Who throws their sister to the wolves under the bus? Installation views, Platform Gallery, June 2014. Images courtesy Mark Woods Photography.

Who throws their sister to the wolves under the bus?

Platform Gallery is pleased to present our second solo exhibition of works by Marc Dombrosky. “This project explores the construction of fragmentary narratives and the simultaneous erosion of memory through encounters with gathered objects and embroidered works on found papers.

“Related through their shared dislocation, repurposing, and multiple histories, these things will align for a brief time together in this exhibition space then depart, sometimes over and over again. Pieces utilized in previous works reappear here—transformed, modified. The embroidery on found scraps that has been the focus of the work for the past decade is still active, channeling then dispersing meaning through the groups. It may be the valet key to the Camry. I hope we can still be friends when all this is over. 

“Taken on their own, many of the objects included in the exhibition are the familiar things that I live with daily in our house now—a broken fireplace insert, an old cassette tape, a reproduction side table (a reproduction of both Eileen Gray’s original design as well as the table on my porch), fur-lined gloves, Michigan black walnuts, sticks.

“But some of these things came from somewhere else, somewhere hidden: the sunglasses found on the beach in Florida already covered with barnacles; the railroad spikes and nails buried near old track line in the Tacoma Tide Flats; the plastic bags from the empty lot outside of the detention center in downtown Las Vegas, already emptied, their contents not even suggested. They hold together—briefly—with frailty, doubt, loss, and faith.

“Most of these things I’ve picked up without ever considering what will happen to them, or how they’ll fit together—even temporarily—with anything else.  Some I’ve held onto for years now, waiting to see a connection. Like the severed ear in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, perhaps these objects are all portals to this other, hidden world. One of the found embroidered notes says it best: ‘Hi, It’s been such a long time since I ordered these items, I kind of forgot how—is this right?’ ”

Shadows kept separate, shy of the light

Shadows kept separate, shy of the light are two parallel projects; two concurrent, adjacent, and linked exhibitions sharing a common title. The same name referring to two different states, inhabiting two different areas at a single location. Passing through two rooms that were once examination rooms or emergency rooms, now guided by neon, or protected by Cerberus. Guided to the damned.

Experiencing transitions, both artists take their shared relocation and dislocations as starting points for these installations. Searching for grounding or meaning in these transitions is both subject and object here; their spaces of dislocation are populated with confusion, anxiety, deceit, and fatigue. Some of the objects here you’ve seen before, like ghosts; fragments isolated and arranged. Some are markers and some are not. Guardians with chattering teeth looking in three directions at once, dispelling hope and pointing towards any ways out. Bits and pieces of past lives arranged on the walls, strewn on the floor. Neon DRIVE THRU OPEN 24 HOURS.

Maybe those two rocks were transported out of the Nevada Test Site. Maybe those wooden skewers were picked up in a roadside graveyard in rural Michigan. Not marking graves, but marking an area that marks graves. Maybe the metal tie binding the skewers was picked up from a park in downtown Chicago dedicated to cancer survivors. Maybe it wasn’t. Could the swollen, pulped paper pad actually have been recovered from the infamous grassy knoll in Dallas or that jacket pulled off a bus driver at Kent State? A single sequin picked off the floor of the Liberace Museum? Crumpled, embossed stationery from Golden Nugget covered with glossy graphite strokes—homemade graphite nuggets? Glass lenses magnifying nothing, or maybe magnifying magnification. Plastic bags scrawled with the names of unwitting (or witting) former prisoners housing objects perhaps never associated with them. Or perhaps the articles contained are the reason they were incarcerated (or released). Do any of these hold the key? Are they the key?

Press release for 5th Wall Gallery, Las Vegas, NV. Opening November 2, 2012. 

Forever Staycation at UNLV

University of Nevada Las Vegas Department of Art is pleased to present Forever Staycation, an exhibition of new works by Shannon Eakins, Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Candidate, on view at the Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery on the UNLV campus from March 5-9, 2012.

The exhibition inventory is a cacophony of sculptural projects complementing and interfering with one another: a thirty-foot tall inflatable gorilla grafted to inflatable dancing figures all being engorged and deflated by noisy industrial drum fans; a pack of robotic toys competing with one another while covered in frosting, suspended in/on a series of moving sheet cakes wired to pyrotechnics, motors, and compressed gases; a sexy local server rimming found glasses in 24K gold dust next to a churning margarita machine; hotwired track lights changing the atmosphere of the room randomly and incessantly, synchronized to a soundtrack of club hits that are pulse-pounding yet now rendered silent; antiquated circuitry lashed to a tortured toy pony—a caricature of a beast of burden itself burdened by a broken neck, cropped and spray-painted hair and now poorly saddled with amplifiers, cables and outlets all bound together with a leather belt.  

These projects are designed as a response to—and now a competitor with—the barrage of spectacles that surround us daily here. Think Fremont Street’s immense canopy alive with lit images illustrating the Doors’ Break on Through while tourists fly through on zip lines over bands dressed like Alice Cooper near mermaids giving away faux Mardi Gras beads across the way from catatonic cabaret dancers gyrating on top of bars serving beer in plastic footballs next to artisans carving portraits out of soft clay illuminated by the erratic white flashes of a LED panel peep-show sign, all at once EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

Eakins’ installation is the culmination of her work over the past three years in Las Vegas, presenting a cohesive survey of her artistic research in the Master’s Program. Investigating behavioral models, aggression, and temporal/spatial dynamics, the kinetic objects and performances are designed to be acting upon, through, and in spite of one another. Describing the project she writes, “Utilizing the exhibition space on campus to offer a mirror (albeit one that is skewed, distorted, and utterly dystopic) to our community and the challenges it faces is a difficult, potentially antagonistic proposition. Deflated mega-gorillas and fans blowing hot air into nowhere or nothing are certainly allegorical devices, intoning economic and climatic turmoil. It is always difficult to say how this work affects the community but offering a platform for discourse around these issues is at the heart of this entire project.”

Shannon Eakins moved to Las Vegas from Tacoma, where she worked as an educator, glassblower, and dog trainer. Her recent projects address mammalian behavioral models, fear-based targets, and our shared, societal distance to nature. http://www.shannoneakins.com