Experts in Strangers' Dreams

Juan Luna-Avin and Jason Jägel

March 3 - April 9, 2017


Exhibition Dates: March 3 - April 9, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, March 3, 7:00 – 10:00pm
Special Event: Continuous Festival, Saturday, April 1, 2:00 – 9:00pm
Continuous Festival is a day-long event featuring artist-made food, drinks, guest DJ performances, video projection, spoken word and other happenings, including a presentation by the artists and conversations about the works. See our special events page for more details.

Experts in Strangers’ Dreams is a project that emerges from a collaboration between artists Jason Jägel and Juan Luna-Avin. The two artists will create an immersive installation at Royal Nonesuch Gallery inspired, in part, by their shared affinity for the raw urgency found in underground comics, films, and music.

The title, Experts in Strangers’ Dreams, originated as a chapter in a comic book created by Luna-Avin, where the characters worked together to build a time machine, each relying on his or her special knowledge to create this portal.

Following suit, the two artists have created a series of spaces, both real and psychic in the gallery with the aim of disorienting and transporting visitors through their installation.  In doing so, the two artists reject logic and reason with their approach in favor of the nonlinear, atemporal and poetic.

Jägel and Luna-Avin will expand beyond their painting practices for the exhibition to transform the gallery with a collection of painting-sculptures, dioramas, and architectural constructions, blurring the boundaries of art-making, authorship and the viewer’s sense of time and space. The painting-sculptures are human-sized and viewers are invited to enter, sit, and otherwise interact. The structures themselves hold layered meanings and act as paintings, a place to view paintings, and an immersive frame that allows for the viewer to physically enter and exit, thereby becoming a place of movement and action. By mixing raw materials and painted surfaces with utilitarian objects like a broom or a shipping palette, the artists are able to redefine function and court the uncanny.

An audio component to the installation comprised of field recordings, music and spoken word will contribute to a sense of place and time within the exhibition. By conflating painting, architecture and sound, the gallery becomes a theatrical enactment––a stage set where the artworks are players, and the gallery a place for the viewer to interpret various narratives both real and imagined.

Artist Bios
Jason Jägel was born in 1971 in Boston, Massachusetts. He received degrees from California College of Arts and Crafts (BFA, 1995) and Stanford University (MFA, 2002). A monograph of his work entitled, Seventy-Three Funshine (2008), was created with an accompanying ten-inch vinyl record with music by Madlib and published by Electric Works, San Francisco. Jägel has been featured in numerous solo and group shows since 1995 including those in New York, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Milan, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans and more. Jagel's work appears in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The UCLA Hammer Museum, and the Portland Museum of Art, among others. Jason lives with his wife and two daughters in San Francisco.
Born in Mexico City, Juan Luna-Avin is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores mythology, memory, and history. The work reflects influences that range from abstract expressionism to comic book aesthetics, especially the use of crude drawing techniques and arbitrary compositions. He has exhibited at such venues as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Southern Exposure, Queen’s Nails Projects, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Casa del Lago (Mexico City), and Ceroinspiracion (Quito, Ecuador). Since 2004, he has been a member of Club Unicornio, a San Francisco-based collective of artists-DJs who play underground, kitschy, and experimental music from Latin America. He holds an MFA in Art Practice from Stanford University and a BFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, where he was an Osher Scholar. Awards include a Suzanne Baruch Lewis MFA Grant (2010) and a McNamara Family Creative Arts Grant from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (2009). He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Visual and Public Art department at California State University, Monterey Bay.