Samek Gallery to debut ‘The Mystic Detectives’

LEWISBURG — The Samek Art Museum, 701 Moore Ave, is set to debut its second exhibition of the fall, “The Mystic Detectives,” on Tuesday in the Samek Gallery, located in Bucknell’s Langone Center.

The exhibit, which is scheduled to run through Dec. 2, will focus on the influence of surrealism on contemporary art. The pieces selected for the show are intended to tap into the subconscious and present diverse perspectives and socially-aware art.

“That exhibition is another that is originally curated by us,” said museum director Richard Rhinehart. “Some of our exhibitions are traveling exhibitions, but this one isn’t.

“This is also a world premiere,” he added.

“The Mystic Detectives” exhibition will feature a wide variety of modern mediums, including video art, game art and animated gifs, to name a few. The works selected make use of abjection, humor and cognitive dissonance to achieve their goal of tapping into the subconscious.

“This isn’t your grandfathers surrealism — this isn’t Dali. This looks at contemporary art that reflects surrealism and explores the impact of surrealism on modern-day artists,” Rhinehart said. ”

“As far as what I was looking at, I wanted to look at the influence of surrealism — not the artists that make works that look like historic surrealism — rather, I wanted to look at some of the strategies of classic surrealism and bring that forward and look at contemporary artists that are using these same strategies,” added Rhinehart.

Since surrealists are known for their great use of imagery, the works selected for “The Mystic Detectives” also share that quality.

Another important aspect of the show for Rhinehart was selecting works from many women and gay artists, who weren’t given the same opportunities to promote their art during the heyday of the surrealist movement.

“I think we have to be honest and admit that surrealism has had its failings — I think it is important to address some of those problems,” Rhinehart said. “For this show, we wanted to bring in some of those groups of people who were excluded from classic surrealism. These voices didn’t get to be a part of the conversation at the beginning, but they had important things to say”

Along with the exhibition, a “surrealist party” has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 28, where Rhinehart said “everyone is invited to come as their most surreal self.”

“I am very excited about this show as I am seeing the works come in,” said Rhinehart. “Every time I write a wall label I get very excited, and it is very geeky. In the context of a show like this, I get every excited.”

For more information, visit museum.bucknell.edu.

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