Against Impossibility features five artists of color, three of whom are international artists representing China – WEIYANG GAO, Kuwait – LATIFA ALAJLAN, France and Mexico – ALEXIS DE CHAUNAC; two of whom are African Americans from the South, a black queer man – MAS MAN MILLAR and a cis-gendered black woman SIENA SMITH.
Against Impossibility brings together these five emerging contemporary artists who work across the mediums of sculpture, fibers and textiles, mixed-media, and painting and who, despite their precarious positions as MFA students in their final year of studies, continue to produce work influenced by the tumult happening around them. FLXST Contemporary intentionally curated MFA students in their final year at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) to showcase how the current moment has affected this new wave of contemporary artists in Chicago working under extreme constraints because of the pandemic; working with new modes of learning and talking about art; and working in new spaces to produce art outside of the academic setting—put simply, working against impossible conditions.
As young, emerging contemporary artists, these artists have had to adjust to the conditions around them and have had to ask difficult and often existential questions about their art practice and their identities as artists stepping into the art world. Against Impossibility is about the perseverance of these artists. Their work offers possible answers to the question of why art matters tremendously during these moments of crisis.