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Out To Pasture: 2021 MFA Graduation Exhibition

April 02 – May 07, 2021
USF Contemporary Art Museum + Online

CAM Galleries Open April 2 for USF Faculty, Staff, and Students
Reservation link: https://usfcamreservations.simpletix.com/e/65496


Leonidas Dezes, Total Insanity—Expert Hacker Nathaniel Superfly, 2020

Leonidas Dezes, Total Insanity—Expert Hacker Nathaniel Superfly, 2020

ONLINE EXHIBITION

Exhibition Home
//  Introductory Text  //  Virtual Tour  //  Catalogue + Brochure  //  Installation Views  //

Nostalgia & Now
//  Bonnie Mae Carrow  //  JD Hardy  //  Nadia Ivanova  //  Andrés Ramírez  //

Carnal Physicality
//  Chase Palmer  //  Jonathan Talit  //

Putting The Cartography Before The Horse
//  Luke Myers  //  Erin Oliver  //  Ian Wilson  //

That's Absurd!
//  Leonidas Dezes  //  Laura Pérez Insua  //  Lisa McCarthy  //  Maxwell Parker  //

 

THAT'S ABSURD! PUT A PAIR OF SUSPENDERS ON YOUR DISBELIEF THERE, BABES
by SK West 

Listen on SoundCloud to an audio version of the text

Have you ever tried to make a sentence that has, probably, never been said before? I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but can you answer this question without saying something completely absurd? What is your definition of absurd, anyway? Does it include every day of the last few years? Your whole life? Existence itself? Do you believe we are living in a computer simulation? Do you have proof otherwise? Are you confident enough to put money on it? Are you confident? You’re sure you know what you’re doing? Where do you draw the line? Is it along the same lines as the artist? When does art imitate life? Isn’t all of life art? Is that all? Would you like to share your responses out loud right now? Do you trust me? Can you trust me just for a minute? For how long can you hold your breath? Longer than me? Wait, how did we get here? Have you noticed anything out of the ordinary lately? Ever had a life-changing burrito? You’ve come all this way – are you enjoying yourself? Wait, weren’t we talking about art? Do you trust the artist? Does the artist even know what they’re doing? Do you?

LEONIDAS DEZES named his variety, sketch internet show Total Insanity for a reason, folks. In using a plethora of props, green screen effects, live performance, moving camera angles, and more, the show becomes a conglomeration of zany humor. The point of the show is to kind of not really have a point, but rather to be improvisational with the internet. While streaming live, Dezes includes his Skype contact information to create an engagement between himself and the viewer, where the performer and audience can be in conversation. TI is sometimes overloaded in simultaneous content and sometimes glitchy, but always irreverently fun, random, and absurd.

LAURA PÉREZ INSUA produces a recipe of cynicism, utopic ideals, and the symbology of the mermaid, among other things, in her work, Hombre Nuevo. This five-minute video follows a typical interview-style format, riffing off of Noam Chomsky’s interviews and essays, in which an old man sits at his desk, giving a spiel about social change; towards the end, the mermaid’s tail is revealed and catches the viewer off guard. Is this a man, or a mermaid? Which one is real, and which is mythical? The man’s speech is littered with contradictions, caught somewhere between hopeful and crushed, utopic confidence and dystopic deceit, yet the twist brings suspicion to the plot. What sacrifices are to be made for an ideology, and which are to be trusted?

LISA McCARTHY uses the infinite possibilities of drawing, painting, and performance to bring humor to hard conversations about gender, identity, and art. Her work addresses cultural rituals that directly impact or involve the individual and the collective society in a pictorial language that is colorful, witty, and dynamic. McCarthy's practice employs what she calls "raunchy satire" to further a serious discussion regarding the complex ideas that permeate our conscience. A long-running series of her work features a character named Poor Lydia, who is constantly extracting herself from one dreadful situation or another; examples include “Poor Lydia tried to buy a vibrator during COVID” and “Poor Lydia thought no one was looking as she picked her nose at the traffic light.” We’ve all been there, as we sympathize with Poor Lydia.

