Frag

description of piece or artist

The impetus for the title of this show, FRAG, grew out of the incident during the first weekend of Operation Iraqi Freedom (which has been, surprisingly, more often and accurately called "War on Iraq" by media sources) when the US soldier tossed the grenade into his superior officers' tent. When the media used the terms "fragged" and "fragging" to describe both the act of sedition and the actual shorthand for "fragmentation grenade," it threw me back into the Vietnam War era, when as a teenager, my circle of friends and I used the term "fragged" which in our vernacular meant being caught in your tracks, or frankly, screwed over.

Moreover, in my naivete, I thought the word was exclusive to our clique, that we had made it up. When I inquired with an old friend recently about this, he told me that frag was a term borne from the Vietnam War, and that we had used fragged and another word that he believed we made up, "scragged," interchangeably. (Scragged seems now an obvious derivation of frag, with the dangerous suggestion of "skag," a hippie/street slang term for heroin, which is probably now outmoded and supplanted.)

So, FRAG exists in the gap between those experiences, stealthily overshadowed and filtered through the insatiable defense and media industries of the US, overfed by the current administration, the electronic cerebrations of our attentions (to the advertising markets, and the Armed Forces Recruiting Center across the street from Evos Arts...!), alongside the baselines and paraverses of time and actions we experience and feel in our lives. But FRAG references words with other currencies; fragment (of course), and fragile stand out, along with "defragging," cleaning up a fragmented computer hard-drive when parts of files are scattered across the disk...These terms also resonate readily with the works of this show.

description of piece or artist

The selection of the artists in FRAG was based on an affinity with them and their work. As the selection grew, a strong diverse and international aspect emerged, and what began as a byproduct in that respect later became an intention. Now it is clear to me that FRAG constructs a modestly broad and subjective, geopolitically refracted context through the artists' backgrounds, and more directly, through their work, that is sorely needed at this time. And the fragmentation of their experiences and works is something we can bring and share together through this program, and create a temporally imagined, demarcated and floating, S/state.

-Jed Speare, curator

The Artists

Matthew B. Briggs was born and raised in rural Western New York. After receiving a B.S. in art from College of St. Rose, Albany NY, Matthew came to Boston for graduate studies at Tufts University/SMFA program. He got his M.F.A. in 2001 and is presently working at Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Amber Frid-Jimenez's current work explores the intimacy of terror and desire in popular culture. Her most recent series of paintings contends with the threatening anatomy of sharks, fighter jets and funny cars as portrayed in recent blockbuster films. In the artificial rush of the Hollywood attack, a central duality is revealed: that which threatens also seduces. Working with mass media that exploits a collective desire to be scared has led me to some unwieldy questions. Why do we desire that which we fear most? What does it mean to revel in the thrill of horror film gore? Without moralizing, her work examines this dyad in scenes that range from the starkness of the desert to the seductive allure of dogfights and explosions. Amber Frid-Jimenez's work has been exhibited in solo and groups shows in Washington, D.C. and New York City. She has been privately commissioned to paint large format portraits. In addition to painting, she has received awards in design from the Association of American University Presses in 2002, the Art Director's Club in 2002 and Smithsonian Institution in 1999. She has maintained studios in Washington, D.C., in Montpelier, France, in Marfa, Texas and in Boston, Massachusetts, where she currently resides. Frid-Jimenez received her Bachelor of Arts in painting and philosophy at Wesleyan University, Connecticut in 1997.

Alen Floricic : Untitled, 2002., video, 2,10 min
All of my video works are meant to be viewed in space, as installations or ambiences. Yet, there are a few of my videos that can be presented also in a traditional way and without looping, if necessary. This one is one of them. I have already showed it that way at 11 Days of Croatian Film in Zagreb. In the video you can see an indefinite man in toilet space doing something highly indefinite similar to sweeping. My intention is not to tell some story, but to use recorded situations (seemingly familiar and yet highly indefinite and strange) as potentially energetic raw material that I can use to make art as a strong artificial structure that can activate the space (gallery, public space and so on...). Alen Floricic was born in 1968 in Pula ( Istria, Croatia ). He graduated from the faculty of arts in Rijeka in 1993; He is a member of the HDLU and professor at School for Applied Arts and Design in Pula.

