Surface

21 Jan — 31 May 2017 at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, United States

Surface, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Mana
Surface, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Mana
22 MAR 2017

Mana BSMT is pleased to present Surface, a group exhibition opening in the new 3,000 square foot gallery. A public opening reception will be held Saturday, January 21, 2017, from 6PM to 10PM.

Surface features pieces by five Mana BSMT Residents who work primarily as GIF artists: Matthias Brown (Traceloops), Sam Cannon, Julian Glander, Thoka Maer, and Hayden Zezula (Zolloc). Until now, their artwork has been created for and seen on screens, and shared across social platforms; each has amassed thousands of followers, and collaborated with major brands and institutions. This exhibition is their first exploration into creating work that can only be experienced in a physical space: sculpture, installation, performance, and gaming. By eliminating screens and creating site-specific experiences, this exhibition illustrates a collective surfacing from the digital to the physical realm. Surface is sponsored by GIPHY Arts, a division of GIPHY which seeks to elevate GIFs and internet art into the context of fine art.

Matthias Brown’s Falling Faces explores physicality and process, as well as positive and negative space, using projection, shadow, and live painting on a free-standing screen. The piece seeks to highlight what is often seen as the shortcomings of production, showcasing these aspects of the process and using them as integral parts of the final work.

Sam Cannon’s work explores the way we consume images of women’s bodies, and the dialogue between digital art and art in the physical world. Her interactive piece, Self Preservation, is a life-size sculpture of her body cast in soap. A computerized shower system is triggered whenever the exhibition hashtag #SurfaceBSMT appears on social media: while we are invited to share the work online, we also contribute to it’s physical decay. Julian Glander created an interactive gaming piece entitled Kwurdy. A room-sized, expressive blob on a screen responds to human input through a confusing controller interface. Glander’s work explores form and formlessness, and how we use these to express our emotions.

Thoka Maer’s Fig.8 combines dream-like animations projected on a three-dimensional plane of geometric shapes, suspended by acrylic glass panels. Her work is a surreal exploration of the concept of vagueness through space and time.

Hayden Zezula (Zolloc)’s Emit consists of a 6 x 6 x 6 feet cube, mounted from the ceiling on top of a 18 feet platform with a central pit, giving the illusion of being endless. A digital animation illuminates and activates the cube from within. This play of depth and light mimics the surreal environments that exist in his digital 3D work.