A Luckman Project at The Luckman Fine Arts Gallery
California State University, Los Angeles
Wednesday, June 1st - Saturday, June 18th, 2016 12-5PM
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 4th, 2016 5-8PM
Mark Steven Greenfield, Visiting Artist
Annually the faculty of the Department of Art select a number of promising students to work
creatively with a visiting artist for an entire quarter. The goal is to make art and install an
exhibition at the Luckman Art Gallery. The installation offers a catalog, a website and any other
germane information regarding the exhibit.
I consider it an honor to have been selected as this years visiting artist and I elected to
encourage the students to develop the exhibition’s theme in a truly democratic manner.
Through a series of meetings this spring, students coalesced around the idea of “Post”, most
commonly used as prefix, as the theme for this year’s exhibition.
The Luckman Project, as it has come to be known, is unlike any other program in California and
has the potential of serving as a model for a unique and more comprehensive teaching strategy,
offering practical, and more so, a highly inspiring experience to students. As an alum of this
institution I’ve always felt that the knowledge I have gained here gave me an advantage in the
art world and, thus, I’m happy to see that the CSULA tradition of innovation and scholarship is
still strong and vibrant.
I was struck by both the sublime simplicity of the theme and, at the same time, its capacity to
embrace such a wide spectrum of interpretations. In a society often seduced and obsessed with
the “New,” we rarely take the time for an analysis of the ramifications of what has happened, or
perhaps more importantly, of what will happen as a result of our actions or inactions. In a time
marked by the perception of an impending shift in political, social and environmental priorities,
reflection on the past from the standpoint of its being “Post”, offers a perspective that informs
us in ways rarely explored and I was eventually pleasantly surprised that the students decided
on building an exhibition around such a challenging theme.
The word “Post” holds equal weight in its ability to act as an indicator for either the positive or
negative. It is a temporal imperative that is contextualized by its succeeding word or words.
Initially the idea for the exhibition was spawned by a discussion on the concept of Post –Tech
and the question of how one would navigate in a world absent of the technological innovations
upon which we have become so dependent. It is a given that life would be different, but it begs
the question, “Would it be better or worse?” Has that dependence on technology weakened our
ability to form a more humanistic approach to our problems? By extension, the question of how
we would be forced into such an existence, gives rise to discussions envisioning a Post
Apocalyptic society, with all the challenges that it may entail. Other conversations centered on
“Post-Trauma “, not only as it would apply to former military combatants, but also to the victims
of physical, sexual or psychological abuse. Students discussed the arguable myths of Post –
Racialism, Post-Depression and its sometimes fatal conclusions. They also considered Post –
Destruction as a prospect of a Phoenix- like new beginnings. Issues surrounding the aftermath of
Post-Revolution and Post- Industrialization were explored along with speculative notions of
Whether by intention or happenstance the philosophical underpinnings of this exhibition speak
to the societal recalibrations that take place within each generation. With each new
interpretation, deconstruction, invention, or reimagining, something is ultimately relegated to
the realm of being “Post”, with inherent benefits that serve as a guide for future forward
progress. In so many instances I found myself wanting to pair the word with “Possibility”, not
only in my consideration of the students creative solutions, but in the analytical dialogs those
solutions would surely stimulate. In this regard these artists exceeded my expectations
I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to Mika Cho, the Chair of the Department of Art,
as well as Richard Wearn, the Faculty Mentor, for their support and guidance during this project.
My thanks also goes out to the many faculty members whose faith and dedication to their
students made this exhibition possible. This exhibition provides lessons from which we should
all take note. The work offers a series of glimpses into “consequences” from the perspective of a
generation, who are equally its victims and beneficiaries. One day, of course, they will be Post-