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MFA Thesis Exhibition

May 4-21, 2006
Tisch Gallery

This exhibition is the final of four in an ongoing series of MFA thesis exhibitions shown annually at the Tufts University Art Gallery as part of the joint graduate degree program of Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

About the artists:

“Improved Earth” refers to a now-obsolete term used by the Canadian government to describe the building of dirt roads through the western Prairie Provinces in the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The modernity enforced upon these rural spaces and the consequent increase in agricultural production has created a dichotomy between the growth of technology in a space that is generally viewed as constant and unchanging.  In my video installation I am confronting my past, present and future as an individual from the Saskatchewan prairies and the impact the space has had upon my family and myself.
still from Improved Earth, 2006, video installation, 20 minutes

Tony Trouble’s Hipwact Sock Hop is an installation emulating three rooms from an apartment inhabited by the artist’s alter ego, Tony Trouble.  A fantastical re-interpretation of fashions from the golden age of rock-n-roll creates the décor, which is filled with a pandemonium of images, objects, lights, and sounds that reveal the artist’s dreams and desires.  A dance party is being thrown in the bathroom, where visitors will be encouraged to dance and forget their troubles.
Tony Trouble's Movin' and Groovin' Washroom, 2005, size variable, installation 

My most recent work involves photographing the Alief area of Houston. I found myself faced with a persistent question: How do I prove anything exists if it is not recorded? The place where I grew up in Houston is being demolished for a toll road, and new housing. Fortunately my house was not destroyed, but the surrounding countryside is teeming with concrete roads and almost-identical looking houses. I archive and document the development, destruction, construction and evolution of my familiar suburban space.This urbanization of land in Houston touches on a continual transformation of natural and rural landscapes throughout America as the boundaries of our cities expand.Hopefully, my audience can see my landscapes not only as part of my homeland but also as amorphous in location and easy to imagine in other regions of the nation, if not throughout the world.
Subdivision (180 degrees) (detail), 2004, 1 x 4', digital c-print

This group of interactive photographic objects explores identity and communication through self-portrait and play. All of the works are grounded in memoir and fantasy and invite the visitor to directly manipulate the viewing experience – to manipulate the art and the artist. Visitors to the exhibition should come ready to play with the dolls and books. A photographer will be on duty (times to be announced or call the gallery) for those who wish to fully participate in the life sized photographic objects.
Play with Me 2006, dimensions variable, photographic installation

The three C’s of my work are Conflict, Contradictions and Childhood.  Increasingly, as I’m in the act of making, I realize that my work refers to a doubling of self and the flexible nature of time.  I am both here and there; a “free to be me” adult and an awkward grunge teen. With this installation I hope to challenge the idea that external appearances are a clue into an individual’s inner life.  Haven is designed to be the “psychological” version of my teenage bedroom, as imagined by my adult self. . In the room are handcrafted objects and furniture, which have been drawn/painted on and/or carved into.
The room is a visual manifestation of the seeds of my personality; a look at who I was, and who I am becoming.
Haven, (detail), 2005, dimensions variable, installation