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The Black Estate: Stemma    Feb 7 - Mar 8, 2008


Preview with the artists
Thursday, February 7th, from 6 to 8 pm

Stem-ma (stìm'ə)

1. A scroll recording the genealogy of an ancient Roman family; a family tree. 2. an eye having a single lens.

The Black Estate is a collaboration between artists Noah MacDonald and Scott Pagano; the artists do not sign their individual names to the work, they are interested in the collaborative art-making process and the ongoing nature of their particular dialogue. The Black Estate presents a body of hauntingly beautiful and surreal video works. Darkly evocative illustrated landscapes are created in combination with cutting-edge digital animation to produce a new generation of imagined reality. Concern for the current state of our environment lies at the forefront of these works; field and tree are set in motion and take on mortal characteristics as an eerie reminder of the sacredness of nature.

Hypnotically beckoning yet quietly unsettling, the viewer is captivated by these paintings in motion and by the ominous mood that accompanies the work. The artists use new technology to rationalize, readjust and re-envision the meaning of “being” in this time of profound global change. The high definition animation has no rectilinear borders, allowing the imagery to fade into and become one with the projection surface, erasing any boundary between the work and its inhabited environment.

Harking back to the then revolutionary 10th century ink wash masters, The Black Estate align themselves with beliefs that still ring true: a work of visual art must incorporate not only exquisite technique but equally if not more so there must be Spirit, Rhythm and Balance, representing both visible forms and their deeper significance to the world at large. Their message is a metaphor for the eternal cycle of life and regeneration, expressive and suggestive of human striving and introspection.

The artists of The Black Estate have shown their work at a group exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the noD Gallery in Prague, and the Eyebeam Atelier in New York. There work has been shown at important festivals including; Cannes Film Festival, Dissonanze Digital Art Festival in Rome, Optronica Festival in London, Art of the Digital in San Diego, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Video Dumbo. This will be The Black Estate’s first solo exhibition in a gallery space.

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