Go See Mark Upson’s Thesis Exhibit

This video can only give you a general idea of what it’s like to visit Mark Upson’s MFA thesis project in the Begovich Gallery at CSUF. You missed the opening (it was this past Saturday), but you can stop by the gallery this week during its open hours and feel your sea legs.

Mark Upson

Let Me Tell You About My Boat is a kinetic sculpture that feels at once monstrous and friendly. It operates by gears and pulleys. It sort of looks like a Rube Goldberg contraption but its functionality and parts are logical. It’s gigantic, it’s noisy, it really feels like an old whale has emerged, and is now trapped, in the gallery. But if it is a monster, it’s a friendly one. Its pink underbelly moves with an air current familiar to anyone who’s recently passed a car dealership with one of those air-filled oversized moving balloon-people (I don’t know how better to describe those things but you know what I mean). Upson’s visual sensibilities were partially inspired by Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and we sensed an homage to Terry Gilliam, too.

With these dualities in mind, the sculpture seems at odds with itself. This, I think, was in part the intention of the artist. Upson writes about the borderless boundaries of coming to art-making, and it’s these slippery boundaries that explorers pursue. Whether you’re sea-bound or not, let Mark Upson tell you about his boat. You’ll walk away questioning your perception for the rest of the week.

Mark Upson: Let Me Tell You About My Boat, Begovich Gallery, CSUF

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