BY DALLAS ATHENT
On Sunday, October 18th Mana Contemporary hosted one of their quarterly open houses. The Jersey City art establishment boasts studios, galleries and performance spaces in a former tobacco factory. While we didn't get to see everything during this event, we chose some of our favorite things that were on display.
Painting by Arnulf Rainer, exhibit presented by Ayn Foundation
Rainer's versions of the cross are lined up in a vast, open space. Each one has its own truth and reality. In this painting, we see the innocence of a teddy bear plastered in aggressive smears of red. The teddy bear--a symbol of American childhood and innocence is questioned and re-examined along with religious imagery.
Aluminum Sculpture by Seung Mo Park
This artists' work uses metals to distort landscapes and reality. What you see above is not digital art or a painting, but actually layers of wire mesh with different sized holes cut out in front of a light fixture. The effect is ethereal— softening the harshness of the metal and using its spindly texture to create a new reality.
Tick Talk by Ziv Yonatan and Lily Rattok
These artists transformed Mana's early 20th century boiler room into an avant- garde, explorative installation. One of the films projected showed details of a spider web, belonging to a spider who actually lives in the boiler room. This small creature's life, displayed in such a vast space was re-purposed and examined in a same parallel universe, causing us to re-examine our own world and what is truly paramount.
Series by Maria Pavlovska
Maria Pavlovska's work is no stranger to drama. In her latest series, hung at her studio, she represents both disorder and science through wild gestures, overlapped by geometric lines. Behind both of these juxtaposing views, we see her method, and the process the goes into making work that describes the polar opposites of life.
Painting by Antonio Murado
Chemicals and water are used to dilute paint and provide it with its own, organic, natural order. Murado pours the paint over the canvas, and the results are stunning. By treating the paint as its own matter, as something of the earth, the artist finds that it mimics life naturally.
Performance by Jon Tsoi
Jon Tsoi gets in his zone in front of a eager watchers for this performance piece. We sit in anticipation, waiting to see what this blindfolded man will do with blank canvasses and a knife. But before he does anything, Tsoi takes deep breaths, centering himself in the space. The crowd is forced to enter a calming state with him, before he meets the canvasses to a knife, destroying the object that's meant for creating. In the destruction, he creates something new.
Photographs by Dallas Athent.