The Sixth Annual Berkeley-Stanford Symposium: Work in Progress

Saturday, Apr 23, 2022

11 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Phyllis Wattis Theater, Floor 1

Free with RSVP

The concept of the non-finito, or unfinished artwork, has been a crucial concept in art history and visual culture since the 16th century. The sculptures lining the Hall of the Prisoners in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence — works left unfinished by Michelangelo at the time of his death — stand as exemplary cases of artworks that have remained perpetually in progress. Unfinished or partially completed artworks retain a critical purchase within and outside of the Western canon, and central to the understanding of the non-finito are questions of intent. This discrepancy between works of art deliberately left incomplete and those that must remain unfinished due to social, political, and aesthetic circumstances is among the many salient questions for art historians, curators, artists, and viewers today — questions that challenge ideas about temporality, labor and value, and techniques of appreciation and assessment.

Work in Progress, the Sixth Annual Berkeley-Stanford Symposium, takes on these questions across a range of disciplines, styles, periods, and geographies to draw connections between the unmade, unfinished, and the yet-to-be uncovered. Our Keynote Speaker, artist Kenneth Tam, will draw on these themes of vexed temporality to address how the aesthetic, social, and political come together in his practice to complicate and critique the notion of progress. Together, the conference opens up ways to think critically about how the many ruptures across history and within our contemporary moment have fractured the logic of linear progress to reveal new aesthetic potentials.

Arrive early for complimentary coffee and breakfast from 10–11 a.m., served adjacent to the Phyllis Wattis Theater. We ask that you provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (your physical vaccination card, a photo or copy of your card, or California’s digital vaccine record) to join us for breakfast.



10–11 a.m. Coffee + breakfast served in Minna Reception adjacent to the Phyllis Wattis Theater; proof of COVID-19 vaccination required

11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Panel I: Defining Progress

12:30–1:40 p.m. Break

1:40–2:40 p.m. Panel II: Challenging Completeness

2:40–3 p.m. Break

3 p.m. Keynote: Kenneth Tam


Presentation titles and speaker bios

Panel I: Defining Progress

Receiver-completion in Hungarian Fluxus Mail Art

Annabelle Hondier (University of Oxford)

Annabelle Hondier is a French-British artist and writer interested in the relationship between text and image in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She is a current student in the MSt in History of Art and Visual Culture at the University of Oxford and studied for a bachelor’s degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She lives between London and Oxford.


Perpetually Incomplete: Objects of the San Marco Treasury

Mackenzie McGhie (University of Toronto)

Mackenzie McGhie is an art history masters student currently attending the University of Toronto, where she focuses on medieval art. She obtained her BFA from the University of Ottawa and has participated in the forty-first Canadian Conference of Medieval Art Historians, co-hosted by the University of Toronto Mississauga’s Department of Visual Studies and the Art Gallery of Ontario.


Intervention in Progress: Gordon Matta-Clark, Incompleteness, and Possibility

Miri Powell (Stanford University)

Miri Powell is a PhD student in History at Stanford University. She researches histories of technology, infrastructure, and the environment.


Panel II: Challenging Completeness

Monstrous Beauty: Unruly Bodies and Diasporic Plasticity in kate-hers RHEE’s The Multiverse Portraits and The Halfway Point

Claire Chun (UC Berkeley)

Claire Chun is a PhD student in the Department of Ethnic Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at UC Berkeley. She received her BA in Politics and Social and Cultural Analysis from New York University.


Unfinish and the Other Sex: Elaine de Kooning’s Faceless Men (1949–1956)

Megan Kincaid (NYU)

Megan Kincaid is an art historian and curator of modern and contemporary art. She is currently an adjunct instructor at New York University and a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. She holds a BA in Art History from Columbia University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. Most recently, Kincaid curated the exhibition José Antonio Fernández-Muro: Geometry in Transfer at the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art. She also co-organized the exhibitions Cauleen Smith, H-E-L-L-O: To Do All At Once (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, 2021), Fanny Sanín’s New York: The Critical Decade, 19711981 (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, 2020–21), and assisted with the curation of Charles White: A Retrospective (The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2018–19). The Museum of Modern Art and New York University, among others, have published her writing. At present, she is at work on a survey show of Elaine de Kooning and an essay on Robert Motherwell.


In(toxic)cation: Objecthood, Desire, and the Unfinished Work of Decolonization

Delaney Mitchell (UC Berkeley)

Delaney Mitchell is a PhD student in the Department of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley. Her research encompasses a range of topics in feminist and queer theory, critical indigenous studies, visual studies, and new/neo-materialisms.


Tracing Loss: Black Women, Archival Memory, and (In)Visible Absence

Osarugue Otebele (UC Berkeley)

Osarugue Otebele is a first-year PhD student in Film and Media Studies at UC Berkeley and has a BA in English from Spelman College. She studies Nigerian cinema, particularly Nigerian women’s spectatorship of the women’s film genre in Nollywood. Her research interests also include early Black cinema and Black film archives.

Keynote Speaker

Kenneth Tam is an artist based in Queens, NY who works in video, sculpture, installation, and photography, and makes work about the performance of masculinity, physical intimacy, and private ritual. Tam received his BFA from the Cooper Union. He has had solo exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; MIT List Center for Visual Arts; the Visual Arts Center at UT Austin, Commonwealth and Council, LA; Night Gallery, LA; Queens Museum, NY, ICA LA; and at Ballroom Marfa in fall 2022. Tam has participated in group shows at the Hammer Museum, LA; SculptureCenter, Queens; and at The Shed, NY. He is a lecturer at Princeton University, on the faculty at Bard’s MFA program, and was recently a visiting lecturer at Harvard University. He is represented by Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles.

Work in Progress is organized by Altair Brandon-Salmon (Stanford), Grace Han (Stanford), Tausif Noor (Berkeley), Christine Theunissen (Berkeley), and Kimberly Yu (Berkeley).

The Berkeley/Stanford Symposium is an annual gathering of emerging voices in the arts organized by graduate students in art history at Stanford and UC Berkeley.