Cerebral Spirits: Stalking the Self

MRI Butterfly (3), 2008
Inkjet print on watercolor paper
13 x 19″

Cerebral Spirits: Stalking the Self

Cerebral Spirits: Stalking the Self, curated by Suzanne Anker for the William Paterson University Galleries, explores the ways in which concepts in neuroscience research have been incorporated into visual art practice and contemporary culture. From mental illusions to hallucinations to presentations of mood, the works in this exhibition address the intersections of body experience and mental affect through pictorial metaphor.

Artists: Suzanne Anker, Phil Buehler, Richard Dupont, Thomas Eller, Frank Gillette, Michael Rees, Katy Schimert, and Jeanne Silverthorne.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a panel discussion will be held on Thursday, February 9th from 2- 4pm at Ben Shahn Hall Room 146.

Curatorial Statement
Of all life’s mysteries yet to be solved, the complexity of emotions, processes and actions that make us sentient remains enigmatic. Set in motion by neural networks, we think, act, and love as living beings. Like uncharted galaxies or unending reveries, every thought is a web of electrical impulse generating and regenerating all that is unknownable and wondrous, melancholic and blissful, rapturous and unraveling. By way of astute advances in comprehending the nervous system by various means and ways: e.g. measurement of brainwaves, somatic responses, technological imaging, philosophical studies of consciousness and the languages of metaphor, can we ever hope to know what makes us fundamentally human?

Emotively charged and conceptually profound, our thoughts and feelings are embodied in responsive frameworks. Enmeshed in these networks arises the concept of the self, a mutable, yet central identity. From fantasies to calculations, from desire to fear, the self is a unique set of operations driving our being. Cerebral Spirits: Stalking the Self presents the work of eight visual artists whose work identifies aspects of the “self” ranging from hallucination, memory, and the creation of sign systems. How can the self be identified? What mechanisms are in place to reframe the self? What role does imagination perform in defining this elusive concept?

Cerebral Spirits: Stalking the Self

January 30 – March 9, 2012

University Galleries
Ben Shahn Hall
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, New Jersey 07470

Opening reception
Sunday, February 5, 2012, 3-5pm

Panel discusion
Thursday, February 9th, 2-4pm
Ben Shahn Hall Room 146