JAMES CLAR: DISTANT LIGHTS
188 Grand St. Newburgh, NY 12550
September 30 - December 22, 2017
Opening reception: Saturday, September 30th, 5-8PM;
Artist talk with James Clar at 5:30 PM
Public hours: Sundays 12-5 PM through October 22, 2017
STRONGROOM is pleased to present, DISTANT LIGHTS, a site-specific exhibition by media artist James Clar in Newburgh, NY. Opening on Saturday September 30th, the installation will be set in a 1940 ex-Christian Science church located at 188 Grand Street in Newburgh, NY from 5-8 PM. James will be speaking about the work at 5:30 PM.
James Clar’s work uses controlled light and sculptural light systems in order to analyze and observe the effects of media and technology on our perception of reality, time, and space. Using various forms of technology as his medium, he critiques their modifying effects on human behavior and ability to enhance or inhibit communication.
For his Strongroom installation, James looks to the connection between the spiritual or otherworldly in relationship to our increasingly digital reality. The exhibition includes a central light piece that draws the viewer to a door leading nowhere, with shadows emanating from below. Titled “Nobody’s home,” it references a larger existential question of whether someone or something is “home”. With no tangible form to grasp, instead we are presented with a ghostly presence and a non-existent space.
Like the door that cannot be entered, an adjacent hanging light envelops a ladder, deeming it’s purpose for ascent unobtainable. Overhead, lights turn on and off in a pattern designed by the artist, seemingly linked to a digital projection depicting a hand flipping a light switch. This further impresses the ruse of control, perhaps over one’s ability to have a concrete effect on our surroundings, while also challenging our perception of reality by pointing out a type of “digital truth” that becomes indistinguishable in our everyday lives.
James Clar studied film and animation at New York University and received his Masters from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication’s Program. Clar was an artist in residence at Eyebeam Atelier in New York, Fabrica in Italy, and the FedEx Institute of Technology/Lantana Projects in Memphis. His artwork has been included in the Chanel Mobile Art exhibition (Tokyo), The New Museum of Contemporary Arts (New York), The Chelsea Art Museum (New York), The Somerset House (UK), Museum on Seam (Jerusalem), and Louis Vuitton Gallery (Hong Kong).
STRONGROOM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Newburgh, NY producing pop-up contemporary art exhibitions.
This exhibition was made possible with the generous support of Mike Lidgus, Aaron Krasnov, and Erica Waltemade. Thank you!