The Marva and John Warnock biennial residency program has quickly become an important catalyst for dialogue encompassing contemporary issues of art making, pedagogy, interdisciplinary and collaborative work, art in the community and art as activism. The program aims to expose students to new, innovative, and diverse contemporary art practices, while providing an opportunity for trilateral exchange amongst students, faculty, and the public at large. The artist-in-residence will lead a Master Class that takes the form of intensive workshops throughout the semester.
Eva and Franco Mattes (1976) are an artist duo originally from Italy, working in New York, and the 5th artists selected for the residency. Their medium is a combination of internet, video and installation. Their work explores the ethical and moral issues arising when people interact remotely, especially through social media, creating situations where it is difficult to distinguish reality from a simulation.
Art writer Zach Fischman wrote: “Eva and Franco Mattes make art about information. For the majority of their lengthy collaboration, they’ve looked upon the internet and its rapid expansion with a canny and playful intelligence. Much of their output concerns the internet’s transition, in the last twenty years, from a vast and unregulated network to an increasingly mediated, corporatized, and policed series of standardized communications.”
Group exhibition highlights include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2018); Biennale fur aktuelle Fotografie (2017); Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne (2017); Biennale of Sydney (2016); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2013); Site Santa Fe (2012); Sundance Film Festival (2012); MoMA PS1, New York (2009); Performa, New York (2009, 2007); National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2008); The New Museum, New York (2005) and Manifesta 4, Frankfurt (2002). In 2001 they were among the youngest artists ever included in the Venice Biennale. Solo exhibition venues include Essex Flowers, New York; Postmasters Gallery, New York; Carroll/Fletcher, London; Site, Sheffield; PNCA, Portland; Plugin, Basel.
They are faculty members at the MFA Fine Arts Department and the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department of the School of Visual Arts, New York.
We are deeply grateful to the Warnock family for their generous support, allowing the department to have ongoing opportunities to engage with artists of this stature. We would also like to thank Dean Scheib, the Marriott Library, and the UMFA through their new ArtLandish series for continued support.
Previous artists in residence have been Mark Brest Van Kempen (2016), J. Morgan Puett (2014), Andrea Bowers (2012), and Ernesto Pujol (2010).
Mark Brest Van Kempen, 2016
A former Utahn and graduate of the University of Utah (BFA ‘85, MFA San Francisco Art Institute ‘91), Brest van Kempen was the fourth artist to be chosen for this elite residency. He led a master class in the form of intensive workshops where he collaborated with students on several large–scale projects which worked directly with Utah’s beautifully rich and diverse environment as their material. Brest Van Kempen has created a variety of artworks using the landscape itself as sculptural material. From his Free Speech Monument on the UC Berkeley campus to Land Exchange at the National Academy of Art in China, his work explores the range of emotions and issues that are embodied in our complex relationship to the environment, land, and place.
J. Morgan Puett, 2014
Puett’s art, unlike other methods, is less about creating something tangible or audible, and more about the experience of being and coexisting. She specializes in creating spaces where people thoughtfully engage, together, in the daily practices of life: workstyles, she calls them. Her art form is based in a practice called relational aesthetics where the art is the doing of activities—often domestic activities like dining—with others. Puett held a special topics course entitled ‘The Emergent Event’ that engaged all disciplines through a mode of doing-making-researching-thinking. It covered a broad range of topics and conceptual issues of 21st century socially engaged life, work, comportment, environmental practice—happiness. The studio project functioned as a Mildred’s Lane storefront think-tank around concerns in art and education. Participating students became part of an emergent collective, collaborative and celebrated team that featured in, work on part of a larger-scale project that continued at Mildred’s Lane and exhibited in Chicago in fall 2014.
Andrea Bowers, 2012
With activism as her primary medium, Andrea Bowers employs social justice as a means to explore important causes by engaging with various demographics and institutions. In 2012 Bowers was selected for the Warnock Artist Residency at the University of Utah where she taught an interdisciplinary special topics course during spring semester. Bowers turned her studio space at ArtSpace Commons over to her students, which they named Ground Floor. “They’re turning that into an exhibition space and it’s being offered up free to any social or political organization that needs a place to meet. And any artwork that is exhibited in it has to be socially or politically engaged.”
Ernesto Pujol, 2010
Internationally known performance artist Ernesto Pujol was the first Warnock Residency Visiting Artist. Pujol taught a unique workshop leading to a large-scale group performance along the south steps of the Utah State Capitol. His durational piece lasted 12 hours, from sunset to sunrise. Pujol created it in collaboration with University visual arts and modern dance students, and Utah artist Rosi Hayes, who designed a soundtrack for his meditative piece. Ernesto Pujol’s interdisciplinary performance practice is influenced by German choreographer Pina Bausch’s exploration of cities, American writer Rebecca Solnit’s reflections on walking, Zen Buddhist notions of consciousness, and contemporary conceptual art’s site-specific exploration of landscape and architecture. The artist chose the Utah State Capitol because of its monochromatic beauty, emblematic quality, and vertical monumentality. The 12-hour meditative piece promises to slowly draw a space-within-the-space, temporarily creating an ephemeral field for individual reflections on the regional theme of waiting.