William Paterson University Students at the Art Factory

Courtesy of James Brehm

Albert Bustos, Art Editor

On Feb. 28, 2017, Feride Demircan, Ph.D. along with a few other William Paterson Univeristy students will have an exhibition at the Art Factory in Paterson, NJ. Her exhibition titled Home will be at the Dolphin Gallery Annex as part of a multi-level installation.

Demircan’s stay at WPU is mainly for research and learning how to use Cinema 4D sculpting. This is her second semester here and is now attending a sculpture and digital media class with Professor Michael Rees. Last month she had an exhibition at the Paterson Museum. She is now preparing for her aforementioned show at the Art Factory.

Home is an installation by Demircan, informed by her experience as a world traveler, being exiled and being an immigrant. It explores the concept of home in its relation to identity and space and incorporates the Annex’s exposed mountainside highlands and bedrock, into which the factory was built.

Demircan will also curate a reception for her exhibit of contemporary Turkish artists. The exhibits will be followed by a complimentary Turkish cuisine. She is also part of a number of exhibits that are made up of different artists, including Adrift and Feminine Form located in the Park Gallery.

“In this exhibition, the intention is to connect the modern “home-less” man to his original “home,” said Demircan.

She has traveled so much and has seen and visited many places, which she captures in her landscape paintings. Demircan’s travels have led her to visit “thousands” of museums. She says this made her realize that the works of art and exhibits of artists all over the world are like pieces of a bigger entity, like pieces of a puzzle.

“When I came to the U.S., I traveled through the routes of Native Americans, which incidentally happen to have a lot of commonalities with Turkish people,” Demircan said. “These travels were encapsulated in my exhibitions titled Dreamline in 2011 and Dreamcatcher in 2013 at M.M. Studio, in Texas. The subject matter of these exhibits is homelessness.”

Her exhibition intends to reconnect three major continents despite continuous fragmentation of modern experience and to also connect the modern “home-less” man to his “home” as being a part of a unified entity.

“More intensely and rapidly spreading modernity in the 20th century, disintegration of daily life, the fast pace of transportation and communication, shifting paradigms of time altogether solidifies these transformations in the human existence and humans becomes ever more displaced,” explained Demircan.

The Art Factory has turned into a special place for her. It’s where the diversity of cultures and disciplines of art meet. Her studies collide with the history and location of the Art Factory. For the first time since emigrating to the U.S.A. she feels at home. As an artist, she has everything she needs: a great location, time, materials and many good friends.

She feels she owes a lot to the academic setting she grew up in. She said, “The way I see it is that if I understand other people’s life, history, culture and art, I get a better understanding of myself too.”

For now, Demircan is taking classes for 3D technology, art history and art philosophy. The ample rooming at the Art Factory is giving her a chance to create bigger works of art.

She wants to create an international art show for artists from all over the world. An art show where artists can share their work without fear of being reprimanded by their government. The oppression in certain countries holds back some artists from sharing their creations. This is something Demircan wants to change.

Another WPU student that has a show at the Art Factory is James Brehm. He is soon to achieve his MFA degree with a concentration in sculpturing. This will be his last semester at WPU and is currently working on his final thesis project.

He is hoping to still make art once he graduates. He’s looking for jobs that deal with fabrication, 3D scanning, graphic prototyping, running CNC machines and the like.

His show is a sculpture based on theories of screens such as TV screens, phone screens, computer screens and how we experience 2-Dimensional life through these screens. It affects our perception of everything including our principles, ethics, morals and philosophies.

Brehm brings a certain awareness to capitalism. Through lumpy clay he conveys American icons such as Christmas trees or a man giving a thumbs up. “These comforting American symbols are based in capitalism and are misleading,” explained Brehm.

To make an interesting point, Brehm uses the most basic material, clay to make some of his American symbols. Clay comes from the Earth so it’s a point going against capitalism. This is all tied in with the screens mentioned earlier.

Brehm made an installation using projections in the dark with him playing video games. It’s representational of someone distracting themselves and not looking outside of that screen.

People are always stuck in their screens all the time whether TV, computer, or smartphone existing in a 2-Dimensional world that doesn’t exist.

“It is real but you just put yourself in a world that is flat,” said Brehm. He’s been working with the concept of screens for 8 years now.

Brehm will be graduating in May and on May 11, he will be presenting his thesis show at the Power Art Center.

Jokingly he says five years from now he will be making as much art as he can in some remote secluded area deep inside the woods. However, realistically he is mindful of needing a job to pay back college loans.

“Screens are everywhere and they are like black holes,” he said. “They suck everything in, it’s like infinity and nothing at the same time, because it’s a 2-Dimensional surface but theoretically it has no dimension.”

Deep down he feels, because of the systems of belief that there’s something there that is actually pure. It has to do with love and feelings even though they seem as shallow things.

He gives an example like Christmas. Christmas is a capitalist holiday, but he believes there’s something really important to it. Whether it is love, family or even both.

Our experiences within screens like in video gaming or phone communication are very shallow but he feels there is also love and affection found in the internet which takes place mostly within a screen. People communicate with loved ones, or you can meet a potential lover. It happens a lot today.