This fall, Montclair State University Galleries will present three new exhibitions: Case Studies 3: Joseph Parra – the edge of flesh and blood in the Alexander Kasser Theater lobby; and a group exhibition, The Backend and Sound Booth by Brian Oakes, both in the George Segal Gallery. All exhibitions are on view through Dec. 1, 2023. The exhibitions and programs are free and open to the public.
Parra’s the edge of flesh and blood is part of the Case Studies exhibition series initiated in 2022 by University Galleries Director Megan C. Austin and Curator Jesse Bandler Firestone. The works feature paintings that explore the larger consequences of searching for validation, inspiration and intimacy by asking “How does desire change when life is mediated through screens?”
Using acrylic paint and a custom wooden rig, Parra squeezes hundreds of globs of paint by hand in a quasi-grid-like fashion on a single canvas. Together, the individual drops of paint create a larger image, similar to how individual pixels function as the building blocks of screen-based images.
The Backend features works by 13 contemporary artists who delve into the often hidden structures, such as the code behind digital platforms or legal systems, that dictate the use and access to information. Pieces in the exhibition provide discreet and focused windows into how knowledge, culture and people are circulated or restricted, and prompt questions about ownership, production, notions of truth, and agency.
Artists featured in this exhibition include Maia Chao and Josephine Devanbu, Merlin Carpenter, Johann Diedrick, Sophia Giovannitti, Liz Magic Laser, Ari Melenciano, William Powhida, Bat-Ami Rivlin, Rose Salane, Finnegan Shannon, TJ Shin and Julia Weist.
Sound Booth is a new series of sound installations outside the entrance to the George Segal Gallery. Brian Oakes will be the first artist in this series, bringing together sculpture, sound and lighting to create an immersive environment for deep listening.
Oakes, an interdisciplinary sculptor, designs and produces his own circuit boards as the main material for his sound and light sculptures using a DIY approach. Through system-generated light and sound, these sculptures reveal how the mechanical components of computer-based technology work and function.
The Segal Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. and by appointment. The current Case Studies exhibition located in the Kasser Theater is viewable when the box office is open, Tuesdays from noon to 6 p.m. and Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m.
For additional information, visit the University Galleries website at montclair.edu/galleries.