Art & Art History
Beneath the Paving Stones, the Beach
The first in a series of five UIC MFA Thesis Exhibitions in Studio Arts, Photography, Moving Image, and New Media Arts.
Artists: Matt Brett, Houston Cofield, Colleen Keihm, Melissa Myser.
Before us a thick current runs. Opaque, swirling, and rushing ahead. Carrying the sediments of history, the land it flows through and the myth it inhabits. Thin spots in the surface reveal something profoundly significant, huge and alive; wakened for a moment.
Matt Brett uses the persistence of matter and energy as the moral and conceptual foundation of his work. He considers how the immutability of matter is entangled with human affairs, and looks to these entanglements for inspiration.
Houston Cofield ’s current work, Common Ground, combines photographs, objects, and film to create a fictional narrative about a specific region in North Mississippi. Family, myth, and history play important roles in the way Cofield ’s work narrates the land and people he encounters. He seeks to uncover the way history, both literally and fictionally, resonates in this region.
Colleen Keihm attempts to connect to places and people so that there may be a greater understanding of time, care, and the structure that happens in between. Her desire to connect occurs through representations of documenting the precise application of nail polish and reconstituting an object as a relic. Performance, photography, and video allow her to enter spaces ritualistically and engage with people so that they may generate situations together and experiment with elicited empathy.
Carried through by the rhythms of places and people who inhabit them, Melissa Myser is constantly wandering with an open ear. Myser ’s deep familial roots in the American West inform the stories, characters, and myths of her film and video works.
The 2014 MFA Thesis Exhibitions are supported by Gallery 400 and the School of Art & Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Matt Brett is a sculptor and MFA candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is from Richmond, VA and has previously lived in Philadelphia, PA. He holds a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Houston Cofield is a photographer from Memphis, TN currently based in Chicago, IL. Cofield is a photographer who uses video and objects to create fictional narratives. Concerned with how history retains itself in a place or region, most of his current work takes place in North Mississippi where literal, fictional, and familial histories collide. Cofield ’s photographs attempt to extract history, both actual and imagined, to create a new fiction about this region.
Colleen Keihm is an artist born in Levittown, NY. She prefers a slowness that allows for time spent and attention given to things while working with photography, video and performance. Using these media, she evaluates the best way to embody the idea of home, how beliefs arise, and modern familial relationships.
A Colorado native, Melissa Myser grew up on the far Western slope amid mesas, cowboys, tall tales and taller hats. Having previously received her BFA in Film Studies (cum laude) and BA in Studio Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Myser is currently a MFA candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago.