October 12, 2018 - March 24, 2019
The culmination of an artistic journey made by Seattle artist Dylan Neuwirth over the past decade, OMNIA spreads throughout the Museum, starting with the exterior. The exhibition consists of five interconnected bodies of work that trace a metaphorical life-cycle—and by implication the life of Neuwirth—from the cosmic to the personal, including work in video, performance, sculpture, and neon. Through a multitude of personal, private, and pop-cultural references, Neuwirth aims to mine the fragmented impacts of 21st-century existence by mapping it against an expanded, universal post-human narrative.
In the artist's own words: “I combine my earliest memories of alienation, subconscious violence, and systemic addiction with motifs from digital culture to create tableaus that point toward cycles of searching, belief, and transcendence. Knowing these nonobjective concepts are vital yet impossible to define, my hubristic attempts to resist the limits of control have nonetheless evolved into an obsessive DIY endeavor driven by an impulsive pursuit of freedom.”
OMNIA entails two external works, two internal works, and one piece in the digital realm. A subtle intervention into contemporary downtown Bellevue, MCMLXXVII/MMXI is mounted discreetly to the exterior of the building at the first floor level, to be sought out by the curious or discovered on accident by the unwary. The second exterior work, SOURCE CODE, occupies the Museum’s recently re-opened Terrace of Planetary Motion, a neon tower of universal symbols, facing directly out onto Bellevue Way. In the Forum, Neuwirth premieres a commission for BAM titled SCREENS, a major new work providing a compelling neon tech-noir background to Bellevue's fall and winter streetscape.
In the Museum's second floor Boeing Gallery, BAM re-presents Neuwirth’s METANOIA exhibition, a searing combination of installation, virtual reality, and performance that presents the artist’s deeply personal struggles through a series of representational objects, some found, some crafted. Finally, NEW FOLKLORE, an online presentation of digitally altered Flash performances, is on view on the Museum's website, again mining the artist’s personal histories of addiction and redemption.
Dylan Neuwirth, 2014-2018
Manipulated digital video screen capture of browser-hosted Flash performances
New Folklore is one of a series of digital video works that Dylan Neuwirth has made to evoke a particular point in his childhood development. Babysat by late night TV, he roamed the blank screens of static, pop videos, cable access rants, and outsider Midnite Movies that populated the Athens, Georgia, airwaves before the age of digital broadcast. New Folklore re-imagines these enervating mixes of William Burroughs and David Chronenberg, as the artist, in the persona of Max Headroom-style chatbot deconstructs his exhibition at BAM, OMNIA.
About the Artist
Dylan Neuwirth (b. 1977, Athens, Georgia) is a contemporary artist working with light, space, and interactive technologies. He has participated in numerous solo, group, and public art exhibitions including curatorial and web-based projects. His work is in private and institutional collections, and has appeared in Creators, Brooklyn Magazine, Artslant, Artsy, New American Paintings, Artnet, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Beautiful/Decay, WIRED, and VICE. From 2007-2016, Neuwirth was a Project Manager with Chihuly Studio. He is currently the Creative Director at Western Neon, Executive Director at Western Neon School of Art, and lives in Seattle, Washington.
Dylan Neuwirth: OMNIA is organized by Bellevue Arts Museum and curated by Benedict Heywood. The exhibition is made possible with support from 4Culture.