Photographic and video works by Brooklyn-based artist Zach Nader on exhibition Jan. 20-March 18 at UAB

A free opening reception is planned for 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20. In addition to his exhibition, Nader will meet with UAB photography students for a group critique that will be followed by a free, public gallery talk, scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, March 3.

nadar riskZach Nader, "you run the risk," 2016; 25 inches x 35 inches; Inkjet print. Courtesy of Microscope GalleryAn exhibition of selected photographic and video works, “Zach Nader: fly-back” will be on exhibition at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from Jan. 20-March 18.

The exhibition of Brooklyn-based artist Zach Nader is presented by the UAB College of Arts and SciencesAbroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts and the UAB Department of Art and Art History.

A free opening reception is planned for 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20. AEIVA is open to the public from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12-6 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sundays and holidays.

Nader’s richly patterned, colorful digital works engage in ideas of multiplicity, repetition and simultaneity. The exhibition title references the fly-back chronograph, a type of complication watch in which successive time intervals can be marked and reset without delay between intervals. By breaking down the ubiquitous images found in advertising, fashion and commerce, through a series of automated software techniques and digitally manipulated actions, Nader creates a unique visual language that, through acts of erasure, camouflage and obfuscation, deconstructs familiar source images to render new, nuanced works from digital interference and visual artifacts.

Nader’s complex, liminal images echo the unending barrage of pictures that saturate the contemporary experience and provide an opportunity for viewers to consider the role of the photograph within the new media landscape. In printed works, such as “283267079 (endless waves)” and “you run the risk,” as well as video works like “someone to see,” Nader considers how fabricated images may derive and hold value, and how software tools shape people’s experience of reality.

“Through the manipulation and deconstruction of hyper-processed and often contrived advertising images, I look for ways to set the subject against the image itself — image against image, software against image — while also using software scripts as tools for mark-making,” Nader said of his work.

“There is an element of brokenness and chaos in Nader’s work that is simultaneously countered by a building back up of the image — a kind of re-scaffolding from the inside out — in which new forms and new meanings may emerge,” said exhibition co-curator Jared Ragland, MFA. “Through the deconstruction of codified, commodified pictures, Nader transfigures banal source imagery into alarming, beautifully intricate tapestries of fragmented space, color and texture.”

In addition to his exhibition, Nader will meet with UAB photography students for an invitation-only group critique that will be followed by a free, public gallery talk in conversation with Ragland in the AEIVA galleries. The gallery talk is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, March 3. Nader’s visit is supported in part by the Friends of the Department of Art and Art History, Judy and Hal Abroms, and AEIVA members.

Ragland and Nader have collaborated previously as co-authors on a panel at the 2016 Society of Photographic Education National Conference, and Nader shared his work with UAB students in the summer of 2016 via Skype as a virtual visiting artist in Ragland’s special topics course, “CAMERA-less.” 

“In the CAMERA-less course, students considered how photography is in the midst of an uncertain, yet exciting, present,” Ragland said. “Through the semester, and through Skype conversations with artists like Zach Nader, the students were exposed to how contemporary artists are critically engaging with the dilating character of globalized visual culture and were challenged to expand their own ideas for what a photograph might be. I am eager to continue that conversation through the exhibition of his work at AEIVA as well through the ways he will personally engage with Department of Art and Art History students.”

Nader’s reworking of existing photographic imagery has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including during a monthlong nightly video installation on 23 advertisement billboards as part of Midnight Moment, New York’s Times Square. His work has also been shown at Centre Pompidou Paris, France; Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basel, Switzerland; Eyebeam, New York; and the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, among others. Nader completed an Art and Science Residency at The Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation in Brooklyn, New York, and has been a featured speaker at ICP-Bard, New York, and Bard at Simon Rock, Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and others. He was born in Dallas, Texas, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. Nader is represented by Microscope Gallery in New York.

Stream image on previous page: Zach Nader, "283267079 (endless waves)," 2015. 30 inches x 20 inches; Inkjet print. Courtesy of Microscope Gallery.
  • January 20