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Film and video exhibition to open at NMSU University Art Gallery

The University Art Gallery in New Mexico State University’s College of Arts and Sciences will host an opening reception for its upcoming film and video exhibition, “An ocean trapped behind a wall,” from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, May 26.

Photo of man on fire.
Still image from Mariah Garnett’s video “Full Burn.” This video will be featured as part of the NMSU University Art Gallery’s upcoming exhibition, “An ocean trapped behind a wall.” (Courtesy photo
Aerial photo of people sitting at a round table.
Maj Hasager’s video, “Decembers – performing a past” is included in the University Art Gallery’s upcoming exhibition, “An ocean trapped behind a wall.” The UAG will host an opening reception for this show from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, May 26. (Courtesy photo)

The works in this exhibition range from memoirs and documentaries, to experimental ethnography, or the study of people and cultures. The artists use theatricality to create a space for reflection, abstraction and play, with their works often exposing the scene “behind the scene.”

“Through experimentations with the architecture of storytelling, the artists in this powerful show perform existential inquiries about the notions of truth and experience as we advance further and further into the digital age,” said Michelle Lanteri, UAG graduate assistant.

Specifically, the artists are interested in the limits of historical and personal certainty, in an age marked by an excess of images and information.

The exhibition title, “An ocean trapped behind a wall,” is inspired by participating artist Vishal Jugdeo’s experimental ethnography, “A shaky picture has no weight,” which begins with a voiceover describing a vast ocean behind a low wall.

“The piece gestures at what cannot be fully represented even while we sense its existence, whether it’s the unconscious historical ‘truth,’ or the reality of subjective experience,” explained exhibition curators and artists Jessica Hankey and Erin Colleen Johnson.

The works presented in the exhibition also evoke another boundary – the imaginary line between the staged work of fiction and the reality of the audience, known in theater as the fourth wall.

The exhibition features works in film and video by emerging and established artists including Jugdeo, Rebecca Baron, Patty Chang, Mariah Garnett, Dor Guez, Jessica Hankey, Maj Hasager, Jonn Herschend, Erin Colleen Johnson, David Kelley and Jose Carlos Teixeira.

“An ocean trapped behind a wall” will run through July 23.

The NMSU University Art Gallery is located in D.W. Williams Hall, at the intersection of University and Solano Avenues. The UAG is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Designated gallery parking is available, and general parking on the NMSU campus is free on weekends and after 5 p.m. on weekdays.

If approved by voters in November, $22.5 million is planned for a new visual arts facility to replace D.W. Williams Hall, a 78-year-old former gymnasium that currently houses NMSU’s Department of Art and the University Art Gallery. The funding is part of General Obligation Bond C for higher education projects. No tax increases are associated with these bonds.

For more information on the UAG, or to arrange a group visit, visit the gallery website at uag.nmsu.edu or contact the UAG administrator, Jasmine Woodul, directly at 575-646-2545 or artglry@nmsu.edu.