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Yale Photography MFA 2023

313 Bowery, New York, NY
August 3, 2023 - August 27, 2023

Miraj Patel, Wardian Case, 2023, Plywood, wood, laser cut Tyvek, flooring, grid tarp, plants, growlight, humidifiers, framed photographs , 8 x 12 x 11 in, 20.3 x 30.5 x 27.9 cm, Edition of 1 + 1 AP
Miraj Patel, Untitled, 2022, Collage of archival inkjet prints, UV printed Tyvek, laser etched acrylic, silver gelatin print, found photo, and custom brass hardware , 78 x 78 in, 198.1 x 198.1 cm
Xi Li, Surface Memory, 2022-23, Single-channel video installation, color, sound, Duration: 21 minutes
Arielle Gray, Alex I (left), Bump (right),2022, Edition of 5 + 2AP, Archival pigment print, 50 x 40 in 127 x 101.6 cm
Shaun Pierson
Sydney Mieko King, First Light (Grandma and Hibachan’s room, July 11–October 3, 2022) No. 1-16, 2022, 16 archival pigment prints, float mounted and framed, 98 1/2 x 122 in, 250.2 x 309.9 cm
Hobbes Ginsberg
Sophie Schwartz
Davion Alston
Adrian Martinez Chavez, Cumbias Cumbias y Más Cumbias, 2023, 2 Technics 1200, Turntables, Rane Mixer, ampliflier, speakers, Latin records, DJ, Duration: Variable
Natalie Ivis


Yale School of Art Photography MFA 2023

Davion Alston, Adrian Martinez Chavez, Hobbes Ginsberg, Arielle Gray, Natalie Ivis, Sydney Mieko King, Xi Li, Shaun Pierson, Miraj Patel, and Sophie Schwartz.

Blueprint, an exhibition of works organized by Antwaun Sargent by recent graduate students from the Yale School of Art’s MFA photography program, will be on view August 3rd, 2023 through August 27th, 2023 at Amanita. Photography is the blueprint—a scheme, plan, or set of instructions—collectively consulted by these ten artists, but each executes the orders differently. Through still and moving images, sculptures and installations, they contend with family bonds and immigrant histories; racial identity and queer desire; inherited legacies and the quietude of emotional intensity; the fallibility of memory and the protracted process of mourning.

Family is a frequent touchstone among these artists, as something to honor and from which to draw strength. Adrian Martinez Chavez’s films look pensively and playfully at love, labor, and assimilation for immigrant communities in the United States, with special attention to his own family’s journey and experience in the country. The sounds of work and play tie together filmed passages of restaurant prep work, photographs of joyous gatherings, and a DJ’s turntables. Sydney Mieko King transforms a home into a photographic apparatus, using a bedroom window to focus natural light in communion with her family. King devises new cameras and means of projection to ask urgent questions of what traces photography can or is meant to capture, mixing the analytical with the affective. Arielle Gray’s portraits ask viewers to bestow respect on the unfaltering glamour of Black matrilineage and the intimate histories contained within domestic interiors. In soft lustrous tones, she gives reverent pause to a crown of hair clips.

Others question the separation between technical craft and emotional connection in the photographer’s encounter with their subject. Shaun Pierson examines the overlapping dynamics of desire and shame, intimacy and distance that are present in both the photo shoot and the anonymous sexual encounter. Alongside portraits of his collaborators, Pierson draws back the curtain on his process with a ‘making-of’ film. Hobbes Ginsberg frames their self-portraiture with a rigorous conception of color and design, critiquing the separation between natural and naturalized constraints on expression. A curtain built into one of Ginsberg’s elaborate frames makes a wry mark on the demands of artistic selfexpression. Sophie Schwartz’s photography explores the porosity between authentic representation and performative identity, between personal grief and intergenerational memory. Whether through a picture of their childhood photo studio or by folding a portrait shoot into a self-portrait, Schwartz collapses the photographer into their subject.

The dynamics of scale and the plasticity of truth from the camera encourage other explorations. Natalie Ivis draws out the quietude of chaotic events: hands connected to unseen bodies reach from every direction to cradle and support the figures in her photographs. Meditating on the complexities of human connection, these pictures often touch obliquely on undisclosed personal narratives. Crafting a case of massive proportions to transport plants and their personal effects, Miraj Patel looks incisively at how systems of material and cultural value maintain a fragile coexistence in the contemporary world. Leaving photographs inaccessible in a case whose handle is too large to grasp, Patel offers and frustrates the possibility of exchange. Davion Alston creates installations that waver between object and image, visualizing connections between the literal and represented spaces of Black artistic identity. Integrating photographs with sculpture and thread, Alston improvises an unbroken line between their studio, the picture, and the wall. Through quietly but deeply moving filmed interviews, Xi Li considers the unstable harmony between actual and fictive recollections of the past. At the same time, the paper assemblages and distorted reflections in Li’s photographs offer a kaleidoscopic view of the world as crafted reality and mental construct.

— Text by Yechen Zhao

Thank you Yechen Zhao for the thoughtful text.
Thank you Lester Rosso for the flyer design, and to Jisung Park for the typeface.
And thank you to Antwaun Sargent for the considerate and seamless collaboration.

Download exhibition flyer