Desiccated Capitols

DESICCATED CAPITOLS-1

Installation view 1

Metabolic Studios: Optics Division

Lauren Bon, Tristan Duke, Richard Nielson

DESICCATED CAPITOLS-2

Installation view 2

Metabolic Studios: Optics Division

Lauren Bon, Tristan Duke, Richard Nielson

DESICCATED CAPITOLS-3

Installation view 3

Metabolic Studios: Optics Division

Lauren Bon, Tristan Duke, Richard Nielson

DESICCATED CAPITOLS-4

Installation view 4

Metabolic Studios: Optics Division

Lauren Bon, Tristan Duke, Richard Nielson

DESICCATED CAPITOLS-5

Installation view 5

Metabolic Studios: Optics Division

Lauren Bon, Tristan Duke, Richard Nielson

Desiccated Capitols

Optics Division of the Metabolic Studio

(Lauren Bon, Richard Nielsen, and Tristan Duke)

Desiccated Capitols

October 31, 2020 – January 9, 2021

(Los Angeles, CA) - CMAY gallery is pleased to present Desiccated Capitols, a solo exhibition by the collective, Optics Division of the Metabolic Studio that includes artists Lauren Bon, Richard Nielsen, and Tristan Duke. This is the collective’s first exhibition with the gallery.

In December of 2018 began the longest shutdown of the federal government in United States history.  At the center of the 35-day shutdown was a partisan dispute over funding for the US-Mexico border wall in the federal budget.

Over the course of the impasse, Optics Division carried out an artist action, immersing a series of their mural-sized Liminal prints of the US Capitol Building in long, shallow reflecting pools.  As the shutdown continued, these giant photographs stewed in the swamp of their own decaying emulsion. Only when a budget for funding the government was finally passed, five weeks later, were the prints allowed to dry.  The resulting works trace a record of social/political breakdown.

These decayed capitols are a continuation of the Optics Division’s Desiccated body of work –inspired by the extreme environment of the Owen’s dry lakebed.  The desiccation process commemorates sites of distress while also, scar-like, suggesting possibilities for healing and transformation through trauma.