A.M.Lilly: "Narcissus" uses a differential gear assembly and mirrors to reflect both the world outside itself and its own inner workings.
Anne is a Boston-based sculptor who studied engineering and architecture and worked in design and construction offices in the US and Europe before turning to sculpture. Her work explores the relationship between order and change. Ms. Lilly's sculptures have been exhibited across the US and are included in private, public and corporate collections in the US and Asia.

Adaleta Maslo-Krkovic:Virtual Vanity is a video installation projected onto a mirror in which a silhouette of a person (range shooting style) is made by fogging the outer space with that spray that is used by still-life photographers to dull the shine of glass surfaces. Images that are projected are simple uniform hats. They are projected on the head so that when a viewer places his/hers face inside the clear mirror gets an illusion of trying out different hats. The point is that the hats are army hats of different nations and ideologies. This is also reminiscent of that popular piece of software that is used by fashion industry to create a new individualistic style and has been sold packaged with various image/fashion/life style magazines for women which enables user to virtually try out different hairstyles by placing them over one's own portrait.

"To Cede" (Showing Sat. May 17) is an experimental poetic documentary about the author's mother who still lives in Croatia. The film is divided into four chapters, of which the first two are dedicated to the introduction of characters and a collection of memories about life during the socialist era in the former Socialistic Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. The third chapter shows life at the present moment. "Where does a dreamer find a consolation"? and "How does one survive the tsunami of capitalism"? are the questions this chapter explores, contrasting the life before and after the most recent war. The last chapter is a questioning conclusion.

Adaleta Maslo-Krkovic was born in Zagreb, Croatia. Before and during the most recent war on Balkans she received her education at University of Zagreb, Faculty for Graphic Arts. Shortly after the war she became editor-in-chief and creative director of ?Print & Publishing?, magazine that dealt with post war economic and political issues of culture in Croatia. In 1999 she emigrated to US for graduate study at SMFA. Presently lives and works in Boston, MA.


Marjorie Morgan, is a member of the Mobius Artists Group, works and explores in the fields of dance, music and theater with equal enthusiasm. In addition to her own productions and those with her performance company, Not Frida, she has performed in projects with Bill T. Jones and Robert Davidson, and has danced in the companies of Pooh Kaye, Paula Josa-Jones, Snappy Productions, Caitlin Corbett and Brian Crabtree.
Boston critics have cited her work as being one of the top ten dance events in 1996 (Boston Globe), 1998 (Boston Globe), 1999 (Boston Phoenix), 2001 (Boston Herald and Bay Windows) and 2002 (Boston Globe and Boston Phoenix). Recent collaborations include performance works with trombonist Tom Plsek, a photography series with photographer Nina Nickles, and multimedia performance works with Croatian printmaker Boris Kajmak. Marjorie teaches movement and voice at The Boston Conservatory and The School for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Viksnins, Laakso, Agee: "Conduit"
This project explores the dual nature of a creative act as both a spontaneous informed gesture and process driven analysis. The initial sculptural form, the 'conduit' is the product of an intuitive and emotional response to our own interests and to the show's theme of Frag. While exploring and refining the ideas and formal realities of the symbolic conduit, we came to the realization that our own process dictated a critical and representational decent to an organic expression. Our own understanding, a confluence of collaborative fragments, was circumscribed and defined by bits and parts of narratives, feelings and impressions. We decided to include this process and expose our investigation and exploration of the sculptural form and reveal new readings and reevaluation of the initial experience.

Karl Viksnins is a Boston based Artist/Architect. He has recently graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the Boston Architectural Center (BAC) in 2002. Karl has worked as a volunteer and house manager with Mobius from 1999 to 2001 and has participated in numerous architectural competitions and artist collaborative projects. In 1998 he was an artist participant in a cultural exchange and show with Taiwanese and American artists, architects, and urban designers in Boston and then in 1999 as an artist participant and technical assistant in Taiwan. He has had solo installations at Mobius and the Boston Architectural Center. He currently works as a full time Designer/Architect at Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott and teaches at the BAC.

