Micro/Macro: Selected Works by the MFA Class of 2021

April 16, 2021 - May 22, 2021

A woman is seen through a curtained doorway sitting on steps in a courtyard

Drawing from thinkers like Audre Lorde (1934 – 1992) and other Black Feminists/Womanists, Micro/Macro suggests to its viewers that “the personal is political” or that a micro perspective and a macro impact are inextricably linked. Poets and writers of all stripes, in content and in form and structure, suggest to readers that a piece of writing can move from the specific to broad (and back), that personal narratives can make larger arguments beyond the personal; the works by these visual artists are no different.

Guest curator Fred Joiner writes, “In Micro/Macro, the artists’ works suggests an inclusive universality, one that resists the staid confines of some museums or art spaces today. The personal nature of their works challenges singular narratives and traditional understandings of pleasure, interiority, memory and migration, landscape, and healing. Although they are giving voice to their specific concerns in the micro, these works expand our understanding of these ideas in the macro. This work resists the erasure aesthetic that weaponizes universality against artists whose bodies, lives, and practice fall outside of the historically white, canonical box.”

Participating artists are the five UNC-Chapel Hill Class of 2021 Master of Fine Arts in in Studio Art candidates: Sheyda Azar, Minoo Emami, Alena Mehić, Vonnie Quest, and Krysta Sa.

Fred Joiner is a poet and curator living in Carrboro, North Carolina. Joiner has published and presented his poetry nationally and internationally including Bamako, Mali, Dakar, Senegal Belfast, Northern Ireland and Geneva, Switzerland. As a curator of visual art and public programming, Joiner has worked with the Smithsonian, The Phillips Collection, Medina Galerie (Bamako), Belfast Exposed (Belfast), and others. Joiner’s writing is published or is forthcoming in publications by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, and the Phillips Collection. Joiner is the Board Chair of the Orange County Arts Commission Artists Advisory Board and a Board member of the American Poetry Museum and Arch Development Corporation. Listen to Fred Joiner talk about the exhibition.

This exhibition has been made possible by the Ackland’s National Advisory Board in memory of Seymour Levin.

Image credit:

Minoo Emami, Iranian, born 1963, Andaruni, 2021, acrylic on canvas, projected video, fabric, fluorescent light, and wood support, 84 x 120 x 10 inches. Lent by the artist.