On Saturday, November 11, the Bayly Art Museum of the University of Virginia will open the special photography and installation exhibition Beyond the Vanishing Point: Media and Myth in America: Photographs by Warren Neidich. The exhibition will be on view in the Museum's temporary and graphics galleries through December 30.
"Warren Neidich is one of America's most excitingly relevant photographers and video artists," says curator Stephen Margulies. "His belief that there is a strong connection between neurobiology, culture, history, and the media has a firm foundation in his own background as a former ophthalmologist and neurobiologist, as well as in his studies of culture and media." The exhibition of photographic images is divided into two sections and is accompanied by a new book on Neidich's art.
Section I - Camp O.J. - presents a site-specific installation of large-scale color photographs depicting the media circus that literally surrounded the O. J. Simpson trial. "Beautiful, mythic, and surreally mad, these photographs," says Margulies, "record the panorama of reporters, technicians, cameras, equipment and strange rituals that came to be known as Camp O.J." The Camp, as Neidich shows, was a temporary city of the media, which seemed to sum up the public's need for information as well as its ability to distort and consume it.
Section II - The Calico Series - documents Calico, a restored silver-mining town in Barstow, California, that functions as part historic museum, like Williamsburg, and part Walt Disney Theme Park. "As with Camp O.J.," notes Margulies, "history becomes inextricably entwined with media presentation and entertainment." The Calico Series takes us further into this connection between history and what Neidich calls "the neurobiological basis of consciousness." To do this the artist connected his camera to a pair of red-green glasses used to investigate problems of the eye. The result distorts and makes almost ghostly the visual experience of an historical artifact. Neidich's desire to analyze both the nature of vision and the way we view our historical myths produces photographs of intense magic as much as social criticism.
Accompanying the exhibition there will be a Gallery Talk by Warren Neidich on Sunday, November 12, at 2 pm in the Museum. There will also be a Panel Discussion the following Monday, November 13, at 5:30 pm in Campbell 153. Issues of perception will be discussed with Warren Neidich; Johanna R. Drucker, Robertson Professor of Media Studies; Michael Kubovy, professor of psychology; and moderator Stephen Margulies, curator of works on paper.
The exhibition and its programming are supported in part by the University's Arts Enhancement Funds and Arts$ program.
The Bayly Art Museum is open to the public Tuesday - Sunday, 1-5 p.m. without charge. The Museum is located on Rugby Road, a short distance from the Rotunda.
Contact: Stephen Margulies, Curator of Works on Paper