Stephanie Syjuco creates large-scale spectacles of collected cultural objects, cumulative archives, and temporary vending installations, often with an active public component that invites viewers to directly participate as producers or distributors. Using critical wit and collaborative co-creation, her projects leverage open-source systems, shareware logic, and flows of capital, in order to investigate issues of economies and empire. This has included starting a global collaborative project with crochet crafters to counterfeit high-end consumer goods, presenting parasitic art counterfeiting events, and developing alternative vending economies. She is featured in Season 9 of the acclaimed PBS documentary series Art21: Art in the Twenty-First Century. Recent exhibitions include “Being: New Photography” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; “Public Knowledge,” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; “This Site is Under Revolution” at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art; and “Disrupting Craft: the 2018 Renwick Invitational” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Born in the Philippines in 1974, Syjuco received her MFA from Stanford University and BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She is the recipient of a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship Award, a 2009 Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Award, and a 2019 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. Her work has been exhibited widely, including at MoMA/P.S.1, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, ZKM Center for Art and Technology, the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, The 12th Havana Bienal, The 2015 Asian Art Biennial (Taiwan), among others. A long-time educator, she is an Assistant Professor in Sculpture at the University of California at Berkeley. She lives in Oakland, California.
Color Checker (Pileup) 2 (2019) depicts an outstretched arm holding a color calibration card – frequently used to “correct” color in photography – in front of a mound of American flags, a juxtaposition that challenges the idea of cultural and political “neutrality” in our American democracy.