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.
Kei Ito is the sixth artist to be selected for the residency and master class. He is a conceptual photographer working primarily with camera-less image making and installation art. He earned his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016, following his BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2014.
Ito’s work addresses issues of deep loss and intergenerational connection as he explores the materiality and experimental processes of photography. His work deals with the trauma and legacy passed down from his late grandfather, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and a later anti-nuclear activist, in relation to current threats of nuclear disaster. Ito’s artworks lead the audience on a journey from grief and remembrance to hope. Through his ritualistic image-making, the audience sees how he grapples with his family’s historical connection to nuclear weapons and power.
Ito’s recent solo exhibitions were hosted by Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art(NC), IA&A at Hillyer (DC), Masur Museum of Art (LA), and Manifest Gallery (OH); and his recent group exhibitions took place at Norton Museum of Art (FL), 1708 Gallery/ Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VA), the Museum of Contemporary Photography (IL), CICA Museum (South Korea), Walters Art Museum (MD), and Noorderlicht (Netherlands). Ito’s works have been collected by major art institutions including: the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Norton Museum of Art, California Institute of Integral Studies/Chroma, En Foco, and Center for Photography at Woodstock.”
On his project Kei states: “The project continues my current practice that reflects on my own nuclear heritage. On August 6th 1945, at 8:15 AM, my grandfather witnessed a great tragedy that destroyed nearly everything in Hiroshima, later describing his experience of the a-bombing, “it was like hundreds of suns lighting up the sky.” This statement haunted me even after his passing away from cancer.
Drawing upon my grandfather’s words, I mainly use the techniques of camera-less photography, exposing light sensitive material to sunlight, often timing the exposures with my breath. Generally, these sun-fused, x-ray like prints, are paired with symbolically charged objects such as a burnt dictionary or burnt wood to create an experiential installation.
Comprised of multiple large-sized black and white darkroom photo prints, charred wood, and moving images with sound, the installation will heavily incorporate research about the rich nuclear history that occurred in Utah and Nevada.”
The Master Class
The Art of Trauma introduces and engages students in the identification, confrontation, and healing of trauma including personal, collective and cultural trauma that results in a final project. The semester long studio class teaches students to develop a project through self-reflection, research, and writing. The weekly lectures focus on post-WWII to contemporary artists who utilize their artistic practices to deal with trauma through different forms of expression and presentation.
ART6900-001: The Art of Trauma
Spring 2020, Fridays 9am - 3pm
Please contact a faculty advisor for a permission code.
Seniors and graduate students have priority.
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 Eva and Franco Mattes (2018), Mark Brest Van Kempen (2016), J. Morgan Puett (2014), Andrea Bowers (2012), and Ernesto Pujol (2010).
Franco & Eva Mattes, 2018
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. Their master class seminar focused on the troubled relation between contemporary art and the Internet. The class analyzed dozens of artworks from the mid nineties to present day to stimulate group discussion around the latest critical issues in contemporary art and media theory.
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.