Saturday November 4th, 2023 The Zen Psychosis: Anatomy of a Dream exhibition unveiled in the Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery. Artist Osceola Refetoff’s photography, film, object sculpture, and literature based on the 2020 novel, Zen Psychosis with words by Shana Nys Dambro are on full display for Golden Eagles to enjoy.
Bringing the audience into the world of a dream, overhead sounds of snoring symptomatic of dreaming were combined with multi-sensory visions of language, power, and interpretation. Within the Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery, Osceola Refetoff’s images are produced using film, digital, infrared, and pinhole exposures. It's important to note that Refetoff intentionally chooses subjects that are mundane and even ordinary to transform for audiences to enjoy. What makes Refetoff’s works so unique is that he adds a hyper-realistic quality to his subjects, by creating blurred, vivid and neon-like interpretations of his content. Often through his interpretations of his works, Refetoff creates a cinematic approach to his themes, adding a dream-like quality to his content by layering his images so that they seem to jump in and out of time, causing his realistic pieces to take on a “magical” quality.
For example, Refetoff’s work, Merry-Go-Round, taken at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison Wisconsin, in 2010, is a framed 25 x 35-inch photograph of a seemingly ordinary ride. However, Refetoff’s touch highlights the euphoric nature of the ride, depicting the blurred image of the Merry-Go-Round with hyper neon coloring that evokes a blissful and intoxicated emotion in the viewer. This layered and blurred image of the Merry-Go-Round entices the viewer to look closer, creating new interpretations of the mundane, through cinematic and artistic interpretation.
Another playful Refetoff piece and a delight to the senses is a briefcase on display that is on the floor, open so that the audience can peek inside. With contents that support the theme of Zen Psychosis: Anatomy of a Dream, one can find books about interpreting dreams by Sigmund Freud and Calvin S. Hall within the faded briefcase. Upon a closer look, amongst the books of dream interpretation, audiences can find small, old, black and white images of bikini-dressed women at the beach having fun and mugshots of people detained in jail, eliciting paradoxical themes of freedom and restriction within one piece. To add, this piece also has miniature spiders throughout the content as well as chess pieces and what looks like a small laser gun; all adding to the chaos that can be dreaming. This work highlights the different extremes that one can find themself in, whether it be in total freedom, restriction or in a dreamlike state.
Refetoff’s pieces from The Zen Psychosis: Anatomy of a Dream exhibition emboldens the senses. With an intriguing display of miniature nuns reading from books, facing a small toy Polar Bear inside of a glass casing. This piece, while ordinary in its display, seems to elicit grand interpretation. From commentary on global warming, to the ways we witness interactions between religion and science; Refetoff’s works are consistent in encouraging curiosity beyond reality.
The Zen Psychosis: Anatomy of a Dream exhibition will be on display in the Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery, from November 4th till November 16th, 2023. Inviting Golden Eagles to reimagine the mundane and dream for more.