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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

JCTC’s Series Explores How We Do & Don’t Connect in Today’s World

JCTC_Connection_PressRelease_FINAL_photo

Multimedia Art Installation Opens Connection – JCTC’s Series Explores How We Do & Don’t Connect in Today’s World

Technology connects people all over the world, yet why do we so often seem disconnected to our communities, families and each other?

Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) launches its 2018/2019 season with Connection, a series of visual arts, theater, dance and readings that explores the truly modern conflict of pervasive isolation in an era of hyper-communication.

JCTC selects a topic global in scope yet relevant to a community, then explores that theme through multiple art forms, including theatre, dance, readings and visual arts.

The Connection series opens with an immersive art installation at Merseles Studios in conjunction with the 28th annual Jersey City Art & Studio Tour (JCAST), October 4-7 New Jersey.  In keeping with the spirit of the studio tour, Merseles Studios resident artists will have their studios open to the public during the JCAST weekend.

The installation – Collaboration – is a site-specific, multimedia collaboration between Kati Vilim, a Jersey City-based, abstract artist and Thomas Lendvai, a Brooklyn-based sculptor.
On Friday Oct 12, JCTC presents an Art Talk on Collaboration, featuring Kati Vilim and Thomas Lendvai.  

merseles-studiosjpg-554f4617009bfc3fThe installation will be featured at Merseles Studios for the duration of Connection series, which concludes with The BOX: Connection Edition, November 30.

For Collaboration, Vilim has coded original software to produce digital animation then using multiple projectors these abstract images will be projected throughout the art gallery at Merseles Studios. Lendvai’s geometric sculptures – made of wood and wood-based products – will be positioned to solid counterpoints to the vivid, multicolored images made from light.

According to Vilim, the use of nonrepresentational images induces a nonlinear dialogue between sculpture and light, removing familiar reference points from the viewer, encouraging them to consider their own perceptions of the theme of connection. “The limitations of consciousness hardly let us see how the fabric of reality is interconnected and tied to us,” said Vilim. “Art and music merge with us on a deeper level, letting us feel and discover many layers of this connectivity.”

Collaboration not only means an ever-changing exhibition of multiple, ever changing light patterns having a dialog with the stationary sculpture, but also incorporates the gallery space into the art itself. “I felt for some time that the ‘Connection’ exhibit had to be ‘off the wall’ or just not another exhibit of art pieces that are hung on a wall,” said Lucy Rovetto, Visual Arts Coordinator, JCTC. “I wanted to push the idea a bit further by having the space become the canvas. For Collaboration I want people to ‘connect’ to the art and to each other in new and different ways.”


For the JCAST Weekend, Collaboration will be extended into Black Box Theater at Merseles Studios, augmented by Vilim’s projections.

  • Friday (10/5): DJ Kevin /Dot/ Galaxy (6:00-12:00)

  • Saturday (10/7): More Collaboration between Kati Vilim and composure Nicolas Namoradze. This special screening features Vilim’s digital animation created exclusively for the Black Box theater at Merseles Studios, accompanied by an original electronic music soundtrack by Namoradze. (5:00 -10:00)

  • Sunday (10/8):  DJ Joya Angola Thompson – The Wild Woman of House Music! (1:00 – 5:00)


A site-specific, multimedia installation and a weekend of art and music seems an appropriate kickoff to a series that includes a topical reimagining of Trojan Woman by Euripides, the Jersey City premier of a new play about Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman to run for President and Moon Festival, a Pan-Asian dance concert at White Eagle Hall.

“Technology can bring us together but can also separate us,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC.  “When you see a family or a group of friends at a restaurant and instead of talking with each other they are all on their smart phones, you realize how disconnection starts on a personal level and spreads into society. Studies have shown that it’s the human connection that makes us live longer and happier lives. With this series we’re exploring the meaning of connection, the ramifications of disconnection, and where we are going as a society.” 

Photo-caption: Kati Vilim, an internationally renowned, Jersey City-based abstract artist and Thomas Lendvai,  Brooklyn-based sculptor, are collaborating for Collaboration, a site-specific art installation at Meseles Studios that opens  JCTC’s New Series: Connection.

