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Human Body is Subject of Ramapo Exhibit, flesh & fluid

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)September 5, 2001

(Mahwah) — flesh & fluid, an exhibition curated by Allison Peters, winner of the 2001 Ramapo Curatorial Prize, will open in the Kresge Gallery at Ramapo College of New Jersey Wednesday, September 12. Artists Aziz + Cucher, Matthew Barney, Charo Garaigorta and Cathy de Monchaux generate a surreal realm where the human body is evoked in fragments that never become entirely identifiable. An opening reception is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Berrie Center, preceded by a screening of Matthew Barney’s 42-minute film CREMASTER 4, which begins at 3:30 p.m. The screening will be followed by a discussion with independent art critic Thyrza Nichols Goodeve, a respected writer on Barney and co-author with Donna Haraway of How Like a Leaf. A curator’s talk is scheduled at 6 p.m. The exhibit continues through October 19.

Cathy de Monchaux’s sculptures utilize peculiar elements reminiscent of science fiction, which evoke the human body in disorienting fragments. Her objects are imaginative assemblages of organic forms made of leather. Medieval brass designs restrain the leather forms in ornate repetition presenting space and time in uniformity. Cruising Disaster exhibits mysterious organs that appear inside out and outside in. Our confusion over the identity and proper location of de Monchaux’s imagery obscures the boundaries between reality and fantasy.

Anthony Aziz and Sammy Cucher challenge the notion that technology is an oppressive restraint of the body. In their work, the relationship between body and machine provides an opportunity for extension, recovery, re-growth and self-management. In the Plasmorphica sculptures, everyday electronic objects are assembled and encapsulated in the same plastic skin that covers medical human prostheses. These forms reappear in the Chimera series of photographs, allowing human skin to be digitally grafted onto the objects.

For Charo Garaigorta, struggling with anatomical limits opens the door to a fantastical realm. In an imaginary world constructed of flesh and fluid, all boundaries are permeable. The installation Enchanted Wall subtly transforms the sterile edges of the white cubed gallery by accenting the thresholds with amorphous forms. Coarse fired-clay blobs and enticing tendrils sporadically line the window and doorway sills. The frozen fleshy pieces resemble something more likely to be found underwater or underneath a microscope than sprouting from an architectural structure.

Matthew Barney will be represented in the show by his film CREMASTER 4, with a one-time screening at 3:30 p.m. on September 12. The graceful movement between the two worlds of fact and fiction place his work in a constant state of instability. His films revolve around a phenomenological experience implied by the characters’ interaction with the substances they encounter, ooze through or append. CREMASTER 4 focuses on the struggle for sexual identification in a fictional body. The characters range from the mythical Loughton Candidate (satyr) and faeries (genderless bodybuilders) to the factual four-horned sheep (indigenous to the Isle of Man). Each strange creature represents a specific period in the process of biological development. Yet, the quick and circular path of the motorcycle race happening simultaneously emphasizes the fluid internal competition for sexual determination that never reaches clear resolve. Barney uses the body as a performative sculpture to ignite our psychological and cosmetic fantasies concerning the body’s potential.

This is the fifth year Ramapo College has awarded the Ramapo Curatorial Prize to a second year graduate student at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.

The Kresge Gallery, located in the Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts, is open Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m.

For more information, call (201) 684-7147.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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