Simulations of the Sacred exhibit to open on Feb. 11


The Neon Museum announces Artist in Residence Gabriel Barcia-Colombo’s Exhibition


The Neon Museum announced its Artist in Residence, Gabriel Barcia-Colombo, will debut his exhibition Simulations of the Sacred to the public on Friday, Feb. 11. Located at Juhl Las Vegas, the exhibition will bring together digital technology, neon, and Mexican folk art to explore themes of reality, technology, and memorialization, creating a series of sculptures inspired by the signs in the Neon Museum’s collection.


The exhibition’s opening day will include a public reception with Barcia-Colombo from 4 to 7 p.m. The exhibit will then be open for free public viewing at Juhl Las Vegas (353 E. Bonneville Ave.) Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 12-26, noon to 6 p.m. or by appointment.


The exhibition will incorporate digital Nicho boxes, three-dimensional shadow boxes traditionally serving as altars to loved ones or honoring patron saints, which Barcia-Colombo will use to expand his repertoire of video portraiture to include Las Vegas locals reinterpreted as Sin City Saints. The exhibit will also feature slot machine oracles and neon reliquaries that celebrate the unique and hyperreal nature of Las Vegas.


“It is very exciting to experience Gabe’s interpretation of how technology changes our perceptions of reality in a new artistic medium for him, but one that has a long history in our city: neon,” said Aaron Berger, executive director of The Neon Museum. “These works start conversations and allow viewers to revel in their craftsmanship, creativity, and messaging. The pieces are thoroughly engaging.”


Gabriel Barcia-Colombo is a mixed media artist whose work focuses on collections, memorialization, and the act of leaving one’s digital imprint for the next generation. His work takes the form of video sculptures, immersive performances, large-scale projections, and vending machines that sell human DNA. His work plays upon this modern exigency in our culture to chronicle, preserve and wax nostalgic.


“My work is often about collecting and capturing memories through digital media, creating simulations of a memory, or collecting video portraits as a form of living memorial,” stated Barcia-Colombo. “We live in a sort of hyperreality through technology, media, and digital spaces that question our perceptions of truth, memory, and history. How does technology change our perception of reality? What sort of digital relics will we leave behind? Does an actual in-person experience matter, or is the documentation of an experience equally valid? In this show, I use neon to explore these questions as well as the icons, technology, and sacred saints of Vegas through a series of video sculptures, interactive installations, shrines, and oracles.”


Founded in 1996, The Neon Museum is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying, and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, history, arts, and cultural enrichment.

The Neon Museum Artist in Residence program is made possible by presenting sponsor The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas with additional support provided by the Juhl and the Nevada Arts Council. This state agency receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the state of Nevada. For more information, including tour schedules and tickets, visit www.neonmuseum.org. Follow @NeonMuseum on Facebook and Twitter and @theneonmuseumlasvegas on Instagram.


The opening day of Simulations of the Sacred will be open on Friday, Feb. 11, and include a public reception with Barcia-Colombo from 4 to 7 p.m. The exhibit will then be open for free public viewing at Juhl Las Vegas (353 E. Bonneville Ave.) Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 12-26, noon to 6 p.m. or by appointment.