Connection Series

10/4-10/7  Connection Gallery Opening featuring Collaboration a site-specific installation by Kati Vilim  and Thomas Lendvai (Merseles Studios)

  • Friday (10/5): DJ: Octonomy/Kevin /Dot/ Galaxy (6:00-12:00)

  • Saturday (10/7): More Collaboration between Kati Vilim and composure Nicolas Namoradze. This special screening features Vilim’s digital animation created exclusively for the Black Box theater at Merseles Studios, accompanied by an original electronic music soundtrack by Namoradze. (5:00 -10:00)

  • Sunday (107):  DJ Joya Angola Thompson – The Wild Woman of House Music! (1:00 -5:00)

10/12 (7:00 – 9:00)
Collaboration Connection Art Talk/Reception with Kati Vilim and Thomas Lendvai (Merseles Studios)

10/14 Doors 3:30/Show 4:00
Moon Festival: Dance celebration of the Pan Asian festival of the moon with the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company in collaboration with Akhilandeshwari Vasudevamurthy of the Kalagangothri Foundation  (White Eagle Hall)

10/24 (Doors 7:30 /Show 8:00)
New Play Reading: Wunderkammer by Francesca Pazniokas – A lonely taxidermist trains a mysterious child with terrifying talents to be his assistant in Wunderkammer—a play that blurs the line between human and animal, and life and death. (Merseles Studios)

10/25 (Doors 7:30 /Show 8:00)
New Play Reading: Unbossed and Unbowed by Ingrid Griffith – an extraordinary biopic of Shirley Chisholm, first Black Congresswoman in America’s history who ran for the Presidency in 1972. (Merseles Studios)

11/ 1, 11/2, 11/3(Doors 7:30 /Show 8:00)
11/4 (Doors 3:30/Show 4:00)
11/8, 11/9, 11/10, (Doors 7:30 /Show 8:00)
11/11(Doors 3:30/Show 4:00)
11/ 15, 11/16, 11/17(Doors 7:30 /Show 8:00)
11/18 (Doors 3:30/Show 4:00)
Trojan Women by Euripides, directed by Olga Levina – a multilingual, multimedia re-imagining of the classic of Greed Tragedy that emphasizes the theme of the impact of war and displacement on women specifically and society in general. (Merseles Studios)

11/18 (Doors 3:30/Show 4:00)

Carolyn Dorfman Dance & Hillary-Marie’s-Sole Music Collective – Two award winning and internationally acclaimed choreographers join forces for a thrilling afternoon of dance.  (White Eagle Hall) 

11/28 (Doors 7:30 /Show 8:00)
New Play Reading: In Real Life by Stacie Lents.  A tragicomedy about PT and LXS, two high school students who live at some point in the post-Trump future when the world has gone completely virtual. (Merseles Studios)

11/30 (Doors 7:30 /Show 8:00)
The BOX: Connection Edition – an evening of music, spoken-word, dance and other performances. (Merseles Studios)

Connection/Installation Bios

Kati Vilim: Now a Jersey City resident, Kati received her MFA from University of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary and Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ. In her work she is investigating the visual language as an abstract system, creating new content based on combination of algorithm, color theory and structures composed of ratio and rhythm.  Her media range from traditional techniques as traditional oil painting, to site specific light installation and digital animation. Her work has been shown at galleries, museums and art institutions in the United States and Europe.

Thomas Lendvai: A Brooklyn-based artist who received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, transforms everyday construction materials into large-scale, site-responsive, sculptural experiences. Lendvai melds his knowledge of carpentry, taught to him by his father at an early age, with his interest in modernist and post-modernist theory of sculpture and philosophical and scientific definitions of time and space.

Nicolas Namoradze: A Pianist &and composer whose performances have been hailed by critics as “sparkling… sensitive and coloristic” (New York Times) and “simply gorgeous” (Wall Street Journal), has given recitals at prestigious venues in several countries around the world and appeared as a soloist with renowned orchestras and conductors in Europe and the United States. His compositions have been commissioned and performed by leading artists and festivals in the United States.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit: www.JCTCenter.org.

Jersey City Theater Center
Merseles Studios
339 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 795-5386

Funding for Connection was made possible by generous support from the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development, Thomas A. DeGise, Hudson County Executive and the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Connection was also made possible through the generosity of Ben LoPiccolo Development Group, JCTC’s Board of Directors, private donors and local Jersey City businesses.

Jersey City Theater Center, Inc. (JCTC) presents programming at Merseles Studios and White Eagle Hall. JCTC is a nonprofit, 501c3 arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about the important topics of our times through innovative and progressive performing and visual arts that celebrates diversity, bringing communities closer together and enhancing the quality of life. 

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