Published May 4, 2017
The UB Art Galleries’ Screen Projects public art video initiative concludes for the spring semester with “Sua Cancroma,” part of Phil Hastings’ “The Threshold Series” of video works that explore “liminal states using abstract and poetic forms.”
“Sua Cancroma” is on view outside the second-floor gallery of the UB Art Gallery in the hallway across from the elevator, through May 12.
In The Threshold series, Hastings treats digital programming as biological data, where slight variations at the level of the pixel — the DNA of his work — can produce new, yet related visual effects, thus emphasizing chance and possibility.
In the 2017 video “Sua Cancroma,” “the tumescent opening seduces the eye even as it reddens, swells, blanches and repulses,” says Conor Moynihan, a PhD candidate in visual studies in the Department of Art and curator of the show.
“Rhythmic and cyclical, the orifice opens — a threshold — to frame a void full of potential, yet chillingly empty. It makes us feel something liminal. We want to watch, we want the matter to heal, but we also want to look away, we want it to be over.
Like a cancerous, misbehaving body, “Sua Cancroma” is too random for comfort, too mesmerizing to look away,” Moynihan says. “It puts us uneasily and uncertainly at the threshold of being healthy and being ill.”
More of Hastings’ work and other works dealing with illness and disease are on view in “Ill at Ease: Dis-ease in Art,” in the Department of Art Gallery, B45 in the Center for the Arts, also through May 12.