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Noncommittal: A Prospective Glance 2

Nov 5 - Dec 12 2009

UB Art Gallery

The UB Art Gallery in collaboration with UB’s Department of Visual Studies is excited to present Noncommittal: A Prospective Glance 2, an annual exhibition celebrating the exceptional work of recent graduates from the Department of Visual Studies’ BFA and BA studio programs. The three artists in this exhibition—Amanda Maciuba, Rob Rzeznik, and Andrew Vaga—were selected for the exhibition based on the high quality of their work, depth of vision, and how they each address in their work timely issues related to how technology and architecture influence interpersonal relationships.

In Amanda Maciuba’s black-and-white prints she presents a haunting portrayal of rural communities that are undergoing a transformation into alienating suburban enclaves through a poetic vocabulary of houses tethered together by ribbons, which are ensnarled in trees like Christmas decorations or being carried away by ravens. While Maciuba presents an exterior view of cookie cutter houses vulnerable to unspecified threats, Rob Rzeznick explores potentially combustible scenarios triggered by what is being watched on TVs and computer screens in the privacy of one’s home. Readily available on YouTube and his myspace page, his darkly humorous animations are mash-ups of television genres that combine court TV, adult cartoons, Sesame Street, and shoot-them-up videogames to comment on our culture of mindless TV flipping and Web surfing. Brought into the confines of the gallery where their ability to shock is amplified, Rzeznick’s videos seem to ask what are the consequences of prolonged exposure to violence—especially in the form of video games in which players can kill, rape, and maim—on interpersonal relationships and our capacity for empathy? Andrew Vaga does not take such a nightmarish view of the media, but he is equally concerned with the limited use of communication technologies for multitasking and social networking in which conversations occur in tweets and abbreviations. In his interactive installation, he repurposes a Webcam, which is routinely used to connect people across distances, by using it to capture and abstract people’s movements on a bank of computer monitors, allowing them to creatively engage with the technology to generate pixilated patterns.

Artists: Amanda Maciuba, Rob Rzeznik, and Andrew Vaga

Catalog available with essays by Allison Bosch and Denise Lang, graduate students in the MA Art History Program in the Department of Visual Studies, and José Felipe Alvergue, a doctoral candidate in the UB Poetics Program.