Yar Laakso is a Boston based Artist. He received his Bachelor in Fine Arts from the College of Santa Fe, in Santa Fe, New Mexico (1997). Exhibitions in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Boston, Massachusetts. His solo work varies in relation to contemporary art movements and explores the use of traditional and unconventional mediums. He participated in collaborations with Artists from Santa Fe in 1996 and 1997. He currently works full time at Graham Gund Architects in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is an adjunct faculty at the Boston Architectural Center and teaches drawing.

Jason Agee began working in Black and white photography in the late 1980's and early 90's. In 1998 Jason graduated with a certificate in computer animation from the School of Communication Arts in North Carolina. Since, Jason has worked filming and editing video for weddings, training projects and commercial production.

Rich Streitmatter-Tran: "How Not to Speak" (4 minutes)
A Collaboration between R. Streitmatter-Tran & Thai Uyen Ngo
Edited documentation of a performance.

"Interval 1" (3 minutes 28 seconds)
Filmmaker Trinh. T. Minh-ha writes, “What is visible and audible can prevent one from seeing and hearing.” In the language of film, meaning is created by the intervals between the frames. The intervals provide the frames their kinetic energy. Ironically it is the intervals we do not see. The gaps between places, events, conversations. The commutes to and from destinations and origins often consuming a large segments of our lives and yet rarely valued among our memories. Did we miss something?”
This work, originally a component of a video installation, speaks to the intervals and rhythm of Vietnamese life. We find people in transition whether on boat, motorbike or automobile and music class where the sound is interrupted by instruction. What we see and hear is unfamiliar though not very unlike our own experience.

Alice Cox
Allosteria: HOW to negotiate your PARTS and feel WHOLE - life is a steady assimilation of your parts - and your parts may conflict - like that soldier's parts.
Childhood is a part - a big part and a foundation for HOW you PERCEIVE and EXPERIENCE. The past memorialized in FRAGMENTS of keen moments - like the falling afternoon light in the house before the lights were turned on or the sounds of the chickens (aimless chatter; ruffling of dirty wings) - the hot searing sun and the wide cracks in the dry ground. "Allosteria" contains some of my childhood fragments and is my attempt at assimilation of that PART into my NOW.

Alice Cox was born in Southern California, raised in Ovilla, Texas and came to Boston/Cambridge in 1991 to attend MIT. She has written and directed several films which have screened at the MFA, Boston, Anthology Film Archives, NYC, and various independent venues in the area. She recently performed in a KITSUNEbutoh production, "Synapse" (choreographed by Deborah Butler) this past March.

Ahmed Abdalla
"Tower of Pigeons": With my interest in language and communication, and as a contemporary person growing up in an ancient culture in the present time, I am interested in the human marks and the interpretation of these marks.
September 11 had a profound effect on me to the point that I felt that there was a need for me to come up with a new metaphor in my work. I could not communicate with my paintings as I had in the past. I didn't know what else could be done to connect my spirit with my work. Seven months of intense thought and research helped me discover a new metaphor for PEACE. I have begun preliminary drawings and a model of this project, "The Tower of Pigeons" which includes painting, drawings and a complex sculpture, video and sound installation.

"The Tower of Pigeons" is an architectural form that has been designed and built specifically for raising pigeons. The towers are very concentrated in the villages in the Delta area of Egypt where I was born. People used to carry guns and shoot these pigeons in the tower just for fun.
There was an incident in the summer of 1906 during the British rule of Egypt that took place in a village called Denshwai. A British soldier shooting pigeons, missed the target and the bullet went into a pile of wheat which caused a fire. That incident changed the course of modern history in Egypt.

Hiroko Kkikuchi: "The Garden Project: Whose Property is in the dark?"
This is a project which questions how one finds and deals with void in a given space while addressing philosophy, aesthetics, and semiotics of the Japanese gardening that provokes the idea of fragmentation and assimilation of cultural meanings and properties. Food is used as medium, and this work continues to evolve.

Rich Streitmatter-Tran "The Year Of The Rat: 1972" installation, sound. Rich received his BFA in the Studio for Interrelated Media at the Massachusetts College of Art in May 2003. He works primarily in performance art, video, design and installation. He is currently a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University in creative new media."The Year of the Rat: 1972" is the sculptural sound installation on the fourth floor. "How Not to Speak" and "Interval 1" are two videos for the screening night.

"Art in the woods."