Jersey City Theater Center Opens Season With 'Connection'

Jersey City Theater Center Opens Season With 'Connection'

Technology connects people all over the world, yet why do we so often seem disconnected to our communities, families and each other?

Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) launches its 2018/2019 season with Connection, a series of visual arts, theater, dance and readings that explores the truly modern conflict of pervasive isolation in an era of hyper-communication.

JCTC selects a topic global in scope yet relevant to a community, then explores that theme through multiple art forms, including theatre, dance, readings and visual arts.

The Connection series opens with an immersive art installation at Merseles Studios in conjunction with the 28th annual Jersey City Art & Studio Tour (JCAST), October 4-7 New Jersey. In keeping with the spirit of the studio tour, Merseles Studios resident artists will have their studios open to the public during the JCAST weekend.

The installation - Collaboration - is a site-specific, multimedia collaboration between Kati Vilim, a Jersey City-based, abstract artist and Thomas Lendvai, a Brooklyn-based sculptor.

On Friday Oct 12, JCTC presents an Art Talk on Collaboration, featuring Kati Vilim and Thomas Lendvai.

The installation will be featured at Merseles Studios for the duration of Connection series, which concludes with The BOX: Connection Edition, November 30.

For Collaboration, Vilim has coded original software to produce digital animation then using multiple projectors these abstract images will be projected throughout the art gallery at Merseles Studios. Lendvai's geometric sculptures - made of wood and wood-based products - will be positioned to solid counterpoints to the vivid, multicolored images made from light.

According to Vilim, the use of nonrepresentational images induces a nonlinear dialogue between sculpture and light, removing familiar reference points from the viewer, encouraging them to consider their own perceptions of the theme of connection. "The limitations of consciousness hardly let us see how the fabric of reality is interconnected and tied to us," said Vilim. "Art and music merge with us on a deeper level, letting us feel and discover many layers of this connectivity."

Collaboration not only means an ever-changing exhibition of multiple, ever changing light patterns having a dialog with the stationary sculpture, but also incorporates the gallery space into the art itself. "I felt for some time that the 'Connection' exhibit had to be 'off the wall' or just not another exhibit of art pieces that are hung on a wall," said Lucy Rovetto, Visual Arts Coordinator, JCTC. "I wanted to push the idea a bit further by having the space become the canvas. For Collaboration I want people to 'connect' to the art and to each other in new and different ways."

For the JCAST Weekend, Collaboration will be extended into Black Box Theater at Merseles Studios, augmented by Vilim's projections.

  • Friday (10/5): DJ Kevin /Dot/ Galaxy (6:00-12:00)

  • Saturday (10/7): More Collaboration between Kati Vilim and composure Nicolas Namoradze. This special screening features Vilim's digital animation created exclusively for the Black Box theater at Merseles Studios, accompanied by an original electronic music soundtrack by Namoradze. (5:00 -10:00)

  • Sunday (10/8): DJ Joya Angola Thompson - The Wild Woman of House Music! (1:00 - 5:00)

A site-specific, multimedia installation and a weekend of art and music seems an appropriate kickoff to a series that includes a topical reimagining of Trojan Woman by Euripides, the Jersey City premier of a new play about Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman to run for President and Moon Festival, a Pan-Asian dance concert at White Eagle Hall.

"Technology can bring us together but can also separate us," said Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC. "When you see a family or a group of friends at a restaurant and instead of talking with each other they are all on their smart phones, you realize how disconnection starts on a personal level and spreads into society. Studies have shown that it's the human connection that makes us live longer and happier lives. With this series we're exploring the meaning of connection, the ramifications of disconnection, and where we are going as a society."

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