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Laconia Gallery


SMFA Graduate Thesis Exhibition

Julia Cseko and Molly Segal

Friday, April 5, 2013 to Sunday, April 21, 2013

SMFA Graduate Thesis Exhibition. April 5 – 21, 2013.

Opening Reception Friday April 5, 5:30-8:30pm.

Julia Cseko arranging elements of art exhibit

These two outstanding MFA candidates were selected for exhibition by James Hull and will be exhibited in context with several other SMFA Thesis exhibitions at other SoWa Art Galleries in a coordinated event.

Molly Segal

Molly Segal

Molly Segal Things We Taught Ourselves, 36″ x 24″

Molly Segal Better Than Breathing, 48″ x 60″

Julia Cseko Battle

Julia Cseko Replicant Hybrid

Julia Cseko Couples

Julia Cseko Couples

Julia Cseko Not at War (detail)

Julia Cseko Middle Gray

Julia Cseko Middle Gray (detail)

Julia Cseko Couples L

Molly Segal: If You Jump, I’ll Jump

The paintings in If You Jump, I’ll Jump explore the psychological ambiguities in the friendships of young women as they navigate a sometimes dangerous world. This work uses relationships I had in junior high and high school as a point of investigation into ideas about intimacy, desire, fear and recklessness in young women. Of particular interest is the deep level of commitment girls this age are capable of and the ways they can be at once vulnerable and bold in the face of the unknown.

My references come from a combination of found video stills and collaborations with other women to “restage” important moments from my adolescence. I find the painting process seductive because it has something to do with controlling chaos. I work quickly and impulsively and approach these paintings with a bravado, confidence and fear that seem fitting for the subject matter. Blurred boundaries and emotional entanglements are emphasized by an atmospheric uncertainty and a sense that the viewer is encroaching into a sacred and private space.

Julia Cseko: Aftermath

The Hybrid series sculptures are inter plays between the micro/macro politics in contemporary life. Ranging from the social gaps between nations and societies and military squanders, to the micro individual wants and biological human needs, such as: eating, forming a family unit and the battlefields of love and sexual desire. These issues haunt us like sea monster’s might have haunted early explorers’ minds.

There is something humorous in playing with the human scale, transporting stern symbols of macro social constructs to the proportions of children’s toys. A general overlook of human behavior will give us the macro politics of the world order, a closer look however, will give us the micro politics of life, that involve mostly: living life well and fully, having a few laughs, falling in love and being happy. In the recent sculptures from the Hybrid series, objects and bodies are miniaturized and made of soft boldly colored fabric.

Complex issues such as warfare or social layers in society are transported to the a doll size scale, made less overpowering and easier to wrap ideas around. Seeing the world as a child, at a stage of development in which opinions are still being formed and values instilled, encourages the viewer to doubt a deeply set belief of impotence towards macro politics. Favoring a more creative and less fatalistic approach.

The viewer is invited to question the importance and value that some social symbols take up in our lives. Fantasy momentarily removes the dis-proportionally frightening sense of risk and responsibility involved in taking action and decision making. The idea in these pieces is to make space for one’s mind to move freely over what would seem too vast or complex to be given attention in a daily basis. The visual downsizing and softening in these sculptures is an empowerment strategy, inviting one’s thought’s into these complex issues without the intimidation of the “life size” or “bigger than life” problems.