Shannon Eakins

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

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?
          
Now showing at 5th Wall Gallery with Marc Dombrosky

Monday, April 30, 2012

Forever Staycation Experience



Special thanks to Jesse Barrios for putting this documentary together.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Forever Staycation - Homage to the End of the World Cake (2)






video

Forever Staycation - Homage to the End of the World Cake






animatronic toy animals, iced sheet cakes, motors, steel, lighting, candy cannon, flash cannons, custom signage, mirrors, timers. Cake was activated March 9, at 8pm.

Forever Staycation - It Girl





featuring Olivia Jane Huffman, 24K gold flakes, rented margarita machine, margarita mix, mirrored table, glasses recovered from Las Vegas Boulevard during the period of December 2011-March 2012

Forever Staycation - In the Air Tonight Experience





repaired drum kit, DVD player, headphones, gallery visitors March 9, recording of Phil Colin's In the Air Tonight from the Miami Vice soundtrack, gorilla hand stool

Forever Staycation - Vampire/Empire





30' tall inflatable gorilla, timer, three tube men, blower fans, strobe light, extension cords, infrared occupancy sensors

Forever Staycation - Intro Wall





color organs, incandescent bulbs, modified track lighting, wiring, broken robotic pony, iPod (featuring soundtrack compiled by Lance Smith)




Monday, March 05, 2012

Forever Staycation Postcards




Forever Staycation


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 electronic objects 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.”

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

SUPEREAGLE




Press Release:
University of Nevada Las Vegas Department of Art is pleased to present SUPEREAGLE, a new exhibition by Shannon Eakins, Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Candidate. SUPEREAGLE will be on view at the Grant Hall Gallery on the UNLV campus from January 20-21.
Eakins’ installation is the culmination of her work during the past eighteen months in Las Vegas, presenting a mid-way survey of her artistic research in the Master’s Program. Investigating behavioral models, aggression, and temporal/spatial dynamics, the installation consists of new inflatable objects and looped video projects acting upon, through, and in spite of one another.
SUPEREAGLE is a conjuring and translation of Freud’s notion of the Super-ego, realized as an erratically transforming inflatable zebra, looped projection, and series of transportable televisions broadcasting linked videos depicting carefully staged acts of faux-predation. As Eakins has described, the title potentially evokes a child’s attempted articulation of the word (and concept) “Super-ego”—as though misspeaking may actually describe and offer a new—super—totemic figure for addressing the phenomena of attempting to understand and illustrate Freud’s model of intellectual enhancement. SUPEREAGLE? Are you serious? Super-Eagle! Yes! Like the children’s toys that are the subject of her videos (plush wolves disembowel prey and are then themselves disemboweled in a continuous loop of stop-motion trauma), her work attempts to not merely illustrate but rather convey the challenges of manifesting Freud’s visions in our changing world. We are unequipped, we are weak, we are trying, but somehow we always fall short.

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. And SUPEREAGLES.
Videos:




Bellagio Pillow Project