Project for Empty Space is pleased to present where the ocean meets the sky a solo exhibition by Artist Researcher in Residence Jaret Vadera.

where the ocean meets the sky is an exhibition of work by multidisciplinary conceptual artist Jaret Vadera. The exhibition explores different spaces that lie just “beyond" through a constellation of immersive installations, projections, and mixed media pieces. "Beyond" in Vadera's work is posited as a space of possibility- beyond language, images, and social constructions. where the ocean meets the sky makes a poetic reference to the offing, the furthest place in the distance we can visually see. The horizon line becomes a zone that is visible, imagined, but also real. Blurring both the borders of the ocean and the sky, and alluding to stories of travelers and migrations across different kinds of real and imagined borders. Vadera’s works expose the charged interstitial grey areas beyond binary narratives. Vadera complicates colonial discourses that are hidden in everyday visual culture, while weaving together a constellation of multivalent stories about aliens, rude maps, and unreliable narrators.

In 2008, Vadera began using the term multi-positional as a nuanced and expanded understanding of pluralistic or intersectional identity. To be multi-positional is to complicate conventional notions of identity, the singular self, and its attendant religious, national, and social trappings. This embracing of multivalence informs much of Vadera’s overall practice and the work in where the ocean meets the sky. Image, text, translation, mistranslation, and code-switching have always had an essential role in Vadera’s work.

Language and semantics (deadpan or satire) are integral elements within Vadera’s practice. Terms such as alien, for example, function as a playfully critical commentary on society through the employment of each of their multiple meanings and contexts. Vadera uses alien in the contemporary social context speaking to migration, immigration, and the flow of people. He dually incorporates the aesthetics and symbolism of classic 1980s science fiction, and a fascination with UFOs, alternate realities, and futuristic technologies. He stews together the definitions, implications, and aesthetics as a commentary on post-colonial identities and existences; he challenges us to contend with the pluralistic and multi-positional nature of being ‘other’ in a space where ‘otherness’ is completely relative.

In addition to the exhibition, the PES is pleased to present a catalogue raisonné reflecting upon the artist’s work. This book contains a selection of essays pertaining to various aspects of Vadera’s work, as well as archival images from across his practice. A signed limited edition of this book will be available throughout the exhibition.

Jaret Vadera is an artist and cultural producer whose work interrogates and complicates the relationships between power, memory, and representations of other spaces. His practice is influenced by cognitive science, post/de-colonial theory, science fiction, Buddhist philosophy, and the study of impossible objects.

Vadera’s work has been exhibited widely and is included in several institutional and private collections. Notable institutions where the artist’s work has been shown include: the Queens Museum, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Asia Society Museum, New York; Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Washington DC; Aga Khan Museum, Toronto; the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai; Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah; and Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ.

Vadera completed his undergraduate education at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto and the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. He received his MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University. He has lectured and taught at: Pratt Institute; Yale University; Brooklyn College; and Montclair State University. Vadera is currently the Assistant Professor of Practice in New Media in the Architecture, Art, and Planning School at Cornell University.

Jaret Vadera lives and works in New York.