The Palace at 3AM
June 10 to August 20, 2023
The works included in this exhibition represent a pivot within my practice toward an articulation of subjects I have been researching for nearly a decade. These themes can be grouped into what theorist Mark Fisher defines as ‘the weird and the eerie’ and include: Forteana, Catholic strangeness, Cold-War oddities, the science-fictional, the occult, the post-apocalyptic, and many other forms of cultural marginalia.
I am endlessly captivated by the uneasy co-existence between Western rationalist-materialist world views and those emanating from non-scientific, irrational, or superstitious/ religious systems. Our current cultural landscape is strewn with the debris of such conflicts. As an ex-Catholic I vividly remember these competing, incongruous ontologies vying for control of my daily life and shaping my newly evolving sense of reality. The cognitive dissonance that resulted from these skirmishes left indelible marks that remain with me today. In my current artistic research into anomalous phenomena, I have once again encountered these familiar reverberations – that seem to emerge from the periphery of awareness, memory, and dream to produce an alternate cosmology – running parallel to and ultimately colliding with the dominant paradigms. As a sculptor I revel in the psychological and spatial disorientations resulting from these disputes – which provide such fertile ground for repeated artistic forays.
The sculptural works in this exhibition play with these perspectival collisions – drawing from a pop-cultural well of high strangeness which includes séance parlors, alien abductions, hypnogogic events, inter-dimensional ruptures, perceptual delusions, anomalous incursions, and imminent global perils. Many of these three-dimensional tableaus embody my infatuation for miniature architectural spaces- and include both manual & digitally augmented components. Each piece in this collection thrives upon certain prescribed atmospheric and perceptual conditions – as do the subjects that propagated them.
The exhibition title is an homage to Alberto Giacometti’s famous Surrealist sculpture The Palace at 4 a.m. (1932). In my exhibition, the clock has been turned back by one hour, an hour heavily associated with all spectra of paranormal commerce.
About the artist
Gary Sczerbaniewicz was born in Upstate NY. He received his BFA in Sculpture from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1995, and his MFA in Sculpture from the University at Buffalo in 2013. Sczerbaniewicz is a 2016 NYFA Fellow in Architecture / Environmental Structures / Design, a 2022 recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, and in 2020 received the ‘Best in Show’ award at the MINY exhibition at the Schweinfurth Arts Center. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and has completed artist residencies at Yaddo, the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Sculpture Space, and most recently at Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, SD. Sczerbaniewicz served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the University of Notre Dame from 2017-2020 and is currently Assistant Professor of Spatial Arts at Northern Kentucky University.