"Happy's Nightmare" Fills UB Gallery with Jokey Metaphor for Loneliness, Desolation

Release Date: April 17, 2002 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- "Happy's Nightmare," a installation by Kurt Von Voetsch and Patrick Robideau, will open April 26 in the University at Buffalo Art Gallery with a reception from 7-10 p.m. featuring a performance by Von Voetsch, who will employ such elements as fat, fiberglass pods and an elaborate costume.

The opening of the exhibit, which is installed in the gallery's Lightwell Gallery, will be free of charge and open to the public.

The exhibit will close on Sept. 27 with an entirely new performance by Von Voetsch.

The gallery, located in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus, is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For further information and summer hours, contact Reine Hauser at 645-6912, ext. 1424.

"Happy's Nightmare" is presented in conjunction with "Big Orbit: Ten Years of Spin," an exhibition at UB's Anderson Gallery, located on Martha Jackson Place, Buffalo, that will run through April 28.

It is the second of three collaborative projects by Von Voetsch and Robideau.

One, "A Whole Lot of Chugger Behind a Whole Lot of Pat," was exhibited in Big Orbit Gallery two years ago and featured an entire house built by the artists within the gallery space.

"Happy's Nightmare" continues where "Chugger" left off. Here, the artists have fabricated two interior rooms of a house-- a living room and basement room connected by a hole -- within the three-story Lightwell exhibition space.

The structure, which one observer calls "reminiscent of a vastly overblown diorama you might see in an antiquated science museum," will be visible from the first and second floors of the gallery.

Robideau and Von Voetsch say that, for each of them, the work is autobiographical and that the empty spaces elaborated by the installation itself and the performance of "Happy's Nightmare" represent aspects of loneliness, desolation and emptiness.

Robideau's installations and sculptures have been featured in the "Great Lake Erie: Imagining an Inland Sea" and at the New York State Museum in Albany, in Big Orbit and at other venues.

Von Voetsch, a Niagara Falls native, is gallery manager of Niagara University's Castellani Gallery. His mixed media work has been exhibited in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's "In Western New York" show, the 58th Rochester-Finger Lake Exhibition, Big Orbit Gallery and other venues. He holds a master's degree from UB and a master of fine arts degree from Ohio University.

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