Image courtesy Matthew Bogdanow, Kathy Feng and Abbey Zhang.


BFA Project 2020: on Instagram
March 26 – April 6, 2020


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zeenah salam alsamarrai, jesse blanchard, Matthew Bogdanow, Sylvia Burtenshaw, Keting Dong, kathy feng, Olivia Luo, Janice Ma, Vitória Monteiro, Aynaz Parkas, Minnie Yung, and Abbey Zhang.

Yes, I do re-use images (just like words).
— John Baldassari1

RECURSION is an exhibition of SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts' (SCA) third-year Visual Art students presented in collaboration with the Audain Visual Artist in Residence program. 

RECURSION explores the relationship of contemporary practice to histories of artistic influence. Recursion is the art or process of recurring or returning. In the context of computing, recursion is the invocation of a procedure from within itself. The artists in the exhibition call upon histories of artistic influence to engage with, push against and simultaneously acknowledge their position within a continuous fractal-like structure of communication that reverberates through contemporary art.

The works presented in RECURSION take up ideas of originality, the use of references, and practices of translation and citation. The exhibition on Instagram translates the ideas, processes and research related to the physical artworks that were to be installed in the gallery. Each artist's works will be posted over the course of a single day for the duration of the exhibition.

RECURSION has been developed with Alejandro Cesarco, the Spring 2020 Audain Visual Artist in Residence. While Cesarco’s time in Vancouver was cut short, he has continued to work alongside SCA professor Kathy Slade and the students online.

Alejandro Cesarco was born in Montevideo, Uraguay and currently lives in New York. Through different formats and strategies, his practice reflects his recurrent interests in repetition, narrative, and practices of reading and translating. Cesarco's most recent solo exhibitions include A Solo Exhibition, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2019); These Days, Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin (2019); Tactics & Technics, CAC, Vilnius (2019); and Song, The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2017). In 2011 he represented Uruguay at the 54th Venice Biennial. He has curated exhibitions in the US, Uruguay and Argentina, including sections of the 33 Bienal de Sāo Paulo, Brazil (2018) and ARCO, Madrid (2020). Cesarco is director of the non-profit organization, Art Resources Transfer.

The Audain Visual Artist in Residence (AVAIR) program brings artists and practitioners to Vancouver who have contributed significatnly to the field of contemporary art and whose work resonates with local and international visual art discourses. The visiting artists interact with the students and faculty of the School for the Contemporary Arts as well as the broader visual arts and cultural communities and the community-at-large. In keeping with the experimental nature of the School for the Contemporary Arts the terms of engagement are open and change from artist to artist. The cornerstone of the residency is the sharing of artistic research. The program is generously funded by the Audain Foundation Endowment Fund.

Presented by SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts and the Audain Visual Artist in Residence. 

[1] Alejandro Cesarco, ed., Between Artists: John Baldessari, Barbara Bloom (New York: Art Resources Transfer Press, 2011).

Abbey Zhang

1. C’est un puzzle, 24 x 36 in, oil on canvas, 2020.⁠

2. International Abbey Blue, colour swatch, 2020. #coucouyvesklein

3. Artbook Mukbang, video, 2020.

Click HERE for the video.

Minnie Yung

1 – 4. Sentences on Conceptual Art in Chinese, 18” by 24,” 2020.

5. Minnie Sings Baldessari Sings Lewitt, in Chinese, video, 2020.

Click HERE for the video.

Minnie Yung works to concretize or reimagine her perception of the physical world through various media such as painting, video, sculpture, and photography. Yung’s practice critically examines translation and the circulation of ideas within complex and diverse cultural contexts. She investigates memory through the physicality of artifacts, architectural forms and texts, while often also working with ephemeral materials through forms of documentation. Through her work, Yung aims to complicate our notion of what art can be by showing that an artwork need not be preserved physically in order to exist. Yung was born in Hong Kong, China, in 1998 and immigrated with her family to Canada at the age of seven. She is currently based in Vancouver.

Aynaz Parkas

1. The Shia shrine of Sayeda Zeinab, the destruction of which was filmed for an ISIS propaganda video. Shengal, Nineveh Governorate, Iraq, November 10, 2016. Photo by Joey Lawrence, from We Came From Fire: Kurdistan’s Armed Struggle Against ISIS).

2. Kay Sage, Unusual Thursday, oil on canvas, 31 3/4" x 38 3/4," 1951.

3 – 5. Your Land, oil on canvas, 42" X 30," 2020.

Vitória Monteiro

Fiction Collaboration, an ongoing series.

1. Fiction Collaboration, 64” x 31.” Close reading / Materials: One page from an old sketch book of mine or maybe it’s my mum’s I don’t remember; Readings for class that I said I read but didn’t; Gender Failure by Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon; Succulent Wild Woman by SARK; Manifesto Antropofágico (The Cannibalist Manifesto) by Oswald Andre.

