The Suzy Greenberg MFA Exhibition 2022, Interview with Prerna

Updated: Apr 6

We only have a few weeks left for our annual Suzy Greenberg MFA Exhibition, which is up between now and March 26th, 2022. This year the exhibition is Juried by Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art and Coordinator of the Minnesota Exhibition Program at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Nicole Soukup.


2022 marks our 20th year of exhibiting MFA candidates, and this the first year we have extended this opportunity to include both the MFA program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the University of Minnesota.


Please enjoy this series of interviews with the selected artists for this exhibition! Today we're talking to artist, Prerna, who is a current MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota.


Drywall Monobloc chair, Prerna, 2020


Where do you hail from? I grew up in Mumbai, India and moved to Minnesota 7 years ago.


What are some things you like about your practice? What kickstarts things in the studio for you? I am really excited about being immersed in something I do not know. By that I mean I love to make work that involves learning something new and a lot of communal help and problem solving. I am excited about how to make seemingly disparate things visually related. In my current work, that looks like exploring where bureaucracy and intimacy meet. So a lot of what is in the studio right now is symbolic bureaucratic structures like stanchions and columns with extruded handwriting on top of them, and fabric wrapped around them to cause an interruption.


Work in progress image provided by Prerna

What kind of elements often show up in your work? I love to work in many different mediums, currently I am interested in starting with digital fabrication and CNC routing and ending with extensive assembly. My work is usually modular, and often labour intensive. I am interested in materials pretending to be other materials like fabric pretending to be paper, foam insulation trying to be a structural column, plastic trying to be mortar, paintings on panels resembling sheets of paper and clay trying to mimic fabric. For instance, materials that line the walls of a house (like foam board insulation) are wrapped by fabric that lines the body (like sarees). In my work I am trying to make materials care for one another.


Work in progress image provided by Prerna


What are you working on now? I am working on making extruded word sculptures out of my mother's handwriting in clay and with foam insulation, exploring how parameters of architecture and placement interrupt the ability to interpret or read the words, mostly as a metaphor for how language as it exists might trick you into believing you understand it, purely because you can read it. I am interested in also exploring where the learning and the loss of a language meet, as I begin to slowly forget my mother tongue. And finally I am stuck with a question: How does bureaucracy know me at my most vulnerable?


Prerna has showcased with SooVAC a few times prior to their MFA experience! You can read about Prerna's 2019 exhibition Today We Become and learn more about their studio practice by watching their Virtual Connection. Follow Prerna on Instagram, @prernaunknown and see more of their work on their website, prernaunknown.com


The Suzy Greenberg MFA Exhibition runs from February 26th to March 26th, stop by the gallery during normal hours to see this work by Prerna and their talented cohort!

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