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Jordan Schnitzer Museum Presents Peter Sarkisian: Video Work 1996-2008

Submitted by on May 10, 2011 – 3:56 pm

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art presents “Peter Sarkisian: Video Works, 1996-2008” from May 21 through July 10, 2011 in the Coeta and Donald Barker Changing Exhibitions Gallery. The exhibition will open with a free, preview reception with the artist on Friday, May 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Sarkisian will give a talk at the museum on Saturday, May 21 at 2:00 p.m.

Sarkisian’s art lies at the intersection of film, video, and sculpture. He is known for producing multi-media installations that blur the line between what is tangible and what is imagined. The relationship between viewer and viewed, and ultimately the dynamic between the two, is the focal point of Sarkisian’s art.

“Peter Sarkisian: Video Works, 1996-2008” includes ten works representing the best of this internationally acclaimed artist’s innovative experiments in multi-media art. The works in the exhibition create the illusion of video in the round, a heightened viewing experience marked by perceptual conflicts between image, contour, and surface.

Early works, such as “Sleep Defined” (1996) or “Green Puddle” (2000), place a recognizable object in physical space. The perceptual trap is created by projecting an image, moving fabric, or dripping, onto these objects and creating something that appears physically real, but prompting the viewer to consider an alternative.

A later work by Sarkisian, “Registered Driver” (2004), takes that concept one step farther. This piece inserts video footage of a real person between an actual car door and computer-generated video game scenes. As the driver moves through the city streets he runs over pedestrians, drives the wrong way, and crashes into oncoming traffic, all with complete nonchalance. The driver’s casual attitude exemplifies the passivity of playing video games, yet the physicality of the car door contradicts the lack of consequence.

In his more recent work, “Extruded Video Engine, Large Shape 1, Version 3” (2007) for example, Sarkisian celebrates the screen by creating a three-dimensional, molded plastic, sculptural surface. By projecting onto the screen from behind and eliminating the visual element of the projector, he creates a moving, audible object. He marries the image to the surface by wrapping shapes and text around and through the piece.

Sarkisian began his career as a filmmaker in the late 1980s, studying direction at the California Institute of the Arts and the American Film Institute before working in the film industry in Los Angeles, but later began to experiment by projecting moving images onto three-dimensional forms to free video from the confines of flat, rectangular viewing areas. By 1994 Sarkisian’s interests had grown to include video sculpture, and in 1996 he began working with video projection, producing a number of spatial installations in order to challenge the moving image, as well as its standardized format.

He lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is represented by I-20 Gallery, New York; James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe; and Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami.

“Peter Sarkisian: Video Works, 1996-2008” is organized by the University of Wyoming Art Museum and curated by Susan Moldenhauer, director and chief curator. The exhibition is funded in part by an anonymous sponsor, Roy and Caryl Cline, FMC Corporation, Murdock Law Firm, P.C., Wyoming Public Radio, and the National Advisory Board of the University of Wyoming Art Museum. It is made possible at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art with support from the William C. Mitchell Estate and JSMA members.

Image: Jordan Schnitzer Museum Courtyard

About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
The University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest visual arts center for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public. The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to Russian icons and art from China, Japan, Korea, America and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries. The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.

About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon’s flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of 62 of the leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. Membership in the AAU is by invitation only. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
1430 Johnson Lane Eugene, OR 97403
On the University of Oregon Campus
Phone: (541) 346-3027
Fax: (541) 346-0976

http://jsma.uoregon.edu

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