MAXWELL PARKER always wanted to go to the moon as a kid. Then he grew up, learned how to handle power tools, and built himself a rocket out of plywood, bungee cords, and a Pyrex dish (for the window, duh). His sculptures and installations are frequently anchored to this notion of childlike wonder amplified and made real with the power of a credit card and access to a wood shop. They are larger than life models with instructions reduced to a few buttons – or so many buttons that have wildly varying functions – and activated by gleeful enthusiasm. His works elicit curiosity, are fueled by sheer determination that, for example, brainwaves can power a steak-shaped car, and encourage the world to take having an absurd amount of fun quite seriously.  

 


ARTISTS + WORKS

Leonidas Dezes // Baltimore, Maryland
B.A. Digital Arts (2011), Stetson University, Florida

Leonidas Dezes' work looks for meaning in the apparently frivolous aspects of play, humor, and levity. He uses a combination of media including animation, video, music, and performance to create lo-fi, colorful, hand-drawn imagery and simple computer-generated graphics. His most recent project takes the form of a live streaming program titled, Total Insanity. His weekly broadcast examines live streaming as a venue for coping with the individual and collective anxiety of our crisis-ridden age, through the defiant frivolity of play and humor, and the liberating freedom of alternate personas and fantastical narratives.
leodezes.com

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Left to right: Work by Maxwell Parker, Lisa McCarthy, Leonidas Dezes. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Left to right: Work by Maxwell Parker, Lisa McCarthy, Leonidas Dezes. Photo: Will Lytch.

Leonidas Dezes, Total Insanity: The Retrospective, 2021

Laura Pérez Insua // Santa Clara, Cuba
B.F.A. (2018) Universidad de las Artes ISA, Havana, Cuba

Laura Pérez Insua is an interdisciplinary Cuban artist living in Tampa, Florida, who makes work that questions perceptions of power. Through a wide range of media including, watercolor, webcam footage, installations, and social practice, she crafts nuanced statements about the structures and characters that control our daily lives. Her current practice focuses on the unveiling of power and its rituals. Pérez Insua’s political origin gives her a particular sensibility that allows her to understand other geopolitical realities in contrast or in relation to her own; her work of the last two years is a series of contemplations on the social and political conditions of the U.S.
lauraeinsua.com

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Left to right: Work by Lisa McCarthy, Laura Pérez Insua, Nadia Ivanova. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Laura Pérez Insua. Photo: Will Lytch.

Laura Pérez Insua, Hombre Nuevo, 2021

Lisa McCarthy // Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts
B.F.A. (2018) Tufts University, Massachusetts

Lisa McCarthy's studio practice utilizes the languages of painting, drawing, and performance to fluidly move between styles, materials, and processes. Drawing inspiration from the contemporary art landscape, McCarthy uses humor to speak truths about gender biases in art today, with challenging conversations about social rituals that affect our identities, both individually and as a culture. Her latest series, Impulsive Transgressions, is inspired by what she calls raunchy satire, but it is also a serious discussion about complex subjects that have a strong foothold in artistic discourse, including classic concepts such as desire, idealism, self-esteem, critiques of human behavior, and identity politics.
lisajmccarthy.com

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Lisa McCarthy. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Lisa McCarthy. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Lisa McCarthy. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Lisa McCarthy. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Lisa McCarthy. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Lisa McCarthy. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Lisa McCarthy. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Lisa McCarthy. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Lisa McCarthy. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Lisa McCarthy. Photo: Will Lytch.

Maxwell Parker // Albany, New York
B.F.A. (2018) State University of New York, Plattsburg

Maxwell Parker makes machines that focus on energy: kinetic, potential, radical, and extreme, with their purpose being narrative and emotional. His work maintains a point of view of a mad scientist / artist whose imagination aspires to the absurd in depth and commitment in the creation of the works. His works are self-referential and windows into his imagination, oftentimes implying a larger narrative of the maker and audience. He invites the audience to participate where they have permission to play and perhaps reconsider the role of imagination in their perception of the physical world.
maxwellparkerart.com

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

Installation view of Out To Pasture exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. Work by Maxwell Parker. Photo: Will Lytch.

 

 

Out To Pasture: 2021 MFA Graduation Exhibition is supported in part by the USF School of Art and Art History, the Stanton Storer Embrace the Arts Foundation, MFAO, and CAM Club.