2021 MFA Thesis Exhibition

Intimacy, Fabulation, and Trauma

In her book Staying with the Trouble, Donna Haraway names her notion of the “thick present” as “the temporality of the thick, fibrous, and lumpy ‘now’ which is ancient and not,” as the ongoing now that “collects up inheritances and makes ongoing possible.” The thick present is her expanded notion of temporality, one that is attached to the past and that is not reduced to the instantaneous present. Before Covid-19 hit the world, Anna Tsing wrote that “precarity is the condition of our time.” For Tsing, precarity is about being vulnerable to others, is indeterminacy, is living and dying “in capitalist ruins.” She suggested that “one value of keeping precarity in mind is that it makes us remember that changing with circumstances is the stuff of survival.” Thinking with Haraway and Tsing, this exhibition understands the ongoing temporalities of the thick present as ongoing precarity, and conceives these artists’ works as engaging with and telling the life story by Carrying the Thick Present.