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​The Nightmarish and Harmonious World of Adam Bursack

Arts | October 23rd, 2021

By Sarah Nour

sacha1689.sc@gmail.com

On Sunday, November 7th, the Spirit Room will hold a reception for “Contaminated Nightmares,” their current exhibition of mixed-media pieces by local artist and musician Adam Bursack. This reception—free and open to the public—will begin at 5 PM and go on until 7 PM, with an artist’s talk, refreshments, and hors d'oeuvres. The collection will be on display until November 13th.

This exhibition is made up mostly of framed photographic art and collages on canvas. In his artist’s statement, Bursack says that the “Contaminated” portion of the exhibition’s title refers to the mixing of several mediums: “Elements of one medium drift into the next; biological combines with the mechanical, digital with analog, even oil with water. A high school art teacher once told me that my pieces shouldn’t work, but they do.”

The story behind the collage entitled “Yellow Nightmare: The Weeping Woman '' provides a good idea of Bursack’s artistic process. To create this piece, he scanned some of his older artwork and digitally edited them. Then he printed out the new results, cut them up, reassembled them on a canvas, and painted over them.

As for “Nightmares,” the artist’s statement goes on to say, “Nightmares were not a planned theme so much as a consistent one. A history of vivid dreams and nightmares has always informed my work, and ‘nightmarish’ is one of descriptions I have heard most frequently of my art.”

The Spirit Room’s acting secretary Hollie DeFrancisco has said, “I’m a personal fan of his mixed media photographic manipulations. They’re full of great depth, interest, and texture in a dark, grungy style that’s both nightmarish and harmonious. It seems entirely appropriate that a musician should be the artist behind such intriguing work.”

The surreal, abstract quality of Bursack’s art invites viewers to take a second look to see shapes and patterns they initially didn’t notice. For example, “The Earth is on Fire” features a circular shape that, true to the title, resembles the earth imploding in a cosmic disaster. However, it’s also easy to see the shape as an eye, a broken blue marble, or any number of things, depending on one’s perspective. Interestingly, he revealed that this piece began life as a photograph of a guitar.

The largest piece in the exhibition is a mixed-media painting entitled “I Am,” which features what could be an eye in the upper midsection, overtaken by splashes of various colors. Some interpretations have been curious: Bursack disclosed with some amusement that an old classmate once claimed it resembled a breast.

In addition to his art, Bursack has a radio show, Adam’s Archive, which airs on Ken’s FM 89.1 every Sunday at 7 PM.

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IF YOU GO

Reception for Art Exhibition "Contaminated Nightmare" by Adam Bursack

Spirit Room, 111 Broadway N, Fargo ND 58102

Sunday, November 7th, 5 PM - 7 PM

Free and open to the public

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