Spinello Projects is pleased to present Slow Burn, the gallery’s first solo exhibition from Miami-based artist Cara Despain. Much of the identity of a country and its attendant cultural disposition can be attributed to settlement and the acquisition of land and ultimately, wealth–in the US and elsewhere. These things historically have often been won by the use of force–both overtly violent and invisibly perpetrated.
The American west in particular contains narratives of prosperity, disappointment, destruction, with attendant racism, classism, and sexism that persist in our national and cultural identity as a whole–from Western films and Warner Bros. cartoons to the global image of the romanticized American cowboy in panoramic vistas, to the lawns we keep on our property.
Slow Burn nods to the tropes used to portray this dimension of identity in a simple way. Set against panoramic desert landscapes, as a four-channel immersive video installation, a fuse burns endlessly across the foreground from left to right. This implies an explosion that never arrives and can be applied in a broader context — the burning wick surely will ignite dynamite (to open a mine, to make a road cut, to destroy a building, to alter land) or detonate a bomb of some kind (to kill, to subdue, to destroy), yet you never see it. It is quietly on a path of destruction, and the anticipation is an infinity loop that repeats itself in perpetuity, un-sated.
Cara Despain is an artist and writer originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, and has been living and working in Miami for four years. Her recent selected exhibitions include Cast Set at Emerson Dorsch Gallery, Miami; Auto Body at the Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Locally Sourced at the American University Museum in Washington, D.C.; and Voces Feroces in Santiago, Chile. She also exhibited during Miami Art Week in December 2015 at Fantastical Vizcaya at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Littlest Sister at Spinello Projects, and No Man’s Land at the Rubell Family Collection. She is anticipating forthcoming solo exhibitions at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the Contemporary Utah Art Center in Salt Lake City in Spring 2016. Despain has written for several art publications, including The Miami Rail and Line Script Diary, among others. She was recently featured in a short documentary series about Miami artists for Art Loft, WPBT in October, which will screen at the Miami International Film Festival in March 2016.
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