Art History, Digital Art Programs Team for Show at Williamsburg Gallery

December 12, 2013 | City College

Poster for Liminal States exhibit at Projekt722 in Williamsburg.

‘Liminal States’ features works of six MFA candidates in CCNY’s new Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice program

When Professor Hajoe Moderegger, director of City College’s Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice program (DIAP), wanted to find someone to curate an exhibition of works by his students, he didn’t have to look far. He put out a query to graduate art history majors, and Maggie Downing jumped at the opportunity.

Maggie recruited classmate Adrienne Meraz to work on the project. Their show, “Liminal States,” featuring the works of six MFA candidates in the DIAP program, opens Saturday, December 14, at

Projekt722 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The participating artists are Michelle Levy, Herbert Lascina, Marianna de Nadal, Clarinda Mac Low, William Tucci and Kara J. Schmidt.

“Liminal States” considers states of being that exist between the typically disparate concepts of belief and cynicism, trash and treasure, virtual and reality, and the public and private in the forms of sculpture, video and installation. The concept grew out of conversations the curators had with the artists, said Ms. Downing.

Professor Moderegger anticipates the show will inspire more collaboration across the art department. “For the graduate students, exhibitions and studio visits by curators are essential for learning how to present and speak about their own work,” he said. “It is equally beneficial for art history graduate students to have easy access to living artists. Working with new artwork also gives them an incredible option to apply the terminology and analytical skills they have been taught.”

Ms. Downing concurs. “Art historians have a way to talk about art without talking to artists directly, so it was refreshing to talk to them and see where their ideas come from.”

DIAP is a 60-credit full-time MFA program in which students use a research perspective to explore the relationship between technology and art, and develop a critical art practice in digital media. The program, which was begun in 2012, “does not necessarily fit into traditional models of art,” Professor Moderegger noted. That could make curating a show more challenging since it “might require a new observation and language,” he added.

The works in the show range from “selfie” videos to digital smell archives to sounds produced by kinetic sculptures to yarn installations that transform “unused spaces into geometric structures.” The different kinds of pieces made finding a common link that could serve as a theme tricky, Ms. Meraz said, but “once we saw the work coming in, Maggie and I were able to come together on the idea of what they had in common.”

“Liminal States” runs through January 26, 2014. An opening reception will be held 6 – 8 p.m. Saturday, December 14. Projekt 722 is located at 722 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.

About The City College of New York

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; the School of Education; the Grove School of Engineering; the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in the United States.

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