Locust Projects, Christy Gast: Inholdings
Locust Projects is pleased to present Inholdings, an exhibition of new work by Miami-based artist Christy Gast. The two works in this exhibition, a full-scale textile replica of a Nike Hercules missile and a single-channel video entitled War Drums (Nuclear Clock), refer to the Hole-in-the-Donut region of the Everglades. The works in Inhold- ings shift the focus between natural, cultural and desired histories by appropriating craft traditions to document a place.
The missile sculpture, Gast’s largest textile work to date, is suspended in the main gallery as if stored in a hangar awaiting activation. It is constructed from botanical textile designed and printed by the artist, which overlays im- ages of tomato bushes, Brazilian pepper trees and lovegrass. Remnants of agriculture, invasive species and native flora compete for surface space and reference particular moments of conflict in the landscape.
The single channel video installation War Drums was shot in one of the few existing stands of pine forest in Dade County. The camera pans the horizon in a continuous circle once per minute, moving like the second hand of a clock. At 12 o’clock the camera passes a woman playing traditional Afro Cuban rhythms on a conga. At 6 o’clock, the camera pans another drummer playing snare cadences, military drum corps style. Embodying the cultural conflicts of the Cold War, the drummers pass beats between themselves as the listen deeply to, and in- terpret, the sounds of the forest.
Hole-in-the-Donut, the site Gast examines for Inholdings, is marked by invasions and colonizations, both ecologi- cal and geopolitical. It is a deforested pine rockland in the Everglades that was plowed for tomato fields in the early 1900’s. A HM69 Nike Missile base located there housed three nuclear warheads and was on high alert dur- ing the Cuban Missile Crisis. The base closed in 1979; the farms foreclosed decades earlier. Brazilian pepper invaded the fallow fields, and eradication required scraping the fields to the fossilized limestone bedrock. Love- grass is the first native plant to recolonize this moonlike terrain.
Gast’s work stems from extensive research and site visits to places she thinks of as “contested landscapes,” which exhibit evidence of conflict in human desires. She traces, translates or mirrors those conflicts through her art practice.
ABOUT CHRISTY GAST
Christy Gast’s work has been exhibited at museums and galleries internationally, including MoMA/P.S.1 Contem- porary Art Center, Artist’s Space, and Harris Lieberman Gallery in New York; PAMM, the Bass Museum of Art, the de la Cruz Collection, Casa Lin and Gallery Diet in Miami; L.A.C.E. and High Desert Test Sites in Los Angeles; Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich; and Centro Cultural Matucana 100 in Santiago, Chile. She is currently engaged in an ongoing research residency in the Subantarctic forests of Tierra del Fuego, Chile. Since 2010 she has directed the Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) program, bringing artists to live and work in the Everglades for a month at a time. Gast is represented by Gallery Diet in Miami.
Locust Projects is a not for profit exhibition space dedicated to providing contemporary visual artists the freedom to experiment with new ideas without the pressures of gallery sales or limitations of conventional exhibition spaces. Local, national and international artists are encouraged to create site-specific installations as an extension of their representative work. Locust Projects supports the local community through educational initiatives and programming that are free to the public.
Download PDF HERE