The ICP-Bard MFA Program is pleased to present Matthew Papa’s solo thesis show, Song to the Siren at the MFA Studios in Long Island City, Queens from March 10th to March 13th, 2016.
Song to the Siren is an exhibition of photographs and books by Matthew Papa. The title is borrowed from an 80s cover by the band This Mortal Coil. The song evokes the Greek myth about the hazards of desire and nods to the artist’s youth when he began taking photographs. During his studies, the serendipitous rediscovery of a box of old photos, letters and ephemera provided a wellspring of inspiration and were the impetus for many of the works in this exhibit.
In Song to the Siren, the body is a fulcrum bearing the weight of fear and desire. Formal nudes are juxtaposed with fragmented, ambiguous bodies, unsettling easy visual pleasure. Props in the form of masks, stockings and leggings bring a sense of theatre to the images where the self is inevitably performed. Sexual longing radiates from the photographs but is often tinged by the anxiety of power, emasculation and death. Being human is fraught with risk and uncertainty, a bind this work embraces.
Artist Bio:
Matthew Papa (b. 1967 Detroit) is a New York-based artist working primarily in photography. He has a BA in philosophy from the University of Michigan and an AAS in graphic design from Parsons, The New School for Design. His undergraduate study of philosophy informs his artistic practice and he’s interested in photography’s ability to complicate meaning. Desire and the body are persistent subjects in his work since our ideas about them are rife with conflict. He will complete his MFA from the ICP-Bard program in May 2016.
Exhibition: Thursday, March 10 – Sunday, March 12, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 10, 6-10pm
Exhibition Hours: Friday – Saturday, 1-6pm