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EMERALD CITY

As part of an ongoing curatorial collaboration between Project For Empty Space (Jasmine Wahi) and Solo(s) Project House (Rebecca Jampol), The Gateway Project is pleased to announce the second exhibition in the Gateway Concourse, which includes temporary murals, sculpture and skylight installations in an exhibition titled “Emerald City,” opening to the public on July 31, 2014 in conjunction with the next gallery exhibition.

The Emerald City is the capital city of the fictional Land of Oz in L. Frank Baum's Oz books, first described in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The city is sometimes called the City of Emeralds; located in the center of the Land of Oz, at the end of the famous yellow brick road. It is described of being built of green glass, emeralds, and other jewels, a Utopian space to the untrained eye. In Sidney Lumet’s, The Wiz (1978), the Emerald City is an epicenter of cosmopolitan style and sophistication- a veritable catwalk of high-culture. However, the grandeur and almost-gaudy appearance of the Emerald city is merely a facade- beneath the blanket of glittering gems is a raw industrial infrastructure that is no more glamorous than it sounds. The Emerald City is no different than any other metropolis that once reaped the benefits of industrialisms boom era- a surreal masterpiece of enchanting beauty and shimmering vivacity that covers a raw and almost-dystopian chaos held together by a decidedly unglamorous armature. 

The concourse exhibition introduces materials in a way that reactivates the 1830’s industrial boom in Newark, NJ. Enterprising inventors flocked to the once metropolitan city to produce, as it was the epicenter of one of the nation's major industrial hubs. Raw materials such as leather, glass, iron, and plastic, were only a few of the many elements to produce during height of the cities prowess. However, like most industrial cities, Newark's economic ramp up succumbed to Newtonian physics, and that which went up came crashing down- permanently changing the socio-urban-scape. What is left from that era is a skeleton of the beauty and glamour that blanketed the city during the Industrialist era; from the mansions with their ornately carved jambs and porticos to the now empty factories, with carved marble and brick facades, standing as empty mausoleums to the elaborate and expansive beauty.

Work included in Emerald City will duly incorporate and embrace the materiality of industrial substances, which are typically used as internal frameworks. Artists will transform these substances that are most often associated with industrial fabrication into objects whose existence is substantiated by beauty over function. The purpose, ultimately, of this exhibition is to explore the often indiscernible difference and existence of appearance and reality- beauty and chaos- dystopia and utopia in the urban expanse.

This exhibition has been made possible by 2 Gateway Center owner C & K Properties and The Gateway Concourse Association.