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Now on View

Shobun Baile
Alex Lukas
K.R. Pipkin
Gray Swartzel
Lee Webster



CMU 2018 MFA Thesis Exhibition

March 17 - April 8, 2018
Co-organized by CMU School of Art

Artists: Shobun Baile, Alex Lukas, KR Pipkin, Gray Swartzel, Lee Webster

Fri. March 23, 6-8pm: Reception
RSVP on facebook

About the Exhibition

Created within the current political tumult, new works by the 2018 CMU School of Art MFA candidates examine pop culture fantasies of entertainment, capital, and collapse. Interrogating the documentarian impulse, Immutable Stage flattens a historical cycle of wealth and decay into the now, arguing that artifice is a tool with which to construct real narratives.

About the Artists

Shobun Baile is an artist working in video, sound, writing, and sculpture. He works individually and collaborates with an evolving group of artists and writers. He received a BS from the University of Michigan, and was formerly a scientist working in virology research at Columbia University.  His work deals with the technologies and politics that exist at the intersection of architecture, space, and sound. He also makes music.

Alex Lukas was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1981 and raised in nearby Cambridge. He has been exhibited internationally at commercial galleries, non-profit institutions and artist run spaces. His work is included in the collections of the New York Public Library, the Museum of Modern Art Library (New York), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Spencer Museum of Art, the MIT List Visual Arts Center Student Loan Art Collection and the Flaxman Library at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has lectured at The Rhode Island School of Design, The Maryland Institute College of Art, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Alfred University and The University of Kansas. Lukas has been awarded residencies at The Bemis Center for the Arts, the Ucross Foundation, AS220 and The Jentel Foundation. He received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and, after stints in Chicago and Philadelphia, moved to Pittsburgh in 2015 to pursue a Masters of Fine Art degree at Carnegie Mellon University.

KR Pipkin is a drawing and language artist from Bee Cave, Texas, whose work follows landscape as complicated by the advent of digital space.

Through examination of social spaces online, the physical infrastructure that supports digital technology, and the overlap of public and corporatized space, Pipkin questions the ease at which the commons- physical, social, and digital- are commodified. They produce printed material as books, chapbooks, and zines, as well as digital work in software, bots, and games. They also make drawings by hand, on paper.

Pipkin holds a BFA from University of Texas at Austin, are a MFA candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, and have shown nationally and internationally at The Design Museum of London, The Texas Biennial, XXI Triennale of Milan, The Victoria & Albert Museum, and others.

Gray Swartzel, born in Raleigh, works to navigate lived performativity and intersectional
identities as he interrogates the queer body in relation to the social construction of
motherhood. Using still and moving images, as well as installation, he reconstitutes the often-
untold episodes of his family’s matrilineage to make physical the conceptions of connectedness
and isolation. He holds a BFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is currently
an MFA candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, and has shown nationally and internationally
at The CICA Museum in South Korea, The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, The Museum
of Human Achievement in Austin, and others.

Lee Webster makes work about American mourning and the perpetual pop culture nostalgia machine. Working with and against documentary and narrative filmmaking, Webster resituates filmic structures as installation, looped video, and live performance to ask the viewer to look between frames to examine the complex yet mutable stuff with which we weave the stories that become our personal and social mythologies.

Webster earned her BA at Sarah Lawrence College and is a Master of Fine Arts Candidate at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the recipient of an Art Matters Foundation grant and a fellowship at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. Her work has been exhibited and screened at The Contemporary in Austin, TX, Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, the Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival, as well as other venues.