The exhibition of works from FIU’s graduating Master of Fine Arts class titled, ‘Relational Antagonism’ is now showing in The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum. Students exhibiting include Joanna Carter, Katia Danilova, Joey Meyer, Edward Rossel De Jongh and Gabrielle Wood.
French curator and critic Nicholas Bourriaud coined the term ‘relational aesthetics’ in 1998 to describe artworks in the 1990s that emphasize the relationship of the viewer to the artwork. Expanding upon his ideas in 2004, art historian Claire Bishop conceptualized ‘relational antagonism’ to refer to works that may not involve active participation but that interrogate the politics of the relations between viewer and work created—often by creating discomfort in the viewer. The artworks of the graduating artists in this exhibition represent a continuum between Bourriaud’s relational aesthetics and Bishop’s relational antagonism.
Through media as diverse as video, sound, drawing, paint, photography, and ceramics, artists’ works invite the viewer to consider their role in re-inscribing gendered norms, urban blight here in Miami, and even what role we should or should not play in stemming totalitarianism in another part of the world. Other works are philosophical investigations into the nature of artwork as deeply connected to space, time, and artistic/viewing subjects, as well as the relationship between artwork/viewer, self/other, and subject/object. In all cases, the viewer is integral to the completion of artist meaning, either by literal participation or a consideration of the ethics of looking—or choosing not to look.
Admission to the museum is free and the exhibition will be on view until April 17, 2013.