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Artists mine the subconscious in ‘The Alchemy of Dreams’

Did you have a chance to relax for a minute after one of the busiest fall arts seasons in memory? Good, because one of the busiest winter art seasons in memory is about to begin.

First out of the gate is “The Alchemy of Dreams,” a collaborative show featuring new work by Tara Sasiadek and Sean Madden. Though it officially opened on Dec. 22, its kickoff reception is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Hi-Temp Fabrication (79 Perry St.).

As artists, Sasiadek and Madden are adepts of the subconscious. Their work draws heavily on the strange logic and physics of dreams, where human fears and desires converge and twist themselves into new and disconcerting landscapes.

“Dreams present an opaque but vibrant guide to our inner lives, but they also contain the flotsam and jetsam of the brain’s nightly scrubbing of millions of sensory details. In that deep clean, we are trying to tell ourselves something. Listening is a process in turns exhilarating, terrifying and humorous,” Sasiadek, known for her interactive installation work, said in a statement. “For this new body of work, I am using only unconscious imagery. Everything in dreams is intensified and uncanny, so this has produced an entirely new art-making process for me.”

Madden, a Rochester-based painter who often incorporates disturbing imagery into his work, has turned over a somewhat lighter leaf in his recent paintings. His new pieces, according to a statement, include “playful absurdist dreamscapes combined with explorations of light and creative energy as it moves through the human form and the universe.”

The show runs through Jan. 18. Visit or

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