FSU MFA EXHIBITION

Apr 15, 2022

BODIES OF MEANING: BODIES OF CARE AND CONSUMPTION

For the past three years, twelve MFA artists at Florida State University have developed their artistic and theoretical practices for the graduating artist exhibition: Bodies of Meaning. In the exhibition, viewers might find themes of care, consumption, and restriction, which are embedded in a the very bodies which produce social products and practices.
The artwork in Bodies of Meaning engages with the same issues of societal disembodiment and disassociation with the bodies that consume and produce the world. The body which houses our body.
The artists have distinct practices informed by their personal experiences that resonate with individual and global issues, including traumas and joys our bodies absorb. Aspects of care are presented through our belongings, language, and cultural heritage passed down by our ancestors.
The works challenge imposed barriers and consumerism through a critique of societal narratives,
finding nuances in how we perceive each other and our environments. The works require effort from the audience’s senses in their optical and spatial challenges.
Each of the artists’ works engages with prescribed forms of labor and consumption placed on bodies and in turn brings new meaning to these interactions.
The works challenge imposed barriers and consumerism through a critique of societal narratives, finding nuances in how we perceive each other and our environments.
Through this lens, the many mediums and subjects collectively implicate the viewer’s body in various situations to test their environment, scale, and interaction with new media. Some aspects will be familiar, and some require decoding when your knowledge and preconceived notions of perception are decentered.
Then, what are “Bodies of Meaning”? David McNally’s Bodies of Meaning is a theoretical critique of the postmodern exploitation of the body through the labor, language, and society in which they exist. McNally argues that postmodernism and the commodified society abstract emotions and experiences is implicated in this exhibition. A body can represent many things: a being, water, text, or the whole of any number of things.

-Paris Gilstrap