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To whom it may concern,


My name is Zody Burke. I’m an American artist from New York City currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Contemporary Art through the Estonian Academy of Art in Tallinn. It is my pleasure to write to you to apply for an Erasmus exchange placement in Listaháskóli Íslands University Masters in Fine Arts program for the Fall semester of 2023/24.


I was accepted into the full Masters program when I applied in 2021, however due to the circumstance of my partner getting a full scholarship to TalTech in Estonia, I was unable to commit to moving to Iceland at the time. My interest in the program has only increased since I recently had the opportunity to meet and study with Bjarki Bragason during a KUNO class in Lithuania. Bjarki's inspiring body of work, his singular critical lens and his nurturing guidance have further encouraged my ambition to become involved in the exciting program that he has helped to manifest.


As a multidisciplinary artist, my work engages with the porous boundaries between mediums and the semiotic language inherent to materials & contexts. With a broad foundation in sculpture, illustration and new media as well as an investment in critical thinking, I attempt to traverse and intersect the constraints of these categories and arrive at a juncture where it becomes possible to mine conceptual value. 


The emphasis that the Masters of Fine Arts places on the importance of merging disciplines in order to deepen and re-contextualize emerging artists’ practices is intrinsically aligned with my own goals. I am invested in expanding my working methodologies into new contexts, critically, theoretically and materially. 


As an artist who completed an undergrad degree at an American arts university, I have come to deeply value critical feedback and emphasis on developing structured research methodologies within my practice. These values are not as incorporated into the Contemporary Art Master’s program at EKA as I would like. In my view, the possibility to participate in a program where these principles are integrated into the framework of the course represents a significant opportunity for growth, and I stand to benefit multitudinously.


Recently I have been developing a body of work that engages with the ephemerality of American identity under late capitalism and the encroachment of climate weirding, which will be premiered at EKA Gallery in Tallinn in early April for an exhibition entitled “Entropy Gauntlet”. I had my first solo show in Riga, Latvia last year. It would be my immense pleasure to build on this recent wave of achievement while studying at Listaháskóli Íslands.


The opportunity to participate in the world-class art scene and singular climate of Reykjavik (and Iceland as a whole) has been a long-term goal of mine, since before I moved to this part of the world. I am confident that my adventurous modus operandi as well as my unique critical faculties and skillsets would be an asset to the Masters of Fine Arts program, just as I would certainly stand to benefit from proximity to the invigorating community of artists, curators and thinkers therein.


I hope that my motivations are in line with your expectations. Thank you for your consideration.

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