Tae Hwang and MR Barnadas of Collective Magpie think of their audience as a collaborator, sharing in the responsibility of creating something new.
In a Close(d) Relationship features work produced during Transnational Seminars I & II, experimental classes designed and conducted by Collective Magpie with local college students from Southwestern College; Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Tijuana (UABC); and University of California San Diego. Through these two 12-week seminars, Collective Magpie and their collaborators researched and critiqued works from MCASD's permanent collection. Through contemporary performance and activism, students developed a series of participatory public interventions that corresponded to exchanges within the classroom.
Who Designs Your Race?, a work from the exhibition on 1001 Kettner Blvd.'s façade, presents the results of the student administered survey about race in the form of advertising sign painting. The use of the Uncle Sam figure is a reinterpretation of historic U.S. propaganda, used in the work as an urgent suggestion of the U.S. government collection of information about race. Instead of asking you to check the box and define your race, what if Uncle Sam asked you to reflect upon the question of who defines your race? In a time where the topic of race is a focus of national politics and news, with a lens held up to the borderlands, can we utilize this moment to personally explore ideas of race.
This exhibition is part of MCASD’s Millennial Engagement initiative, supported by a two-year Exploring Engagement grant from the James Irvine Foundation.