Press Release


I Can Because You Do

Parsons Fine Arts

2016 MFA Thesis Exhibition

Curated by Alhena Katsof

May 6 – May 14, 2016

Gallery Hours: 12pm – 7pm

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 5, 6:00-9:00 PM

Participant Inc.
253 E Houston St

New York, NY 10002

Parsons School of Design is pleased to announce I Can Because You Do, the 2016 Parsons Fine Arts MFA Thesis Show curated by Alhena Katsof.

The exhibition features new work by Julius John Alam, Eleana Antonaki, Fernando do Campo, Rea Chen, Leonie Cicirello, Weston Frazor, Oscar Gracida, William Lee, Umber Majeed, Liona Robyn Nyariri, Joseph Pastor, Saul Sanchez, Ryota Sato, Alex Sheriff, Vered Snear, Tao Xian, Ingrid Zhuang.

I Can Because You Do is offered as an exhibition framework to foreground artistic practice, and the myriad forms of inspiration that engender it. The phrase, borrowed from the critic and writer Jan Verwoert, comes alive in the suggestive capacity of the conjunctive. Throughout their graduate work, and especially in the artworks brought forth for this exhibition, these artists explore ideas that exist in the and, with, and through. They speak to socio-political and cultural phenomena; processes of migration and translation; systems and hierarchies; the interface between nature, humans, and technology; fantastical, textual, and visual languages. In his writing, Verwoert describes “moving towards a politics of dedication” in response to the contemporary experience of divided time. This experience–being here and elsewhere at once–is eloquently described by the theorist Paul Virilio as meeting at a distance. Virilio writes extensively about time and causality, especially as they are impacted by new technologies. Fitting references, not least of all because they speak to the experience of making art within the context of the MFA.

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Parsons MFA in Fine Arts is a dynamic two-year, cross-disciplinary program committed to expanding the formal, intellectual and conceptual dimensions of emerging artists’ work. We foster studio-based research and scholarship that extends the boundaries of contemporary cultural expression, developed through a global understanding of the arts. Parsons Fine Arts is committed to diversity among students and faculty that provides a  potent learning community.  Housed within both Parsons School of Design and The New School University, the Fine Arts program is uniquely positioned within a progressive educational environment. Our international student body may access a wide spectrum of activities, ranging from rigorous formal and aesthetic investigations to cross-disciplinary collaborations with design, performing arts and humanities students, to public forums that address pressing social and political concerns.

Parsons Fine Arts is home to an active, international faculty whose work has been included in the Whitney Biennial, Documenta, the Sharjah Biennial and the Sydney Biennale; and exhibited in institutions such as the Arko Art Center, Seoul  and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Additionally our Visiting Artist Lecture Series and our Critic and Curator Series features critically renowned, multi-disciplinary artists, curators and critics who are available for one-on-one visits with graduate students. This culture of dialogical exchange supports our graduate students to redefine the cutting edge of Contemporary Art.

For more information please visit or contact MFA Program Director, Simone Douglas at

Parsons School of Design

Parsons is one of the premier institutions for art and design education. Founded in 1896, is has served as a pioneer in the field for more than a century. Based in New York and internationally active, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of design disciplines. Critical thinking, research and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons offers rigorous training that allows for interdisciplinary collaboration across five thematic schools. An integral part of The New School, Parsons builds on the university’s legacy of progressive ideals, scholarship and pedagogy. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. In 2015, QS World University Rankings, a London-based higher education organization, named Parsons the number one College for Art and Design in the United States, and number two internationally.

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