arranged my few movables, that except curtains and windows, I was almost as commodiously lodged in this Lazeretto, absolutely empty as it was, as I had been at the Tennis Court in the Rue Verdelet.
By fashioning a new normal through what Benzel describes as an “improvisatory creative process,” students find solutions to the everyday issues of artmaking. Each of the exhibitions will be accompanied by livestreamed launch events featuring School of Art faculty, as well as an “unbound publication” based on the legendary Fluxus-era yearboxes and Fluxkits, and painter Marcel Duchamp’s Boîte-en-valise (de ou par Marcel Duchamp ou Rrose Selavy), 1935-41.
To ensure the safety of gallery visitors, the number of visitors in exhibition spaces at any one time will be limited; masks are required and social distancing will be enforced. Visitors will be asked to sign a liability waiver. Schedule a time to visit the physical exhibition here.
Time is Out of Joint
Show 1: Sept. 3-19
Show 2: Sept. 24-Oct. 10
Show 3: Oct. 15-31
General Exhibition Hours
Wed.-Sat., 12-6 pm
MAK Center’s Mackey Apartment garagetop and courtyard
1137 S Cochran Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019
Free (visitation by appointment only)