King Street Gallery Presents Dengke Chen, Goran Fazil, and Aaron Oldenburg In Play, Flow, and Ritual

By Editorial Team on September 25, 2018

Thu, 27 September 2018 - Fri, 12 October 2018

Work by Aaron Oldenburg. Courtesy of the King Street Gallery.
Artist Talk: Thursday, September 27 from 5pm to 6pm
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 27 from 6pm to 8pm

The King Street Gallery presents In Play, Flow, and Ritual, featuring the work of Dengke Chen, Goran Fazil, and Aaron Oldenburg from September 17–October 12, 2018. There will be an artist talk on Thursday, September 27th from 5-6 pm. The opening reception will be held Thursday, September 27, 2018 from 6–8 p.m. The event is located at the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center. For more information, visit Free and open to the public.

“One works at the liminal, one plays with the liminoid.”– Cultural Anthropologist Victor Turner[1]

Dengke Chen, Goran Fazil, and Aaron Oldenburg present the audience with new optional modes of play with intertextual commentary and diverse symbology experienced through interactive screen-based, and hybrid animated works. Chen’s images rely on the use of computer tablets and smartphones as lenses that form a complete and interactive process with print-based imagery. The content questions the anthropocentric world view through jarring visual satires. Fazil’s “traditional” animations reference mark-making through their sketchy, emphasis on drawing. Their sense of incompleteness, though, supports the artist’s ruminations on the circularity of the socio-political narratives of human civilization—unfinished, violent, always a work in progress, and chained to the past. Oldenburg creates interactive games. However, the games break the mold of popular “video game” tropes and rules. Instead of first-person shooters and complete narratives, “players” find themselves in psychological sand boxes and poetic narratives that offer both a reflection of the artist as well as the choices made by the players. Together, the work of In Play, Flow, and Ritual exists in the threshold of the real and the virtual with the aid of recent forms of mediated technologies, and in some instances, the chasm is further expressed through the conflict between older, and newer media, and traditions, creating new modes of experience and discourse.

About the Artists
Dengke Chen is an assistant professor at Stetson University, Florida. Recent exhibitions include Ralwins Art Gallery, Georgia, Gallery Sumuka, India, and the Delaware Contemporary. Unlike the single narrative storytelling techniques used in traditional animations to amuse and entertain audiences, Chen’s animations have nonlinear narratives that engage viewers to critically reflect on social and ethical issues. Through animation based on art practice, by projecting his thoughts and personal experience on distorted stories, Chen propose new insights and compels audiences to think about the unvarnished beauty and ugliness of the world. By bringing awareness of social problems and ethical issues, Chen uses his art to help audience envision a world where every sentient being can live in harmony. Chen completed an MFA in New Media at the Pennsylvania State University.

Goran Fazil is an assistant professor of art at the College of Western Idaho. Recent exhibitions include Boise Art Museum Triennial and Terrain 2018, Spokane, Washington. Born in Herzegovina (former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia) Fazil deals with reoccurring themes of nationality, history, religion, among other ideologies, and their relationship to war and violence. This subject matter is expressed through animations or sequential drawings due to their narrative possibilities. Fazil completed an MFA at the University of Idaho.

Aaron Oldenburg is an associate professor in the Simulations and Digital Entertainment program at the University of Baltimore. Recent exhibitions include Slamdance DIG, Los Angeles, Light City, Baltimore, and POWRPLNT, Brooklyn, NY. His current series of games are inspired by spiritual encounters, psychedelics, everyday hallucinations and the flexible nature of memory. Subjects of the games include states of hypnagogia, the play of images before sleep, dream states and environmental memory at a site of historical trauma, and representation of the unique time and space of atypical psychedelics. Oldenburg completed an MFA at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

About the King Street Gallery:
The King Street Gallery’s exhibitions compliment the academic programs of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Montgomery College, while bringing art to the community. As part of the Silver Spring arts community, exhibitions focus on current pieces by working artists. The gallery, located off Georgia Avenue at 930 King Street, is on the ground floor of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center on the west side of the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. Parking is available in the West Campus Garage, located immediately behind the center.

[1]“Liminal to Liminoid, In Play, Flow, and Ritual: An Essay in Comparative Symbology,” Rice University Studies, 1974.

King Street Gallery at the Cafritz Foundation Arts Center at Montgomery College is located at 930 King Street, Silver Spring, MD. For more information, visit