List Projects 28: Sophie Friedman-Pappas and TJ Shin

A makeshift projector sits on a wooden table, accompanied by two matching chairs. Two cords and a strip of material are attached to the device, which projects a faint circle of light onto the back wall. On the right and in the background, two floor-to-ceiling poles with drawings attached and a rectangular, more conventional projected image are visible.

Deltille-d Wall's Necessary Anachronism 2, 2023. Installation view: List Projects 28: Sophie Friedman-Pappas and TJ Shin, MIT List Visual Arts Center, 2023. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Dario Lasagni

Bakalar Gallery
Featured Artists
Sophie Friedman-Pappas
TJ Shin
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In their respective practices, Sophie Friedman-Pappas and TJ Shin work across a variety of media, including drawing, printmaking, expanded cinema, sculpture, and installation.

Both artists share an affinity for featuring and animating organic materials in their work. Shin, for example, has spliced, or “transfected,” mugwort leaves with their own DNA, and Friedman-Pappas has incorporated urine-tanned sheep hide and bird excrement in recent pieces. In past works that query ecological, social, and economic entanglements, both Shin and Friedman-Pappas have prioritized literary methods, developing projects that layer history with fiction and speculation.

In addition to their kaleidoscopic approaches to narrative, the two share an interest in technical devices for representation and vision—from drawing machines to cameraless photography and filmmaking. On view is a moving-image installation by Friedman-Pappas featuring a homemade projector that functions as an inverted camera obscura (Deltille-d Wall’s Necessary Anachronism 2 [2023]) and an experimental film by Shin for which the artist spliced 16mm film stock with segments of Super 8 footage and phytograms, which employ the internal chemistry of plants as a photographic emulsion (Duration [2023]). The two expanded cinema pieces look at sites of unconventional tourism: Shin’s work emerges from their visit to the demilitarized zone spanning the border between North and South Korea, and Friedman-Pappas’s centers on dovecotes-turned-Airbnbs on the Greek island of Tinos. Both sites are indicators of the pressures and contradictions of a postindustrial economy caught between climate disaster, conflict, and the principle of growth. A collaboratively authored series of “travelogues,” presented in an artist-designed display structure, record real and imaginary encounters with these locations.

Sophie Friedman-Pappas (b. 1995, New York) lives and works in Los Angeles. Friedman-Pappas has held a solo exhibition at Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York (organized by Octagon) and has participated in group and two-person exhibitions at Meredith Rosen; New York; Simone Subal, New York; Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, New York; and In Lieu, Los Angeles, among others.

TJ Shin (b. 1993, Seoul) lives and works in Los Angeles. Shin has exhibited at the Queens Museum; New York; Buffalo Institute of Contemporary Arts, Buffalo, NY; Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, New Jersey; Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center, Chicago; The Bows, Mohkínstsis (Calgary, Alberta); Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, New York; and Knockdown Center, Queens, New York, among others.

List Projects 28: Sophie Friedman-Pappas and TJ Shin is curated by Selby Nimrod, Assistant Curator.

About The Series

This special series of experimental List Projects programming commemorates the tenth anniversary of the series and is comprised of three exhibitions in the Bakalar Gallery. Each presentation will pair two artists who share a history of conversation and foster their continued collaboration through a joint commission. A closing program featuring all six artists will round out the series, offering an opportunity for the artists to reflect on what it means for institutions to prioritize conversation and collaboration in their exhibition spaces.


Exhibitions at the List Center are made possible with the support of Fotene & Tom Coté, Audrey & James Foster, Idee German Schoenheimer, Joyce Linde, Cynthia & John Reed, and Sara-Ann & Robert Sanders. This exhibition is also supported by generous donors to the 2023 McDermott Award Gala, hosted by the Council for the Arts at MIT.

General operating support is provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Council for the Arts at MIT; Philip S. Khoury, Vice Provost at MIT; the MIT School of Architecture + Planning; the Mass Cultural Council; and many generous individual donors. In-kind media sponsorship provided by 90.9 WBUR. The Advisory Committee Members of the List Visual Arts Center are gratefully acknowledged.