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  1. Ali Ahadi, The Pedagogical State of Metamorphosis (detail), 2012. digital sketch. Courtesy of the artist

  2. Nelly César, Bandera blanca (White flag), 2011. cotton fabric, menstrual blood and unassembled bed frame pieces. Courtesy of the artist

  3. Kevin Day, a percentage remedies a code underneath the harmful device, 2010-12. mixed-media installation. Courtesy of the artist

  4. Yan Luo, Thoughts Drifting around The Idea of Dwelling, 2012. inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist

  5. Nathan McNinch, from triangulation studies series, 2012. digital sketch. Courtesy of the artist

  6. Lux Petrova, Paradoxal Paradigm (still), 2012. video. Courtesy of the artist

Hail to the Destroyers

Ali Ahadi, Nelly Cesar, Kevin Day, Yan Luo, Nathan McNinch, Lux Petrova

UBC Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition 2012

August 31 - September 16, 2012

Reception: Thursday, September 6, 7 to 10 pm

Public Critique with Reid Shier
Director/Curator, Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver
Friday, September 14, 12:30 - 5:15 pm at the Belkin Art Gallery

The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery is pleased to present Hail to the Destroyers, an exhibition of work by the 2012 graduates of The University of British Columbia’s two-year Master of Fine Arts program. These six emerging artists explore various themes intersecting the performative persona of the artist, the body in the digital age, aesthetics and violence, and art making that is playfully cynical. Although they do not necessarily share a common agenda, their collective salute to the idea of destruction echoes contemporary anxieties about the potential for artistic practice to maintain social engagement within an increasingly unstable economic and political climate.

Ali Ahadi typically deals with dualities, in this case language and materiality. He will show a large sculptural work of plywood panels perforated by thousands of nails that spell out the message “I have gotten much better.” Accompanied by a small microchip with the same inscription, the sculpture’s simple yet thought-provoking statement joins the subtlety of language and its meaning with raw materials, brute force, and precise crafting.

Nelly César creates a multitude of performative and sculptural scenarios about misbehaviour, perversion, and ethology as a way to explore how people create bonds. For this exhibition she will revisit Santiago Sierra’s 2004 artwork, A room of nine square metres. César will construct a white replica of Sierra’s black cube room, and throughout the duration of the exhibition she drills holes from within to eventually reveal it as a ruin.

Kevin Day explores the production and consumption of digital materials, especially those encountered when browsing the Internet. Day presents hand-written portions of the hypertext code that constructs each of the websites he visited on a particular day. This labourious process materializes this usually concealed code into an over-exaggerated act that challenges the body’s relationship to the immediacy and physicality of digitized media.

Yan Luo refuses to legitimize his work through the allure of technique to the extent that he makes transparent the art world’s legitimizing structures. Luo will show two sculptural installations that are meticulously crafted, yet they integrate their surroundings and implicate the viewer in a way that denies the expectations that come with encountering a work of art.

Nathan McNinch creates simple machines that serve as analogues for how memory might work. McNinch’s kinetic installation consists of a series of large triangular sheets of white insulation material stitched together like a giant quilt, forming ripples that slowly undulate. With the rise and fall of each section, one moment gives way to another, existing just out of reach, much like memories do.

Lux Petrova is interested in the production and representation of the artistic self through mythologies that follow the logic of Hollywood. Lux has legally changed her name in order to rethink ideas about identity and how it is tied to persona. For this exhibition she will present video and sculptural works that are inspired by Vajazzle trends in which she taps into the world of glitter and bling body modifications.

The exhibition is presented with support from the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia.


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For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689