Nancy Cohen’s Hackensack Dreaming at Power Plant Gallery

For immediate release via the Power Plant Gallery:

Nancy Cohen’s Hackensack Dreaming 
Opening Reception and Artist’s Talk:
January 22, 2016, 5p.m.–8p.m.
Artist’s Talk begins at 6p.m.
Power Plant Gallery,

Exploring Nancy Cohen’s large-scale installation Hackensack Dreaming is to enter a world constructed by the human hand through manipulation of raw materials, a parallel not unlike the reality of the Mill Creek Marsh in the Meadowlands of Secaucus, New Jersey, from which Cohen derives her inspiration. In a subtle, self-referential manner, the organic ingredients that constitute the handmade paper and glass – the major components in the installation – are documents of the natural world.

Cohen, a New Jersey resident, has spent the last decade following the waterways of New York and New Jersey, finding contradictions of nature in her urban environment. Cohen describes driving through some of the most congested, confusing, and visually unappealing parts of the state: “We park next to Bob’s Discount Furniture Warehouse amidst Secaucus’s outlet malls. From the marshes we look out in one direction to a water treatment plant, in another toward Walmart. We can hear the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Beyond the worst of some mash-up of urban suburbia we can see the Empire State Building.” The malls, highways, and skyline of New York form the form the backdrop to an organic world: the Mill Creek Marsh, in the Meadowlands of Seacaucus, New Jersey. Isolated amid a sea of human-made structures, the landscape is quiet and deserted.

From January 22 through March 5, 2016, the Power Plant Gallery will host Hackensack Dreaming as it transforms and encompasses the 1,500-square-foot gallery into its own constructed reality. Caitlin Margaret Kelly, director of the Power Plant Gallery explains, “Cohen’s installation is rife with referential essence. Translucent glass objects hint at a cedar forest, poking up through the water on an icy New Jersey day, and liquid rubber poured on the paper suggests, interchangeably, a wet or toxic surface. Experiencing the installation is to experience a document of the Mill Creek Marsh’s, mediated through the artist.”

For more information about artist Nancy Cohen, visit:

The Power Plant Gallery is an initiative of the Center for Documentary Studies and the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University.

American Tobacco Campus
Power Plant Building
Durham, NC

Summer Artists Residencies at the PPG

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 2.43.19 PM

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *