A sheet of dried human skin, a scratched record, medical documents and legal records of a man named William found in a snow bank: These are segments of the MFA Graduate exhibition, On Coming and Going by Quintin Teszeri.
As an exploration of unique and mundane moments in life, Teszeri’s show is on display in the Artlab Concours Gallery with a reception on Jan. 12 at 5 p.m.
Is our life an insignificant phenomenon? This is the underlying question Teszeri presents. He suggests that what is repellent, odd or unique is also mundane and familiar. With his art, Teszeri wants to take people out of their comfort zones to come to the stark reality of this paradox.
The entrance of the installation begins with a wall-sized grey canvas laden in long scratches made by visitors with a provided utility knife. The interactive piece breaks the barrier between viewer and artwork, preparing visitors to connect with the work on a personal level.
As Teszeri writes in the abstract of his thesis, “I reflect on how my art, thinking and life engage different meanings of coming and going in different ways... a way of being, in the face of relentless transience.”
Teszeri achieves this idea with a multimedia approach and by pairing works both personal and observational. “I didn’t choose pluralism so much as I chose to restrict myself to one genre of production,” he says. “Diversity has its benefits and its drawbacks for both the viewers and me, but I appreciate the dynamism it provides.”
This diversity is presented through found objects, video, sound and textile, which make up the show.
A quilt made of his late grandfather’s shirts sewn together hangs as a reminder of the man he has only just begun to know. A collection of rocks acquired from the construction site outside the gallery speaks to a meditative practice he learned from a friend.
While at first the pieces appear disconnected from one another, they act as abstract visuals for Teszeri’s theme of how the actions and memories in our lives, the things we leave behind, are each unique yet insignificant.
Teszeri hopes that visitors will come to this uncomfortable yet genuine realization upon viewing his show.
As an example, he references the consummation of a child.
“This, or something like it, had to happen, or else you wouldn’t exist,” Teszeri explains. “It brought you to where you are in a somewhat repellent, probably sensual, but really rather common, kind of way. After all, people ejaculate inside each other all the time.”
Teszeri hopes his art will communicate that such everyday occurrences are insignificant phenomena. He explains that moments in life, such as consummation, is an example of a personal yet unoriginal instance, where births become an insignificant yet unique consequence.
A walk through Teszeri’s exhibition is a moment of surreal submersion, with works that appear both peculiar and familiar — a testament to the realization that as sure as this moment is coming and occurring it is simultaneously slipping through our fingers.
On Coming and Going will be on display until Jan 19 at the Artlab and Concours Gallery, open Monday — Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.