Alumnus Matthew Schreiber is having a solo exhibition titled Sideshow at Johannes Vogt Gallery in New York. Sideshow will be on view from April 10 through May 10, 2014 and the gallery will be hosting an opening reception on April 10 from 6-8 p.m. The exhibition spans across both exhibition spaces of the gallery and combines works across varying mediums including light sculptures, holography, photography and an immersive architectural intervention that features a laser diode installation and will take over the entire rear gallery. Sideshow is the most invasive project by the gallery to date.
Schreiber’s use of contemporary technology engages a conversation with ideas of the esoteric, superstition and the occult. His practice pits the active image of the past against today’s screen-based image culture of slick and banal immediacy. Tipping his hat to modern subculture’s affinity to immersive techno-spaces, the exhibition’s title subtly references the “Fun House”, a massive nightclub that occupied parts of the gallery’s building complex during the 1980s.
The exhibition’s centerpiece, GateKeeper, is a site-specific laser installation that engages wall drawing and artificial fog in a blacked-out enclosed room. The resulting work is an immersive environment enveloping the viewer in a wash of immaterial geometric forms. Constrained only by the building’s architecture the lasers physically and ideologically point outwards towards infinity.
In the gallery’s main room Schreiber presents a sequence of works that build up an aura around our sense of technology. In Gandalf, a large fluorescent light sculpture, Schreiber recreates the composition known as Squaring the Circle, a part of Robert Lawlor’s exercises in Sacred Geometry. It is a drawing in which the act of its completion coincides with a metaphysical change within the drawer. This element is in turn subverted by the mass of power and control cables spilling off the piece’s surface.
In Dark Tumbler, a light-lock darkroom door installation, Schreiber facilitates sensory deprivation in the likes of the phenomenologist artist movements of the 60s, such as GRAV (Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel).
Schreiber’s sculpture Infrared Pentagram delivers a discreet experience of the artist’s use of geometric language; existing in part outside of the visible spectrum places it in direct opposition to Gandalf.
Playing with the obfuscation and transparency surrounding modern technology and vision, Schreiber successfully leverages technological forms against somewhat obscure subject matter. Schreiber posits a conflation of knowledge and experience leaving the viewer to contemplate our normalized interactions with technology alongside potentials for an illusive socio-spiritual back end.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm and by appointment.