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Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts:  Lossy - 21 Nov 2013 to 31 May 2014

Current Exhibition

21 Nov 2013 to 31 May 2014

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 south 12th street
NE 68102
North America
T: +1 402 341-7130

Jeremy Olson

Artists in this exhibition: Damien Gilley, Jeremy Hatch, Ashley Lyon, Ian McMahon, Alice Miceli, Jeremy Olson


Exhibition at Bemis Center Explores the Fate of Image and Objects in an Era of Digital Reproduction

In information technology, the term "lossy" refers to the unintended degradation of a digital image when it is compressed in order to reduce file size. In Lossy, the new exhibition at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, the participating artists ask whether the errors and omissions that occur in the process of translation may be a good thing by opening new opportunities for constructing poetic narrative, speculative fiction, and alternative readings. In other words, is it possible for the Doppelgänger to take on a life of its own?

The artists and curator of Lossy are all former Bemis Center Artists-in-Residence whose works explore murky territory of physicality in a media era when visual representation is constantly being negotiated and renegotiated. Through sculptural and image-based surrogates, the artists in this exhibition toggle between recognizable forms and fictional imagery to explore "lossy" in terms of how we reorganize meaning and symbolism. By flipping the "loss" of original resolution from being a negative condition into a potentially positive one, Lossy scrutinizes how active transformation occurs when switching an image into an object, the virtual into the real, the original into the cast copy and the invisible into the tangible. Lossy is curated by San Francisco-based visual artist Stephanie Syjuco.

Adam Price, the Bemis Center's Executive Director, stressed the relevance of the exhibition to all visitors. "Lossy is about the world we live in today, surrounded by images and symbols that are endlessly reproduced and subtly changed through the process of reproduction," he said. "It is exciting to think about the ways in which these errors in translation - like the glitches, blips and marks created by old fax machines - open up new space for creativity."

The exhibition runs from November 21, 2013 - April 26, 2014, and an Opening Reception takes place on Thursday, November 21, from 6:00 - 9:00 PM, with a Gallery Talk by artist Ian McMahon at 8:00 PM.

About the Artists:

Damien Gilley (Portland, OR) utilizes large-format wall drawings, sculpture and installation to radically de-center a viewer's relationship to architectural space. With references to the early digital visuals of science fiction movies, blueprints and forced perspectival drawings, his urban landscapes explore hidden structures using surprisingly analog means. In shifting the viewer's perspective and exploding flat surfaces by means of elegant outlines, the works present a slippery territory of collapsing real space with virtual space. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at Tetem Kunstruimte (Enschede, Netherlands), EastWestProject (Berlin), Suyama Space (Seattle), Las Vegas Art Museum, Arthouse (Austin) and in Portland at Rocksbox, The American Institute of Architects, Linfield College and the Portland Biennial, among others.

Jeremy Hatch (Boseman, MT) creates cast porcelain objects that are physical shadows of 'real' ordinary objects such as benches, stools, play structures and pulleys. Occupying both social and solitary spaces, these ghost-like sculptures sit at mute attention, implying the use of bodies and pointing to the crafted labor of their fabrication. These secondary monuments and souvenirs act as mnemonic devices, triggering feelings of absence and longing as we wait for their impossible functionality. In 2008, he founded Ricochet Studio as a means to explore the intersections between craft, art and design. He regularly exhibits nationally and internationally, with residencies at the Takumi Studio in Japan, the European Ceramic Work Center in the Netherlands and Kohler's Arts/Industry program, among others. He is an Assistant Professor in Ceramics at Montana State University, Bozeman.

Ashley Lyon (Hornell, NY) photographs hand-built clay sculptures that are then displayed as photographic documents, creating images meant to be stand-ins for charged psychological fragments of human bodies. She meticulously hand fabricates all the components of her work, addressing multiple levels of realism in an attempt to transcend the genre of traditional figuration. These uncanny likenesses are modeled from a composite of "real" sitters, online images and fictional bodies, becoming body-objects that belong to everyone and no one. Lyon has exhibited at the Dowd Gallery SUNY (NY); Pierogi Gallery (Brooklyn); European Ceramics Work Center (the Netherlands); Alfred University (NY); Edinboro University (PA); and Galeria NoMINIMO (Ecuador) among others. She is a currently a Turner Teaching Fellow at Alfred University, NY and is a co-founder of Belfry Gallery, an experimental space in Hornell, NY.

