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3rd Year students’ Thesis Presentation

This was an exciting couple of weeks for Jelena Andžić (1993 – Serbia) @jelena__andzic, Louise Franklin Wiberg (1985 – Denmark), Leah Gramkow (1998 – USA) @leahno_l and Zoë LeBlanc de Smith 1994 – USA) @queen_zoob

After their Final Exhibition at the prominent @angelsbarcelona gallery, they finally got the chance to present their Thesis to their external tutors who accompanied them during this final stage, the in-house tutors who guided them throughout their stay on the course, fellow students and naturally, their families & friends.

The event took place at MACBA, Barcelona’s Contemporary Art Museum @macba_barcelona and was also streamed. If you could not make it, but would like to see the presentation, you now can. The video is now available on Metàfora’s YouTube channel (and here).

Thesis PDFs

View the recorded event

Jelena Andžić

(b. 1993, Belgrade) lives and works in Barcelona. She received her MFA in Set Design at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2019 and in 2016 graduated from the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade. She is currently a resident at Fabra i Coats.

A line / short description of your art practice My practice centers around painting and its ability to accumulate time, as the painting itself stands as a direct testimony of the time and effort invested in its making. I use painting as a way of preserving duration that is on the verge of extinction due to many short-term pleasures that surround us. Part of my investigation centers around history and how contemporary thought influences the past and alters it from the present. Although painting represents the core of my production, my work also takes shape in the form of artist publications, photography and collages.

A line / brief summary/introduction of your thesis In this thesis I discuss how, nowadays we are experiencing a “shrinking of the present” due to the ever-increasing multitude of short-lasting experiences and how painting defies the hectic pace we take on daily in order to achieve those experiences. This is because painting is a medium that calls for lingering. In this exploration I reference Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman’s concept of the pilgrim and stroller and Swiss-German philosopher Byung-Chul Han’s ideas on the art of lingering. In this discussion about painting as a medium, and beyond its medium specificity, I investigate its own relationship with time by referencing Lacan’s concept of the screen and how one must apply a contemplative gaze in approaching painting. At the very end, I juxtapose the previous exploration of the painting medium with photography, whose relationship with time has generally been investigated to a much greater extent. Furthermore, I end the thesis by giving an introduction to the juxtaposition of the two media in my current project.

Leah Gramkow

is from West Palm Beach, Florida, and has been living in Barcelona for 2.5 years while studying at Metafora Studio Arts. With a background in the arts, and specifically photography, she has expanded her practice while in Barcelona to mixed media paintings with a focus on psychic automatism and semiotics.

A line / short description of your art practice

My art practice at the moment is focusing on queerness depicted through hand gestures, and drawing a parallel between them and art historical works, such as christian iconographic paintings. They are very playful and abstract in nature, and are very investigative. Moving forward, I plan to go bigger in scale, and move some of the works into a textile realm, via sewing and tufting.

A line / brief summary/introduction of your thesis

My thesis touches on many key features in my practice, such as psychic automatism, language, gesture, semiotics, and materiality, as well as how they come together cohesively to form my work.

Louise Franklin Wiberg

makes paintings and books. The two mediums often correspond in size as the majority of paintings are the size of books, notepads and letters.

A line / short description of your art practice

Her work revolves around the ambiguity of human experience, with a particular interest in the ‘in-between moments’, where seemingly nothing happens.

A line / brief summary/introduction of your thesis

Her thesina is a small publication of autofiction, titled November Notes.

 Zoë LeBlanc de Smith

Zoë is an artist and art educator from Michigan, USA who now lives and works in Barcelona. After finishing the Diploma in Studio Arts and final thesis at Metafora, she will continue her artist practice at her studio in Hospitalet.

A line / short description of your art practice

My art practice involves making paintings from photographs of my friends and their respective domiciles in party mode, using invented hyper acid colors to depict snapshots of the night. Installing these paintings alongside decorative holographic fringe curtains, I transport the viewer to the party in my fragmented version of the event.

A line / brief summary/introduction of your thesis

My thesis dissects the effects of artificial light at night, whether it be on the faces depicted in the painted portraits on foil, or in the shadows of the sensual renderings of uncanny moments from the late night gathering. This unnatural nocturnal illumination reveals a different reality where time is stopped and what we see is enchanted, uncertain and unfamiliar.