Gordon Hall (Artist-Writer, MAVCS 2011)

Visual and Critical Studies


Describe your path since graduating from SAIC, and what you're doing today. Describe how VCS has impacted where you are today.

I graduated from SAIC in 2011 with an MA in VCS and an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies. I moved to New York and have been making and exhibiting, organizing events, and teaching in the BFA and MFA at Parsons the New School for Design, the MFA in Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University, the Sculpture Department at RISD, and in SAIC’s Low-Residency MFA. I am a visual artist with a robust research and writing practice that exists alongside my studio work. I have exhibited my sculptures and performances at SculptureCenter, The Brooklyn Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Hessel Museum at Bard College, The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, MIT List Visual Arts Center, and Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), who also released "OVER-BELIEFS: Gordon Hall Collected Writing 2011-2018," an edited book of my collected essays, interviews, and performance scripts. Since 2011, my curatorial artist project, The Center for Experimental Lectures has presented lecture-performances by 41 artists and scholars at a variety of venues including MoMA PS1, Recess, Interstate Projects, The Shandaken Project at Storm King Art Center, RISD Museum, and at the Whitney Museum of American Art, producing a series of lectures and seminars in conjunction with the 2014 Whitney Biennial. My experience in the VCS Department prepared me and supported me in all of these projects individually as well as providing a framework in which I can understand them all to work together in one artistic practice. 

What is the most memorable experience you have from your time in VCS? 

My experience in VCS was so memorable; I have so many answers to this question! I remember that my cohort was (and still is) an incredible group of people very diverse interests and practices—I remember getting to know each other and working together on our Thesis exhibition. I remember learning by example from Joseph Grigely, both in his classes and also as his studio assistant during the years I was in school. I remember the wisdom and support of Shawn Michelle Smith and Terri Kapsalis who supported me in realizing that I wanted to turn my thesis research into a lecture-performance and not a traditionally scholarly paper. I remember feeling very supported in figuring out how to become the kind of artist I wanted to be. VCS was the place where I understood that research and writing are forms of making, and that they can have many different relationships with other forms of making.

Describe what VCS students might expect from the program.

Expect to work hard, read A LOT, and rethink disciplinary boundaries.

What do you wish you had known when you were still in VCS?

I wish I had known that even though we were doing something unconventional there was no reason to be afraid of what it would mean in the future. We have all made our ways forward down many different paths. It’s good to do things differently. I feel more certain than ever that VCS is a model for graduate studies in the arts. 

See also gordonhall.net/ 



Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.