In January 2020, I titled this exhibition of the 12 graduating artists from the Graduate Art program Fell for Everything. Taken from Katy Perry’s 2013 megahit, “Roar”, she states “I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything”. This song from not-so-long ago becomes a battle cry for the start of a new roaring twenties; a super saccharine tune about self-affirmation becomes my personal wish for the futures of this 2020 class. Besides, a show like this, with such different voices, can’t really stand for anything, but collectively, I felt this group really did understand what it was like to fall. They’ve fallen in and out of love (sometimes with each other). They’ve been tricked and some want to trick us. Camouflage is popular. Holes open and lines lead into unknown spaces. One artist builds materials only to rip them down again, while another falls into a trance-like state to paint. Role-playing game protagonists fall to their deaths only to respawn ad infinitum. Humpty Dumpty appears multiple times. Tragedies inspire, words aren’t enough, and like all times, everywhere, and with everything, failures abound.
Who could have guessed in January what next levels of fell we’d have reached as we approach fall 2020. The graduates each mounted a solo thesis show, none of which could be visited in person, by anyone – no friends, no partners, no family. I can’t help thinking about that old saying about the tree falling in the forest when no one is around - does it make a sound? Fell for Everything is installed in-real-life at the massive ArtCenter DTLA, but you will likely not be able to visit it. If such a promising show is only viewable online, can it still roar?
-Adam Stamp, curator/mausoleum decorator
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Morgan Waltz and Off Photography
Ching Ching Cheng
Sean T. Randolph