Gary Sczerbaniewicz: Neil Before Zod
Opens at Cohen Gallery September 14
Opening reception Friday, September 14, 6-9pm
Cohen Gallery will host a month-long exhibition of work by alumnus Gary Sczerbaniewicz '95. Neil Before Zod" opens Sept. 14 and runs through Oct. 19. Sczerbaniewicz earned a B.F.A. in sculpture from Alfred University in 1995 and went on to earn an M.F.A. in visual studies from the University at Buffalo in 2013.
Sczerbaniewicz's series of installation works investigates the interplay between the rational and the irrational as illustrated in three interactive spatial vignettes. The conceptual matrix behind NBZ arises from the true-life relationship between chemist, rocket scientist, and founding member of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Jack Whiteside Parsons, and the pulp-science fiction writer and founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard. The two belonged to a US offshoot of a European sex-magick cult called Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), through which they attempted to produce a "Moon Child"... a synthesis of human and demonic entities.
This uncanny co-mingling of rational, post-enlightenment science with mystical, occult, and arcane magical practices creates a compelling impetus for artistic play and wild rumination. Sczerbaniewicz has subsumed this bizarre narrative and its extended "family" into a composition furthering his interest in creating disorienting viewing scenarios in which spectator and subject are brought together under specific physical and spatial constraints, and to create viewing environments that embrace a sense of cognitive dissonance and intellectual uncertainty.