2. (Non) Fiction Collaboration, 80” x 31.” Close reading / Materials: Some Women by Mapplethorpe (photo book of nudes); This is a chord. This is another. by Kathy Slade; A nude; My acceptance letter for the 2020 Berlin Field School; Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

3. (Non) Fiction Collaboration, 80" x 31." Close reading / Materials: A bank statement telling me that I owe them money (that I don’t have); National Geographic (photos of whales); A grocery list that was found on the floor; The Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano; A list of books my mum had told me to read over the past 10 years.

4. (Non) Fiction Collaboration, 60" x 31." Close reading / Materials: A list of books my mum had told me to read over the past 10 years; Pages that I touched but don’t remember; A photo of me with a wire device wrapped around my head that transports a gumball into my mouth; A blank page.

5. (Non) Fiction Collaboration, 60" x 31." Close reading / Materials: A list of books my mum had told me to read over the past 10 years; Pages that I touched but don’t remember; A photo of me with a wire device wrapped around my head that transports a gumball into my mouth; A blank page.

Janice Ma

Mottle (墨锭), documented performance (1 minute 48 seconds), 2020.

1. Ingest, Digest. Devour, Absorb. Click HERE for the video.

2. Inhale, Exhale. Inspiration, Aspiration. Click HERE for the video.

3. Spoken Words, Talk Text. Click HERE for the video.

4. Oculus, Viewless. Tear, Clear. Click HERE for the video.

5. Inject, Extract. Contained, Obtained. Click HERE for the video.

Olivia Luo

Shoujo Collab

Shoujo Collab is about reconnecting my ideas of coming of age, adolescent, romance, translation from subtitles, nostalgia and humor with a hint of cynicism in my personal experience with Japanese culture and how that affects my practice as a visual artist. Shoujo Collab is inspired by the Superflat movement created by Takeshi Murakami and several artists involved in japanese culture such as Junko Mizuno, Aya Takano, Natsuki Takaya and others. Shoujo Collab started because of my love for anime and manga since childhood. A huge part of my work in visual representation is commercial marketing activities in Japan. Signs, billboards, media, internet, social places, advertisement, and anything to do with mass media in Japan are all things I am curious and think about in my work. This work communicates the relationship between real and rendered textures, the recreation with colors from retros 1980-90s shoujo anime and manga from Japan, and contextual exploration about the old in the new.

1. Positive Girl. The more that I stay positive, the more I feel broken inside. #fruitsbasketanime.

Background is a teal color blended with the blues and has an abstractly image digital layering that is supposed to be cherry blossoms. In the middle is a neon pink drawing by me that is Tohru Honda, a female character in the Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya called Fruits Basket.

2. People die if they are killed. This gotta be the height of anime LOL. #badtranslation #subtitles #anime #cynisnistic #Fate/Stay Night

Another example in Shoujo Collab that invites humor is People die if they are killed. It is light blue to dark blue painted background with three side by side transparent orange silhouettes of the anime figure from the 2006 anime series Fate/Stay Night by studio Deen with the famous memorable quote: “People die if they are killed.”

3. Magic Pose. #transformation #childhood #dream #sailormoon

Magic Pose is a blue painted background with three neon blue silhouette magical girl transformations inspired by the Shoujo anime television series called Sailor Moon produced by Toei Animation. It is based on the manga of the same title written by Naoko Takeuchi.

4. Usagi Cry. This is literally a mood. #mood #coronavirus #cry #sailormoon

Usagi Cry is also inspired by Sailor Moon. It is a pastel purple to pastel pink showing Usagi crying however, exaggerated through repetitive imagery and comic effects.

5. Shoujo-scapes includes a full body photo of the actual painting with my tabby cat staged in the steps of my own house.

kathy feng

stories to tell when memory fails us

1. [ 1.1 ] imagine beaches and oceans

2. [ 2.1 ] imagine hardwood bench

3. [ 3.1 ] imagine alleyway

4. [ 1.2 ] imagine empty lot

5. [ 2.2 ] imagine maternal touch

Keting Dong⁠

Leaking The Days That Were Washed Out, 2020⁠

1. "这里是监狱, 欺骗筑起的墙。" —— 节选自:万一 《监狱》
"This is a prison, a wall of deception." — Excerpted from Wan Yi The Prison

2. "你痛苦地记在历史的卷帖上。" —— 节选自:万一 《监狱》
"You are painfully remembered on the scroll of history." — Excerpted from Wan Yi The Prison (still)

Click HERE for the video.

3. “活的思想监禁着。" —— 节选自:万一 《监狱》
“Vivid thoughts are imprisoned." — Excerpted from Wan Yi The Prison

4. “一个监狱接著一个监狱!一把锁链连著一把锁链!” —— 节选自:万一 《监狱》
“A prison after a prison, shackles never released.” — Excerpted from Wan Yi The Prison

5. “你在什么地方?你悄悄藏在人们的记忆上。” —— 节选自:万一 《监狱》
“Where are you? You're hiding in people's memories.” — Excerpted from Wan Yi The Prison

Sylvia Burtenshaw

Semiotics of the Recipe⁠

1. Semiotics of the Recipe⁠ (still), video. When the woman speaks, she names her own oppression. The role of Woman, the performance, is its own oppression. #martharosler #semioticsofthekitchen

Click HERE for Part One of the video, and HERE for Part Two.

