Beneath Such Dreamy Moments: Joan Pamboukes

Sep 06, 2016 - Jul 31, 2017

This exhibition is located at The Wall, Robeson Campus Center 1st floor, 350 Dr Martin Luther King Blvd, Newark NJ.

Reception Thursday, September 22, 5-7pm

Dedicated in memory of Ben McClellan.

Joan Pamboukes, "Interfered interior of the Ballantine House parlor, Newark, New Jersey," 2015, Archival inject print, 6' x 19', courtesy of the artist

Joan Pamboukes, “Interfered interior of the Ballantine House parlor, Newark, New Jersey,” 2016, Archival inkjet print, 6′ x 19′, courtesy of the artist

Interfered interior of the Ballantine House parlor, Newark, New Jersey is a site-specific installation, created by artist Joan Pamboukes. Informed and inspired by Newark Museum’s historic Ballantine House, the artist used readily available technology – an iPhone camera and a panorama app – through which she investigates the effects of media and interactivity in our society. In this work, Pamboukes also explores the way we experience the world through the interference of constantly evolving technologies and ubiquity of images online. The device’s basic technological capabilities and photographic functions, enables Pamboukes to depict the parlor section of the house as distorted and fragmented, causing the uneven surface and pixilated texture. The circular movement of the camera and the app’s digital ability to read certain areas and objects, or pass over them, personifies the space, making this domestic scene imaginary and fantastic. The room’s distinctive character, the scale of the work in relation to our body, as well as the distorted representation of space, conjure a psychedelic feel, as though trapped in an Alice in Wonderland moment. Experiencing this room through this work, rather than the site itself, redefines a moment in time, and by fusing together two disparate worlds, of technological advancement and history, Pamboukes further detaches the place from its past. Observing this historical and bourgeois environment in the context of Newark’s current climate, raises questions about the role of the city today, its changing landscape, diverse architecture, and its relation to the past. By observing this interior through a contemporary lens (literally), the space becomes almost unimaginable and even fictional in today’s world, echoing in a sense how we witness, stage and present false realities.

Curated by Shlomit Dror

Built in 1885 for the celebrated Newark beer-brewing family, the Ballantine House contains a suite of galleries and period rooms and has been part of the Newark Museum since 1937.

This exhibition was made possible by funding from Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s Seed Grant Initiative and by support from the New York Film Academy.

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