This weekend I stepped into the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park to view their current exhibition, which is titled Measurements of Progress.
Graduating students (and a couple of professors) from UC San Diego’s 2021 Masters of Fine Arts program have contributed artwork that primarily concerns the ongoing human struggle to achieve certain ideals, particularly peace, liberty, and justice.
Given how the subject matter is largely political, it’s not surprising that some of the student art is ideological and simple. I was drawn to other more subtle, mysterious works that encourage the viewer to look open-eyed at a complex world and inward with questioning wonder.
A couple of pieces I really loved are sculptures made of fabric. Touched by soft light, they seem to hang in space like organic abstractions, sinuous, fragile, evocative, full of memory. One contains poetry.
Another strange, thought-provoking work is a series of prostheses that explores the “limited and flawed nature of human perceptions and the manner in which bodies experience the world…”
Another piece explores the cosmos in the artist’s own body. I’m not exactly sure what the 3-channel video depicts–possibly dyed slides under a microscope–but watching the movement of living cells in our immensely complex selves can make one less political, more philosophical.
Measurements of Progress is well worth checking out if you love endlessly fascinating productions of human creativity–particularly contemporary art.
The exhibition is free and will continue at the San Diego Art Institute through May 30, 2021.