Daniel Hawkins - Radical Mountain: Embrace the Flatness


Installation view 1


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Installation view 5

Daniel Hawkins - Radical Mountain: Embrace the Flatness


September 12 – October 17, 2020

(Los Angeles, CA) - CMAY gallery is pleased to present Radical Mountain: Embrace The Flatness, a solo exhibition by Daniel Hawkins. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery, and the first of three projected Radical Mountain exhibitions planned for the next two years -- continuing Hawkins’ series of ambitious, narrative-laden, interdisciplinary projects.

Hawkins’ previous project Desert Lighthouse generated 3 exhibitions-worth of artifacts ranging from backdrop-scaled landscape paintings, faux-public sculptures, and intaglio investment certificates to LED video wall displays, performances, publications and a documentary film -- finally culminating with the actual permanent installation of a functioning 50-ft lighthouse in the Mojave desert.

The ostensible end product of the Radical Mountain project is another idiosyncratic translation of Land Art -- an alpine adventure film about the conquest of a summit with an elevation of zero, by a band of cult-like true believers led by the artist himself. With Radical Mountain still under development, it has already spawned two spin-off film projects: a making-of documentary about the aborted first attempt, and a fictionalized recounting of the auteur’s campaign to secure the acting services of Val Kilmer.

Over the course of these cinema experiments, Hawkins has amassed a large body of related works including

  • soil core samples allegedly from “the summit”,
  • a convoluted chart identifying evidence of the formation of a flat mountain linked to fluctuations in the Dow Jones Industrial Average,
  • a large cast aluminum landscape sculpture depicting the identified “probable” location of the flat mountain,
  • a meticulously hand-painted larger-than-life-size silhouette of a mountain climber as a promotional movie cut out for the completed film,
  • preliminary components of the planned Radical Mountain Recruitment Center, an immersive mixed-media installation to attract participants in the expedition, and more...

Radical Mountain: Embrace The Flatness presents a selection of these artifacts to articulate the parameters of this sprawling, ambitious exploration of landscape, cinema, Modernism, and New Age self-help movements.