Ian McMahon (Hornell, NY) creates large-scale, physically demanding sculptures that challenge the permanence of place through performative and materially focused constructions. His site-specific structures evoke everything from theatrical sets to life-size props, creating frictions between material process and existing architecture. What appear to be solid, structural works belie their fragility and impermanence. A recipient of a prestigious Javits Fellowship, McMahon has exhibited at Pierogi Gallery (Brooklyn); the Cohen Center for the Arts (NY); the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute (China) and G-Fine Arts Gallery (Washington, DC). He is a co-founder of Belfry Gallery, an experimental space in Hornell, NY.

Alice Miceli (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) creates installations and alternative photographic documents on extreme, often socio-political issues. Her research-based projects have taken her from the infamous Tuol Sleng prisons in Cambodia to the radioactive sites of Chernobyl, reckoning with the fraught subjects of embedded histories, unseen forces and human mortality. With an interest in challenging notions of traditional journalism and documentary photography, she seeks to reframe physical sites, creating a poetics of the 'unportrayable.' She has exhibited in numerous international venues, including Max Protech Gallery (NYC); the Sao Paolo Biennial; TRANSITIO_MX festival (Mexico City); transmediale.09 festival (Berlin); the Bahia Museum of Modern Art (Brazil); the Sydney Film Festival (Australia); Z33 Contemporary Art Space (Belgium) and Images Festival (Toronto), among others.

Jeremy Olson (Brooklyn, NY) collapses together the sensibility of slick, glossy fashion imagery with a mutant genre of still-life painting to produce visceral, contradictory compositions in painting, video and sculpture. From fractured faces to startling juxtapositions of objects within maze-like interior spaces, his work skims beyond the conventions of collage, depicting alternative realities and dystopic dreamscapes. Like its own genre of science fiction, it presents to the viewer potentially irreconcilable logic structures embedded within a disruptive imagery of desire. Olson has exhibited at Peres Projects (Berlin); Nellie Castan Gallery (Melbourne); the Monty (Antwerp); St. Cecilia's (Brooklyn) and the 2010 KEAF International Experimental Film Festival at Seoul Art Space (South Korea).

About the Curator:

Stephanie Syjuco
(San Francisco, CA) is a visual artist and educator who utilizes physical surrogates, counterfeits and digital networks to address the political and social implications of economies and labor in an era of late capitalism. She has participated in numerous exhibitions including at: MOMA/P.S.1 (NY); the Whitney Museum of American Art (Manhattan); SFMoMA (San Francisco); Frieze Projects (London), ZKM Center for Art and Technology (Germany); Z33 Space for Contemporary Art (Belgium); Universal Studios Gallery (Beijing) and Garanti Gallery (Istanbul), among others. She is an Assistant Professor in Sculpture at UC Berkeley.

About the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
Through its internationally-recognized residency program, the Bemis Center provides critical time and space to outstanding artists who are working at the cutting edge of contemporary practice. Jane Alexander, the former head of the National Endowment for the Arts, has called the Bemis Center "one of the great treasures of its kind in the country," and ArtInfo has recognized the Bemis Center as one of the "Top 10 residency program around the globe."

The Bemis Center serves the international artistic community by inviting artists from around the world to spend up to three months in Omaha in spacious live/work studios experimenting with the conceptual and material bases of their artistic practices. The work-in-process that is part of the residency experience is made visible to Omaha residents and visitors through the Bemis Center's "cutting-edge exhibitions" (The New York Times). The Bemis Center also serves the local community by providing direct support to Nebraska and Iowa artists and by developing artistic opportunities that benefit the Omaha-metro area.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
Residency Program

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