December 1, 2018 to January 30, 2019
The work of Wisconsin artists Shana McCaw and Brent Budsberg explores ruins as common ground upon which the conflicts and tensions linking past and present may quarrel. Old buildings may have crumbled from age, or the ruins may be the result of war, fire or earthquake.
The strongly cinematic scale model in Remnants raises the question of ancestral homes (Whose ancestors? What homes? Who are we? Who are they?) and presents an apocalyptic landscape after an unspecified catastrophe. The “sticks”, “bricks” and “beams” of the installation appear burned or water-damaged, and the sand dunes around them give a symbolic, unnatural aura to the work. One could imagine the Proxy Gallery to be a scale model itself, in which case the building would be full-size. The very visible “walls” of the gallery make for a bizarre and surreal, if not familiar, trope in which Culture in Nature is represented as Nature in Culture. The work can be understood in terms of such tensions and formal collisions that remain unresolved rather than neatly concluded.