PARAMUS, N.J. – In what organizers call a “virtual exit” that will bring visitors back to “the real world,” Gallery Bergen will open its doors for a closing celebration of its current installation, artist Gianluca Bianchino’s “An Attempt to Communicate with Reality,” Friday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m.
The free and open-to-the-public in-person event featuring live music, a dance performance and complimentary refreshments will take place in the gallery, located in West Hall at Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus, New Jersey. The gallery will also live-stream the event on Facebook and YouTube.
The exhibition conveys the dichotomy between living “in reality” and “virtually” while offering commentary on the immersion of virtual realities and spaces since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Gallery Bergen Director Tim Blunk. The live closing celebration represents the gallery's first public event since the pandemic forced the temporary closure of the space in March 2020.
Gallery Bergen has housed the exhibition since June when it launched via the Internet at gallerybergen.art. Blunk and Bianchino added the virtual dimension with a Matterport 3D/VR camera that allowed them to create a fully navigable space online, punctuated with videos and sound.
“Bianchino’s sculptural installation work is perfect for the virtuality versus reality conversation,” he said.
A multimedia artist and curator living and working in Northern New Jersey, Bianchino focuses on immersive installations and interactive sculptures that often engage with optics and technology. Inspired by physics and architecture, he attended an architectural magnet school in Italy before relocating to the United States.
The closing event will also feature a dance performance by Brooklyn-based immersive action painter and movement artist Annika Rhea. Her choreography interrogates Bianchino’s wall and floor sculptures, finding herself entangled in wires and cables or intrigued by the umbrella shapes as part of the exhibition.
Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.
Photo caption: “An Attempt to Communicate with Reality” in Gallery Bergen.