Mark Gens

Artist Website

Mark Gens

Fictitious Space

January 21st - April 30th, 2017

 

Statement:

New technologies provide tools with which we can effectively construct representations of community, self, authenticity, materiality, and location. Essentially, it is possible to put anything - or anyone - anywhere. I use technology to construct scenarios that are believable yet absurd. The spaces, and the objects and images I collage inside them, are meant to feel a little off-beat. My intention is to challenge our notions of how we see, inform our sense of space, re-examine the space we inhabit, and question how we are positioned, physically and culturally, by the spaces, images, and objects that we encounter.

 

In most of my work the process begins by compiling databases of source imagery that I download from the Web. The spaces may resemble galleries or warehouses into which I place my source images. Appearing initially as banal exhibition documentation or storage, the viewer is actually seeing layers of disparate images not real-world spaces or collections of objects. Upon closer examination one discovers that things aren’t quite right: the lighting and shadows don’t make sense, the scale is absurd, the mash-ups are out of space and time. Relying on an ambiguous mix of reality and fiction, I make it impossible for the viewer to know exactly where actual space, or art work, begins and where it ends.

 

What began as an investigation of things out of place became a way to construct virtual performative spaces.

 

Bio:

Mark Gens (b. 1961) is a multi-media artist whose work includes collage, installation, video, and sculpture. He received his BFA from Otis College of Art in Los Angles and his MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn NY. He is currently pursuing an MA in Media Studies at The New School. He lives, studies, and works in New York City.

Gens writes, “All of the images and objects I need to make my work already exist in the world.” He is constantly searching, appropriating, placing, erasing, and replicating. Digital objects and images are compiled into databases of source material. The source material is then re-ordered, shifted, and transformed. Print media, often architectural and design magazines, is a secondary source, combining traditional and digital collage processes.

Working from the premise that our interpretation of situations, language, and things is dictated by our own necessities, our own psychology, our own fears and desires, Gens reveals a multiplicity of meanings around language, objects, images, and spaces. Working in the circumscribed space of collage he transforms the commonplace into the complex. He engages a performative act akin to rewriting, rephotographing, restaging, reanimating, and reenacting.

In his art practice Gens has considered many approaches to art as a mediator of identity and space. In earlier work, primarily three-dimensional, the body was the site of action. He explored the potential of art to expose a tension between what we see and what is being shown. Obscuring the line between objective and subjective visual interpretations, sharp edges disappear in a hazy vibration, that which is solid appears ephemeral, and what we believe to be static is changeable and dynamic.

 

EDUCATION:

Current  MA, Media Studies, The New School, New York, NY. (Graduating 2018)

2016      MFA, Sculpture, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. Graduated with Distinction.

2014      BFA, Sculpture/New Genres, Otis College of Art, Los Angeles, CA. Graduated with Honors.

 

SELECT EXHIBITIONS:

2016  Pathetic Fallacy, Steuben Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. (MFA solo thesis exhibit)

2015  Give Me Some Space, Steuben Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

          Summer Group Show, Schafler Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

          Alive Tonight, Dekalb Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

2014  All Small, Alcove Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

          Picnic Invitational, Eagle Rock Recreation Center, Los Angeles, CA.

          Maximum Occupancy 10, Otis College of Art, Los Angeles, CA.

2013  Video Show, Otis College of Art, Los Angeles, CA.

          What Gives... Bolsky Gallery, Otis College of Art, Los Angeles, CA.

          General Population, Bolsky Gallery, Otis College of Art, Los Angeles, CA.

2011  Punch/Utopia, Glendale Area Temporary Exhibits, Glendale, CA.

          Artists & Educators, Glendale College Gallery, Glendale, CA.

2006  Group Show, Me & You Variety Candy, Los Angeles, CA.

          Artist in the Library series, UCLA Powell Library, Los Angeles, CA.

