Is a taunt for its recipient? Laura Davis’s cats are taunting the past. Conjuring (waking) the muse. The inspiration (call to arms) comes from shadows on the prison wall. It will remain unclear whether Yesterday is revved up because of her challengers or because she wants the attention of those of us who go down to observe her.
How do we tell our own stories with a cold voice? How do I get away from “me” in order to see facts, events? Rami George’s story, or at least certain formative parts of his story, is remarkable because it has been told by media. He’s not a celebrity. Neither infamous nor victim. A character in a drama that played out in documentaries and newspapers. He’s retelling through fragments gleaned from professional strangers.
Michael Sirianni is retelling a retelling. The next version of a story inevitably takes liberties with the original, and Michael is using those adjustments and tracking them as their own kind of plotline. Michael is not digging into the source material to illuminate a truth, but to immerse himself deeper into its fiction. He’s making lovers of his various fantasies and sharing a cigarette after his evening with them.
Stephanie Syjuco is making herself a target. Not in the guise of a pacifist. An editor of crime. She has removed the intoxicant from the dime bag, but kept the risks of illicit trade. She sets herself and others up to appear guilty. She doesn’t leave her cohorts totally out in the cold. She masks or confuses the vulnerable shot that will take the whole operation down.Laura Davis
is an interdisciplinary artist who examines and reconfigures society’s psychological relationships with objects. At first glance, her sculptures, drawings, and installations appear docile, but upon further inspection, the work has a dark and menacing undertone. Davis received her MFA from the University of Chicago in 2004. She currently teaches in the Contemporary Practices department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago. She has exhibited at venues such as the Evanston Art Center, Chicago; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Gallery 400, Chicago; Aron Packer Gallery, Chicago; SPACES, Cleveland; The Dairy Center for the Arts, Boulder; and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI.Rami George
was born in the summer of 1989, a year known for its numerous revolutions, the signing of the Taif Agreement (beginning the end of the Lebanese Civil War), and the conception of the World Wide Web. He spent a childhood marked by these and other significant events. He completed his BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012, and has shown in various cities including San Francisco, New Orleans, Prague, and Chicago – where he currently resides. He continues to be influenced and motivated by political struggles and missing narratives. One might call him a “radical softie.”
Born in upstate New York, Michael Sirianni
received his MFA from the University of Illinois, Chicago in 2010. His exhibitions include New Capital Projects (Chicago), Johalla Projects (Chicago), the CUE Art Foundation (New York), Iceberg Projects (Chicago), Los Caminos (St. Louis), Gallery 400 (Chicago), the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art (Grand Rapids), the Antimatter Film Festival (Vancouver), Fleisher/Ollman Gallery (Philadelphia) and the Hyde Park Arts Center (Chicago). A 2010 recipient of Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant, Sirianni lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Born in the Philippines, Stephanie Syjuco
received her MFA from Stanford University and BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, and included in exhibitions at MoMA/P.S.1, the Whitney Museum of American Art, SFMOMA, ZKM Center for Art and Technology, Germany; Z33 Space for Contemporary Art, Belgium; UniversalStudios Gallery Beijing; The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; and the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, among others. In 2007 she led counterfeiting workshops in Istanbul and in 2009 contributed proxy sculptures for MOMA/P.S.1’s joint exhibition, “1969.” She has taught at Stanford University, The California College of the Arts, The San Francisco Art Institute, Mills College, Carnegie Mellon University, and will be joining the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley in January 2014 as an Assistant Professor in Sculpture. A recipient of a 2009 Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Award, she lives and works in San Francisco.