September 2016 - August 2017
The MFU: New York Studio + Teaching Residency Program was a one-year immersive program offering five selected artists 100% free, 24/7 studio space and practical support from the Bruce High Quality Foundation and BHQFU. Housed within our Brooklyn headquarters in Sunset Park, these artists spent twelve months working both individually and collaboratively. Each led a course of their own design during Spring Semester 2017. MFU participants received myriad unique benefits including access to a wood and metal shop, digital facilities, critiques, visiting artists, and a personalized seminar course.
The MFU in Review
The 2016-17 year at the Bruce High Quality Foundation studio and BHQFU in Sunset Park, Brooklyn was unlike any that we've had before. Having five full-time residents on-site for the year meant that new projects were always being made and new discussions always being forged, day or night. At the start of their residency in September 2016, residents Pastiche Lumumba, Jesse Chun, Nina Behrle, Andrew Ross, and Kentaro Ikegami moved into their dedicated studio space and started attending the MFU Seminar every Sunday. That course, designed and led by faculty liaison Jarrett Earnest, included critiques of their studio work, a rich bibilography of readings, conversations about contemporary art education, and the development of their own unique syllabi for their classes in spring 2016. This intimate course was enhanced by regular visiting aritsts including Huma Bhabha, Lorraine O'Grady, Peter Schjeldahl, and Lynne Tillman. During the last five weeks of the course, each resident presented a trial session of their spring semester course and received feedback from one another as well as staff at BHQFU.
Over the winter break, BHQFU posted free online registration for all classes to be taught by MFU artists-in-residence. The lineup of classes was one of our best ever, with each resident's own syllabus representing their personal areas of interest and research in conversation with larger sociopolitical and cultural contexts.
Andrew Ross's Post-Fact Studio combined a mixture of guests like Daniel Bejar, Eva and Franco Mattes, and Daniel Bozhkov with a selection of readings related to themes of parafiction in contemporary art and politics. Students also had the opportunity to present their works in group critique.
Rekindling the spirit of BHQFU's previous home on Ave A, Nina Berhle led the collaborative learning class Skill Yourself. Each week, participants learned new techniques for making work on the cheap at home with limited materials including screenprinting, mold-making, datamoshing, and circuit-bending.
In Kentaro Ikegami's Inside the Artists Studio, participants met with artists like Carissa Rodriguez, Trevor Paglen, and Adelita Husni-Bey who discussed frankly and openly the struggles and successes during their formative art making years.
Mixing the IRL and the URL, Pastiche Lumumba's #RealNiggaOurs: Memes and Contemporary Culture (or "Curtis") held in-person sessions at BHQFU as well as weekly online chat hangouts. The course consisted of discussions, lectures, and digital studio practice that centered blackness as an incubator of culture: how it is forged, cultivated, and transmitted across media. Guests included RAFiA Santana, Aria Dean, and many others.
Committed to keeping the spirit of poetry alive at BHQFU, Jesse Chun developed and led ESL: Transcultural Poetics. Its charge was to examine the interplay of image and text, poetry, and multilingual narratives. The class included participants who identified as artists, poets, translators, and creative writers who collaboratively developed and staged an end-of-semester night of performances at BHQFU. They interacted during the semester with guests including Mel Chin, Kameela Janan Rasheed, and Jeffrey Gibson.
These primarily on-site courses offered by BHQFU were supplemented by a free, open-to-the-public course led by BHQFU president Seth Cameron at the Cooper Union called The Intradisciplinary Seminar. Using George Kubler's book The Shape of Time as its anchor point, it welcomed numberous guests who discussed the desires made manifest in their own work. Guests included Avi Mograbi, Tom Sachs, Nathlie Provosty, Julia Rommel, Allyson Vieira, Andrew Norman Wilson, as well as other BHQFU faculty and staff.
At the end of the spring semester, the five New York MFU artists-in-residence traveled to meet their counterpart cohort, the MFU:Miami. At ArtCenter/South Florida, who hosted the MFU:Miami, the New York residents staged a group exhibition of their recent work titled PARAFICTION. After installing the show and holding an opening reception, the New York residents spent a week hanging out with Miami residents Zain Alam, Rachael Rakes, Kayla Delacerda, Juan Ledesma, and Amir George. While engaged with two very different versions of the MFU--the Miami version was a 12-week intensive--the residents held discussions and provided feedback to faculty liaison Jarrett Earnest about their experiences and how they would envision future artist residency programs.
Each of the MFU: New York artists-in-residence carved out a very distinct path for themselves, while maintaining and continually developing a sense of a group identity. It was one of the grander experiments concoted by BHQFU, something that we'd wanted to do for years. Part of the motiviation to relocate the school to the Bruce High Quality Foundation studio in Sunset Park, Brooklyn was the ability to provide our first year-round residency program. It was an honor to work with Nina Behrle, Andrew Ross, Kentaro Ikegami, Pastiche Lumumba, and Jesse Chun, and their dedication to the school and to one another was unparalled. Follow the links below in their bios to their respective websites to keep up with what they're doing moving forward.