Monday, March 19, 2012

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

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.”