“The term “oculus” historically references a circular opening used in architecture to illuminate interior spaces. It was thought to evoke a connection between spiritual and material worlds. In its contemporary context, “oculus” may denote digital devices engaging corporeal and virtual realities.
The new media works presented here blur boundaries between secular and non-secular, virtual and real. As works authored by woman, they challenge the masculine bias of the contemporary art world (digital or not).
Each of the works, however, touches upon its own issues of spirituality as it expresses the individuality of its author. For example, the TM Sisters’ vibrant one channel video evokes the luminosity of stained glass in a Gothic cathedral as it proclaims the rules of a new digital theology. Jillian Mayer’s work may be seen as a rendition of the Shroud of Turin, albeit one that rejects the iconographic supremacy of the flagellated male body. Maria Lino’s diptych might be read as a hagiographic account of forgotten domestic saints preoccupied by simple domestic chores. Margarita Benitez’s elegant embroidered permutations of polygonal shapes echo cabalistic numerology attempting to decipher the nature of Divinity. And finally, Monokian’s “memento mori” meditates upon a flower’s death and rebirth, just as AdrienneRose Gionta’s focus on a singular body part transcribes the tradition of the reliquary into contemporary media.
The digital pixel here functions as a needle and thread that stitches together a needlepoint tapestry of meta-narratives sung by a choir of female voices.
The curated space forms a polyphonic composition intended to transform the singularity of the white gallery space into a multivalent synergy between the Sacred and the Profane, a concept of dividing human realities into two parts that was popularized by the 20th-century Romanian scholar Mircae Eliade, one of the greatest interpreters of the religious experience in America.
The authors’ collective visual language samples discrete realities to create an interlaced “digital landscape.” These convergent points of view are inextricably intertwined and ultimately form a collective oculus focused on a festive picture employing digital technologies to construct and disseminate a story.
From the choir, a Gesamtkunstwerk emerges.”
– Jacek J. Kolasinski, Curator and Chair of the FIU Art + Art History Department
FIU CARTA News: ‘Digital Oculus’ Opens at Miami Beach Urban Studios
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