Locust Projects Presents Trio of Exhibitions for Art Week Miami Beach.
November 18, 2016
Locust Projects is proud to present The Comet and the Glacier, a new video opera and immersive installation by Pittsburgh-based artist Alexis Gideon. Originally trained as a musician and composer, Gideon is best known for his animated live video operas and related multidisciplinary artworks. Gideon’s exhibition at Locust Projects marks the first time that he has presented a new video opera within a specially conceived installation.
The Comet and the Glacier is a stop-motion film that explores a complex multi-layered narrative, revolving around an artist protagonist – based on Alexis himself – who discovers an old unpublished book called The Almanac. The manuscript had not been seen for years, and yet the artist seems to remember having read it as a child. To test whether it is indeed the same text, the character decides to write and illustrate a tale based on a title of one of the chapters from The Almanac's table of contents. The chosen chapter was titled The Comet and the Glacier. The exhibition draws the audience into the unsettling déjà vu of the base story, punctuating the project’s fiction with real historical events and aspects from Gideon’s own life.
The exhibition transforms Locust Projects into a surreal dreamscape, populated by the personal effects and relics from the creation of The Comet and the Glacier and Alexis’ own past, both real and fictive. These elements reinforce the complex narrative world of the artist’s invention, where reality and fiction are confused and interspersed along the many stratified layers of his story.
Gideon further pushes at the boundary between the real and the imagined with his live activation of the piece. He performs a musical arrangement that corresponds to the videos housed in each of the installation’s rooms, like chapters informing the overall narrative. In moments of virtuosity, the animated characters mouth along in sync to the lyrics sang and rapped by Gideon. He embodies the real and fictional Alexis at once, both part of the narrative and its creator, bridging all the interconnected layers of The Comet and the Glacier.
In the project space HUFFER COLLECTIVE will create the city’s first monumental pyramid, in a continuation of their attempts to annihilate Miami’s status as an “art world mecca for rich tourists”. Titled SAVE YOUR SELVES, the installation is largely autobiographical and itself commemorates nostalgia as a creative practice, examining the types of objects we choose to save or discard; remember or forget. To this end, HUFFER COLLECTIVE mined their homes, studios and storage spaces for personal artifacts that piece together their individual and collective memories; and construct an impression of Miami—as it once was, and how it now exists—through their formative experiences.
Each object’s origin is grounded in locations scattered around the city, from downtown to Wynwood to Hialeah. Biscayne Boulevard, in particular, is a locus of significance, and many of the artifacts reference the high crime, seedy motels, punk venues, underground clubs and graffiti that once distinguished this stretch of US1 and its surrounding neighborhoods. For the artists, recollection becomes a productive and tangible gesture, weaving multiple threads of memory to construct a cooperative understanding of their context and place: Miami is ultimately the revered motherland sanctified in this collaborative effort.
Also on view is Backsplash II an installation by Brooklyn-based artist Katie Bell that serves as a visual and conceptual sequel to her previous exhibition in the space, Backsplash. Utilizing wood, laminate, paint, foam, hot tub fragments, shock absorbers, cork, and rope, the artist has created physical, sculptural paintings that evoke the domestic sphere. The artist’s materials become abstracted from their original purpose, and act as ruins and relics.
Extended Gallery Hours During Art Week Miami Beach: November 28-December 3, 10am-7pm
Exhibitions on View Through January 21, 2017
Live Performances by Alexis Gideon November 29, 7:30pm & 9pm December 1, 10am & 8pm December 2, 11am December 3, 11am & 6pm December 4, 11am