2005  New Work, Andrew Gray Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

2003  Aperture, Lucas LA, Los Angeles, CA.

1999  Structural Elements, Transamerica Pyramid Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

          Static Theory, Jenn Joy Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

1998  Rotation, (Permanent Installation) Waltham Woods Corporate Center, Waltham, MA.

          Summer Group Show, Andrea Marquit Fine Arts, Boston, MA.

          Artcetera ’98, Cyclorama, Boston, MA.

          Occupied Space, Fort Point Artist’s Community Gallery, Boston, MA.

1997  Distillery Invitational, The Distillery Gallery, Boston, MA.

          Constructions, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.

1990  New Vision, Bronx River Art Gallery, Bronx, NY.

1989  Art Against Apartheid, Bronx River Art Gallery, Bronx, NY.

 

CURATORIAL PROJECTS & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT:

2016  Co-facilitator, Art Education Workshop.

          Rikers Island, NYC Department of Corrections, Youth Offenders Division.

          Graduate Critical Session with Paddy Johnson.

             Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY.

          Graduate Critical Session with Lee Ann Norman.

             Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY.

2015  Co-curator, Image/Text.

             Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY.

2014  Thesis Exhibition Design Committee, Maximum Occupancy 10.

          Otis College of Art, Los Angeles, CA.

          Coordinator, Junior Juried Exhibition.

          Otis College of Art, Los Angeles, CA.

2013  Co-Curator, On the Floor.

          Otis College of Art, Los Angeles, CA.

          Co-Curator, Off the Floor.

          Otis College of Art, Los Angeles, CA.

2008-2012   Facilitator of student-run Gay-Straight Alliance.

          Glendale College, Los Angeles, CA.

2006  Researcher/Presenter, LGBTQ Representation in Television.

          UCLA Film & TV Archive, Research and Study Center, Los Angeles, CA.

          Presentation at the UCLA LGBTQ Resource Center.

2005-2006   Assisted with organizing and implementing World AIDS Day Program.

          UCLA Film & TV Archive, Research and Study Center, Los Angeles, CA.

1997-1998   Organizer, Gay & Lesbian Artists Group.

          Exhibition of group’s work coincided with annual Pride Festival, Boston, MA.

1990-1992   Co-Facilitator, Youth Self Expression and Drug Abuse Prevention workshops

          Single Parent Resource Center, New York, NY.

1990  Presenter, Children’s Awareness Program.

          The Youth Committee of Bronx Community Board #12.

1989  Facilitator, Art Experience Workshop.

          The Bronx House of Detention, NYC Department of Corrections.

          Installer, Anti-Apartheid Poster Exhibition, Gallery 1199.

          Political posters from the Schomberg    Center for Research and Black Culture, New York, NY

          Facilitator, Roberto Clemente State Park Summer Art Festival.

          In conjunction with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Bronx, NY.

          Curator, Work On A Grand Scale.

          Edenwald-Gunhill Neighborhood Center & Bronx Community Board #12.

          Curator, Celebration of Community Artists.

          Edenwald-Gunhill Neighborhood Center & Bronx Community Board #12.

          Coordinator/Curator, Summer Arts Festival ’89.

          Bronx River Art Center.

 

AWARDS & CERTIFICATIONS:

2016  The Dean’s Merit Scholarship, The New School, New York, NY.

2016  Excellence in Academic Achievement, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY.

2014  Academic Excellence Award, Otis College of Art, Los Angeles, CA.

2013  Ebell Scholar, The Ebell of Los Angeles.

2013  Hing Alan Cheung Scholarship, Otis College of Art, Los Angeles, CA.

1991  Peer Programming Certification from the State of New York Division of Substance Abuse Services. 

1991  Working with Adolescents Certification from the State of New York Division of Substance Abuse      Services.

1990  Overview of Substance Abuse Certification from the State of New York Division of Substance Abuse Services.

1990  Certificate of Award for dedicated creative service to youth in the NYC Police Athletic League.

1989  New York City Council Citation for Excellence in Community Service in Art Education.

1988  Certified Youth Group Facilitator by the Office of Catholic Schools Diocese of Brooklyn.