2023 MFA Thesis Exhibition ‘thump, whoosh, rumble’ opens March 25

Posted on February 27, 2023

“thump, whoosh, rumble,” the 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibition, presents a wide range of artistic practices including sculpture, filmmaking, painting, and sound works from six unique artists. This work in this exhibition delves into questions of family and history, understandings of our own bodies, and the collapse of the past and future into the present.

Below is a brief sneak peak of the work in the exhibition:

Sarah Bowling’s work delves into the emotional and physical thresholds and boundaries that define us, questioning the thresholds of a body and the weight of desire. In her presentation, a large painting, blushing like a cheek, radiates hot pink from the corner of the gallery while a self-contained fountain system echoes the rhythms of the human body.

Jessica Fuquay will turn the first floor of the Miller ICA into an “ambient room,” an environment for listening to the sounds of social spaces where she has found kinship and creative refuge during her time living and studying in Pittsburgh. Her work, Love in the ambient room, uses tools of improvisation and chance to transform her collected materials, applying stretching, looping, delay, and many other time-bending strategies.

Laura Hudspith’s installation, The infinitesimal stirs me as the cosmological, brings macro- and micro- time/scales into relation with one another. Her work, influenced by her experience of living with chronic illness, incorporates salts and glass as dynamic materials to help reorient our thinking on bodies and illness and allow us to embrace our own changefulness and becoming.

Inspired by her research of the George A. Romero archives, Rebecca Shapass’ film no more room in hell explores the zombie as a posthuman species. In the work, which traces Pittsburgh’s shifting industry sectors, Shapass presents the zombie as an embodiment of apocalyptic futurity, representing the ways in which the ghosts of the past often shape our fears of the future.

Rosabel Rosalind’s work Aqua Drama imagines her family synchronized swimming together, through her eyes as a young child with a cross eye disorder. Coining the term “fam-fiction,” the work creates a sentimental fantasy in which her family coexists peacefully through an alternate story of romance, forgiveness, and redemption.

Caroline Yoo’s film lost | born in translation weaves together forgotten Korean mythologies and her own familial memories that were hidden as a result of immigration. Searching for the remaining fragments from the stories of female figures, her film focuses on remembering and forgetting as acts of survival, erasure, and reclamation.

“thump, whoosh, rumble” will be on view at the Miller Institute for Contemporary Art from March 25 through April 16 with an opening reception on March 24 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

Images (clockwise from top left): Rebecca Shapass, still from no more room in hell; Sarah Bowling, The shadow of tears; Rosabel Rosalind, Aqua Drama; Laura Hudspith, Body (Torus); photo by Audrey Medrano; Caroline Yoo, still from lost | born in translation.