Here are some photos from last night’s Opening of “Barriers.” They don’t begin to do the work justice. Go See!

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Things start out so promising, and then something gets in the way. Nothing goes according to plan. Psychological, spiritual and social difficulties crop up.  They are our obstacles. They give us energy or they take it away. They are the friction that propels our way through life.

barriers is an art installation by Bo Petran and Matthew Keller that consists of a series of environments reflecting these obstacles.

Petran explores the energy we may gain from the physical experience of death and destruction. Through the burning of piled wooden planks, he creates a very tangible barrier and a spectacle resplendent of the beauty and elegance of death.

Keller delves into the intangible barriers etched into our psyches through the practice and ritual of organized religion— in his own case, through the Catholic Church. His space, patterned after an altar and confessional, alludes to the emotional walls created by past misdeeds. His barriers are created by the thrill of freedom and maintained by the thrill of shame. Keller’s barriers are cleansed by prayer.

The opening (which is free) includes a performance from former bartender of No. 9 Park, Tyler Jay Wang, of the creation of a cocktail and a conversation on subjects chosen by the artists. Purchase tickets from to pass the barrier to this performance.

Exhibition Dates: October 5 – 26, 2013
Opening Reception: Saturday, 05 October, 6-9 PM (free of charge)
Performance by Tyler Jay Wang: Saturday, 05 October, 6-9 PM (by ticket)
Third Thursday Reception/Artist Talk: Thursday, 17 October, 6-9 PM
Masquerade Closing Party: Friday, 25 October, 6-9 PM
Gallery Hours: Fridays and Saturdays 2-6 PM

The Inspection House

New work by Martha McCollough and Matthew Keller

A panopticon is a circular prison with cells arranged around a central well, from which prisoners can at all times be observed. It is an apt metaphor for how we live today. We are photographed everywhere, recorded everywhere, and social media exposes the minute details of our lives and thoughts. Not only our own private lives, but also the machinations of the powerful become more transparent as information moves freely across borders and up and down hierarchies. What then? In their two-person exhibition, Martha McCollough and Matthew Keller take the panopticon as a starting point and explore how it affects our lives. With brilliant black humor, Martha McCollough’s videos and acrylic paintings explore our responses, which can run the gamut from exhibitionist euphoria to constant anxiety to outright paranoia. The constant question is how do we present ourselves, how do we choose to mask or unmask? The answer is dependent on whether we perceive surveillance as the harmless and even comforting interest of our friends as offered through social media, or as a tool of social control in the hands of repressive powers. McCollough is a two-time fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her text-based videos have recently been exhibited as part of the MIX Conference at Bath Spa University, UK, at the Void Network Film Poetry Festival in Greece, in Gone Lawn, an online magazine of experimental fiction, and in Rattapallax online magazine.

Matthew Keller’s oil paintings explore thoughts of observation and the acts of the observed. The focus is on individual perceptions relating directly to voyeurism, the changes in the activities of the watched, and the refusal to acknowledge the possibility of consequence by unknown onlookers. The goal is to not only comment on but also to preserve these feelings of alienation, inadequacy and powerlessness.

October 4 – 27, 2012
Opening Reception:
Thursday, October 4, 6–9pm, Catering by Bitter Science
Third Thursday Gathering:
October 18, 6–9pm