View a gallery of images from the artist reception below.
The Holland Project Gallery hosted a reception for its current exhibit, Authentic Aliens, Thursday night, Jan. 11.
A group show of various Reno artists, Authentic Aliens focuses on the idea of being an alien – not the UFO kind, but that of someone who is outside of the place the exist. The artist statement cites the work of German philosopher Martin Heidegger and poses the question: “How can we live together since everyone is different?”
Artists featured in the exhibit include: Mahedi Anjuman, Nikki Bracco, Mark Combs, Scott Coops, Teal Francis, Paul Baker Prindle, Shakhawat Hossain Razib, and DePaul Vera.
The work itself has no hierarchy; part of the artists’ efforts was that no one artist’s work was prioritized more than another. The professional and educational level of the artists ranged from some seeking Bachelors degrees to those with masters degrees.
I spoke with many of the artists on hand and each one in their own way told me the same story about how the group naturally came together, and that each artist was critiqued by the group over two to three months in preparation for the show.
One piece of art was unique to the reception: a live performance by Nikki Bracco that filled the back stage of the Holland Project with guests. Performed without music or any sound, Bracco’s movements mesmerized the crowd into complete silence, her movements attaining a sort of pin drop power. The silence broke to applause when she descended the stage.
I spoke to Shakhawat Razib who, while not in charge of the exhibit, initiated the idea. He furthered the idea of feeling alien by asking, “if you have the feeling of being alien how can you live?” If you don’t like how a system is working what can you do? Find connections between people, he continued, build a community.
While I can’t explain every artists’ reasons for this feeling of alienation, they have some amazing stories to tell through their work. It is, as the name suggests, authentic and a glimpse into the minds of these aliens.
If you would like to see the work in person the show will be up through Jan. 18 at The Holland Project Gallery located at 140 Vesta St. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. or by appointment.