2. Etymology. The English word recipe has its roots in the imperative form of the Latin verb recipere, “to take.” In essence, recipe means “Take!” A recipe instructs an addressee by presenting a coherent, usually chronological series of steps to follow. [A recipe] is agency-neutral, which means that although it is aimed at the person reading the
discourse, it does not matter who that person is. It is also time-neutral: if followed properly, the
procedure will work at any time. [The] recipe must try to be convincing and credible and implicitly assure the reader that it comes from a reliable source; and second, to convince the reader that any effort put into following it will be rewarded.

3. Installation view. Materials: cabinet (23" X 19" X 72"), CRT television, card stock (14" x 8"), 8" recipe stand, contact paper, house paint.

4. Bibliography.

  • Blair, Karene. Sugar Cookies: Auntie Karene. Langley: from my mother's recipe collection, 1973.
  • Burtenshaw, Heidi. Heidi's Aggression Cookie. Maple Ridge: from my mother's recipe collection, 1988.
  • Burtenshaw, Kathy. Raisin Cookies. Aldergrove: from my mother's recipe collection, 1985.
  • Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity. Abingdon: Routledge, 2011.
  • Butler, Judith. Undoing Gender. East Sussex: Psychology Press, 2004.
  • Cowan, Ruth Schwartz. More Work for Mother. New York: Basic Books, 1983.
  • Davie, Margie. Paper Doilies White Cake. Williams Lake: from my mother's recipe collection, 2009.
  • Fredlund, Katherine. "Antinarcissistic Rhetoric: Reinforcing Social Inequities Through Gender Performance." Rhetoric Review 33, no. 1 (2014): 21-37.
  • Gail. Gail's Never Fail Brownies. Aldergrove: from my mother's recipe collection, 1990.
  • Jones, Amelia. Body Art/Performing the Subject. University of Minnesota Press, 1998.
  • Laws, Judith Long, and Pepper Schwartz. Sexual Scripts: The Social Construction of Female Sexuality. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1977.
  • Lipp, Lynn. Brownies. Horsefly: from my mother's recipe collection, 1993.
  • Rodgers, Kathleen Boyce, and Stacey JT Hust. Scripting Adolescent Romance: Adolescents Talk about Romantic Relationships and Media's Sexual Scripts. New York: Peter Lang Incorporated, 2018.
  • Stewart, Susan. On longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. Durham: Duke University Press, 1993.
  • Stromsten, Rose. Blueberry Deluxe. Langley: from my mother's recipe collection, 1964.
  • Stromsten, Rose. Momma's Bread. Horsefly: written for me by my grandmother, 2020.
  • Stromsten, Wilma. Pineapple Walnut Carrot Cake: Auntie Wilma Stromsten. Aldergrove: from my mother's recipe collection, 1985.
  • Wharton, Tim. "Recipes: Beyond the Words." Gastronomica 10, no. 4 (2010): 67-73.
  • Wilson, Sheila. Carrot Cakes. Medicine Hat: from my mother's recipe collection, 2013.
  • Rosler, Martha. Martha Rosler: Positions in the Life World. Birmingham: Ikon Gallery, 1998.

Matthew Bogdanow


1. Punchclock’s performance contract, as recorded on Google Calendar from January 26 – February 29, 2020.

2. The remaining material of Punchclock’s first iteration: 672 4" x 6" photographic prints originally attached to a wall in a grid.

3. One last selfie in the shadow of what was to be Punchclock's iteration for installation: an interactive, touch controlled projection.

4. The captured selfies from Punchclock presented chronologically in a digital video format. (still)

Click HERE for the video.

5. Punchclock’s 340 “arm’s length” images overlayed on top of each other revealing patterns and qualities of sameness spanning a month.

jesse blanchard

1. Please touch me. Please squeeze me. Please hug me tight.

2. Felt my gender being surveilled. Please, look away, I said, I would like some privacy. (still)

Click HERE for the video.

3. Please don’t touch me. Please don’t squeeze me. Please don’t hug me tight.

4. Saffire and the steely look that Butler gives when surveillance dictates how your piss hits the porcelain of the public toilet. #ghostsofmylife #markfisher

5. We stack cups, horde the china our grandmothers passed down. It sits in cabinets, all stored away. Told to hide our feminized histories; the only tangible worth is reduced to linens and cups. #ValieExport #MeritOppenheim #MiyoshiBarosh #ToddHaynes #DorotheaTanning

zeenah salam alsamarrai

Holding Space

1. what r u waiting for?

2. what did u want it to be?

3. do u wanna try again?

4. this is for u if u want it to be

5. ..... ,anyways

April 06, 2020