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Paul Qaysi, A Sea Of Patterns

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PAUL QAYSI, “A SEA OF PATTERNS”
October 3 – November 1, 2012
Opening reception: Friday, October 5, 1:30–3 pm

In today’s anarchic media flux, governments and traditional media empires have lost much of their power to dictate what we see and believe. This erosion is the subject of Paul Qaysi’s recent work in which he scavenges, cuts, pastes and animates digital images from a variety of sources, interrogating the production of authority and truth.

The Arab Spring uprisings flared up with the aid of digital technologies and social media. Investigating these historic events in “Actual Dots”, Qaysi recycles, connects and dismantles official images of recently overthrown dictators. Portrait stills captured from YouTube are reduced to dot screens. The screens shift and dots enlarge, evoking newspapers, bullet holes and abstract painting. The more close-up the images of these corrupt leaders, the more meaningless they become. As the photos disintegrate, the floating dots form moiré patterns that briefly resemble Islamic tile designs, and we hear a multi-track sound collage of passionate crowds. By sharing and making a shorter version of the videos available for download as a screen saver, Qaysi invites viewers to look closer, participate and even celebrate in the corruption of these official images.

In “Drawdown,” an official photo of armed U.S. marines exiting a destroyed building, the soldiers slowly melt before our eyes in animated layers–but the ruins behind them remain. Digitally isolating the soldiers, Qaysi animated a single frame. Primed by video games and film on how to react to this type of image, we expect sudden violence, but Qaysi elects a slow-burning approach that gives viewers time to think, time we usually do not spend before a single photo of this kind.

Attuned to temporal questions, Qaysi investigates the speed of world events, and our understanding of them and their long-term effects. He incites viewers to consider how we receive the news, what we choose to view, and the blurry line between information and entertainment.

Paul Qaysi was born in 1963 in Baghdad, Iraq, and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received his B.F.A. in sculpture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and M.F.A. in Program in Advanced Photographic Studies from Bard College-International Center of Photography in New York, NY. Exhibitions include Rita K. Hillman Education Gallery, ICP, New York (2012); Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany (2012); Rita K. Hillman Education
Gallery, ICP, New York (2010); DUMBO Arts Festival, New York (2010); JGS Forward Thinking Museum, location?, (2009); 25 CPW Gallery, New York (2009); ICP-Bard MFA Studio, Long Island City, NY (2009); and Rita K. Hillman Education Gallery, ICP, New York (2009).

Image: Actual Dots, 2011-2012. Stills from 5-channel video installation (color, silent/audio) looped, from 15 sec. to 12 min. and 51 sec.
Screen saver URL download: www.paulqaysi.com/actualdots/

Pegasus Gallery is located within the library on the first floor of Chapman Hall
Screen Time Hours: Monday-Thursday 8am-8pm, Friday 8am-4:30pm & Saturday 9am-2pm

The Niche is located in Founders Hall across from the Registrar’s Office.
Hours: Mondays- Thursdays 8:30am-6pm,  Fridays & Saturdays 8:30am-4pm.

For more information please contact:
Matthew Weber, Art Curator
860.343.5806, mweber@mxcc.edu