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Beneath Them Was Forever

Curated by Kathleen Forde


Parsons Fine Arts 2019 MFA Thesis Exhibition


April 26-May 4, 2019

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 25th, 6 – 9 PM

Westbeth Gallery

55 Bethune St

New York, NY 10014


Gallery hours: 12-6pm daily [Live April 11th]


Parsons School of Design at The New School is pleased to announce the Parsons Fine Arts 2019 MFA Thesis Exhibition Beneath Them was Forever curated by Kathleen Forde, and showcasing work byArpi Adamyan, Natalia Almonte, Tunie Lauren Betesh, Alonso Cartú, Liyen Chen, Michael Grasso, Nicole Economides, Liliana Farber, Utsa Hazarika, Sarra Margaret Hochberg, Julia Jueun Jo, Elyse Faith Dahlum Johnson, Nadine Käser Cenoz, Geraldine Kang, Laramie Marshall, Mylo Mu, Alymamah Rashed, Alex Dolores Salerno, Laina Michelle Weiss, and Leonard Yang.


As a thesis exhibition, Beneath Them Was Forever presents artists at a moment of transformation at a radical scale. The artists on view are launching from their recent pasts as students and are now looking directly outward into their future working lives. It is a moment of trust— trust in progress, in the continuing evolution and power of their art and vision. In ways, both deliberate and unconscious, their work distills many common threads: the risk of exploration and experimentation; the hybridity of practice that dissolves standard boundaries of genre and the inquiry into the desire to empathize, with each other and in broader, more global terms. For the artists in this exhibition, having survived transformative cycles of their practice, this moment, as contrived as it may seem, is an opportunity to argue for the power of art-making to manifest the past and to construct the future.

Kathleen Forde is Artistic Director at Large for Borusan Contemporary, a collection-based space for media arts exhibitions, commissions, and public programming in Istanbul. Primarily based in New York, she also works as an independent curator with various institutions both nationally and abroad. From 2005-12 Forde was the Curator of Time-Based Visual Arts at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy, NY. Prior to EMPAC, she served as Curatorial Director for Live Arts and New Media at Goethe Institute in Berlin and Munich, and Assistant Curator for Media Arts at SFMOMA.

Parsons Fine Arts MFA is a dynamic two-year, cross-disciplinary program committed to expanding the formal, intellectual and conceptual dimensions of emerging artists’ work. Studio-based research and scholarship 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 has access to 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. Our Visiting Artist Lecture Seriesand ourCritic and Curator Seriesfeatures renowned, multidisciplinary artists, curators and critics. In 2018-19 visitors have included: EV Day, Carlos Motta, Penelope Umbrico, Cullen Washington Jr., Mika Tajima, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Meleko Mokgosi, Salman Toor, Hakan Topal, Elana Herzog, Patricia Cronin, Natalie Bookchin, Carolyn Lazard, and Taryn Simon.

About Parsons School of Design. Founded in 1896, Parsons has served as a pioneer in the field of Art and Design 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. 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 2018, QS World University Rankings, a London-based higher education organization, once again named Parsons the number one college for art and design in the United States, and number two internationally.

For more information please visit finearts.parsons.eduor contact the MFA Program Director, Simone Douglas at