Repeat Three Times – Annual First Year MFA Exhibition Opens 4-7pm, 1/23

Repeat Three Times
The Annual First Year MFA Exhibition

Brian Bartz
Xandra Ibarra
Leena Joshi
Brontez Purnell
Ghazal Rahimi
Jessica Robbins

Wednesday, January 23rd – Thursday, February 14th, 2019
Opening Reception: 4 – 7pm, Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Worth Ryder Art Gallery, 116 Kroeber Hall, UC Berkeley Campus
Gallery Hours: Monday through Thursday, 12 – 5 pm
Free, Accessible, and Open to the Public

The Worth Ryder Art Gallery and the UC Berkeley Department of Art Practice are excited to present an exhibition of works by our six first-year graduate students.

The MFA program encourages experimentation with new methods, media, and modes of artmaking, and the artists have each built on their existing practices to create an exciting new body of work while immersing themselves in contemporary theory, seeking out new interdisciplinary influences, and responding to intense critical feedback by peers and mentors. The result is an exhibition that is fresh, vital, and immediate.

Brian Bartz, Anticipatory Anxiety, 2018. Proprietary Google body recognition algorithm running on a toy drone.


Brian Bartz’s  work revolves largely around the politics of emergent technological systems. His research interests include new paradigms of surveillance, corporate and military network infrastructures, and the increasing proliferation of machine learning and computer vision algorithms throughout our lived environment. How do these opaque technologies facilitate the expansion and reinscription of neoliberal power throughout the world? What sorts of injustices and violences are being erased through such complex, interdependent systems? How can we improve our collective literacy of this highly mediated and virtual landscape we all inhabit? Bartz addresses these questions through his work, creating interactive spaces, objects, and websites which seek to materialize the ideology around technology in the face of its widespread acceptance as value-neutral.


Xandra Ibarra, Transfer Points, 2018. Archival pigment print, 13” x 19”.


Xandra Ibarra, who sometimes works under the alias of La Chica Boom, is an Oakland-based performance artist from the US/Mexico border of El Paso/Juarez. Ibarra works across performance, video, and sculpture to explore abjection and joy and the borders between proper and improper racial, gender, and queer subject.


Leena Joshi, Here is the Mystic, 2016. Video projection, 3:40min.


Leena Joshi is an interdisciplinary artist and writer currently based in Oakland, California.



Brontez Purnell

Brontez Purnell has been publishing, performing, and curating in the Bay Area for over ten years. He is author of the cult zine Fag School, frontman for his band The Younger Lovers, and founder and choreographer of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company. Formerly a dancer with Gravy Train!!!, a queer electro indie band that gained national prominence in the mid-2000s, Purnell’s other prominent artistic collaborations include his supporting role in the queer independent feature film, “I Want Your Love” (dir. Travis Mathews, 2012).

He was a guest curator for the Berkeley Art Museum’s L@TE program in 2012, awarded an invitation to the 2012 Radar Lab queer arts summer residency, honored by Out Magazine’s 2012 Hot 100 List and 2013 Most Eligible Bachelors List, and most recently won the 2014 SF Bay Guardian‘s Goldie for Performance/Music.


Ghazal Rahimi, Ornamental Oppression, 2018. Oil on canvas, 48”x40”.


Ghazal Rahimi‘s work calls attention to cultural and social issues specifically in Middle Eastern countries (especially in Iran). It references concepts of duality and cultural assimilation and internal identity conflicts. Oppression is the theme that connects the different parts of her practice together. Her paintings are concerned with confrontational themes such as violence and oppression in reference to the human figure and most importantly women. Because women have been enormously affected by ignorance and inequality.


Jessica Robbins, Still from “starts to enrich”, 2019.


Jessica Robbins was raised in Southern Virginia. She graduated from The Cooper Union in May of 2014 with a bachelors in fine arts. She is currently working and living in Oakland, California. Robbins works between drawing, sculpture, video and performance, making objects that testify to the desire for the thing, for the body, and for the fetish. The material perspectives are both playful and jarring, filled with curiosity and yet also clearly interested in how to picture the potential for violence. The work potentiates a theater of theory where things can be played with and experimented, for questions to be raised and felt.


Please join us for an Opening Reception from 4 – 7pm on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2018!

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