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"Discomfiture of Presence" Art Center Exhibition, Feb. 5-April 1
Contact: Maria Terrone
Director of Communications
(718) 997-5591
Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5590


Exhibition Dates: February 5 - April 1, 2004
Where: The Queens College Art Center
6th Floor, Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library
Queens College
65-30 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY
Gallery Talk/
Thursday, February 5, 2004
5:00 - 8:00 pm
Gallery Hours: Mondays - Thursdays, 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Fridays, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed February 12 and February 16
Special Event: Artist's slide/lecture presentation
Monday February 23, 2004, 4:00-5:00 pm
Klapper Hall, Room 672
Gallery Contacts: For more info: (718) 997-3770
Fee: Free and open to the public

FLUSHING, NY - From February 5 through April 1, 2004, the Queens College Art Center presents Discomfiture of Presence: A Multiple Piece by Olga Alexander.

Discomfiture of Presence, an ongoing artwork, consists of more than 55 found photographs that Alexander has rephotographed and recontextualized. In On Photography, writer Susan Sontag referred to old photographs as getting better with time, but Olga Alexander stops this process and forces us to look outside the frame.

Alexander reinforces the artifice of the pictures’ surface by adding text that invites our interpretation. For example, the photographs’ seemingly ideal images of relationships speak of the presence of love, but the text underscores its absence. The photographs are arranged in arbitrary and non-linear manner, hung from bows as though they were mementos. However, these mementos do not exist in the past but in the internal present.

According to the gallery director and critic Terrie Sultan, this complex work "invites us to mine our own history in order to interpret the artist’s imagistic intention."

Olga Alexander, a native New Yorker, holds a BA from the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA in painting from the University of Tennessee. She has taught painting and served as art director of A-1/Lab Art Space, a non-profit multimedia art gallery in Knoxville, Tennessee. A widely exhibited painter, Alexander has most recently been working with photo-based installations, in which she photo silk-screens her photographs onto Plexiglas.

A prolific artist, she frequently works on several pieces at a time, a process that sometimes changes her thinking about her original intent. At that point, she says, "she can play." Alexander draws her inspiration from disparate sources and often uses industrial materials that reference mass culture. A conceptualist at heart, she values and welcomes the accidental and believes that what is left out of a work may be as interesting as what stays in.

Discomfiture of Presence is sponsored, in part, by the Art Department and the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, Queens College.


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Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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