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Centennial Rust

Opening Reception:

Thursday, March 9th from 6-9pm 

Gallery Hours:

Saturdays 12-5pm or by appointment

March 9, 2023 - April 8, 2023

Show Catalog

Both her body and her vehicle’s body will decay, though only one into rust. Both their fates are by design. To be accelerated, but not reversed.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Demolition Derby and General Motors’ invention of aesthetic retooling, Centennial Rust considers the lifespan of vehicles through the manipulated processes by which they are produced, preserved, and pressured into entropy. Multimedia artist Christine McDonald situates herself and her vehicle amidst the complicated relationship between production and destruction while investigating the origin of and destiny for obsolete vehicles. She depends on her vehicle as a tool for understanding the psychological and material conditions of its existence, and draws specific inspiration from moments of its decay– the forming rust and dripping residue which slowly reveal themselves.  

Connecting the tactics of the automobile industry to the sports and sites which arise out of its overproduction– specifically the Automobile Daredevil Demolition Derby, Aerobatics, and the Tucson, Arizona Airplane Boneyard– Christine McDonald interprets her own temporality. She uses archive, video, sculpture, installation, and pigment created from disintegrated car body to explore the symbiotic relationship between production and destruction.

The steel bubbles racing through space, accelerating the body, “maximizing” the briefness of human life, have a destination as certain as our own.

Sometimes visible around the wheel wells of the automobile, in the undercarriage of an aircraft, down the side of a building by the gutter; the disintegrating steel overcoat we build for our bodies withers into reddish, orangey, brown stains.

Christine McDonald is a Brooklyn-based, multimedia artist and writer. She has a BFA (Sculpture + Art History) from Tyler School of Art and Architecture and an MFA (Studio Art) from Cornell University. She is the 2021 recipient of the John Hartell Award for Art.

Christine McDonald’s research and studio practice are driven by the public and social contracts associated with transportation. Deeply rooted in metaphor and possibility, her work proposes the existence of a “steel overcoat” for which humans safeguard and transport their bodies through space. Her most recent artworks are road works—infrastructures generated with site-specific materials and motifs. Evident in her use of pace, boundaries, and material, she contemplates the individuality, risk, and social constructs generated by transportation. Her metaphorical infrastructures–sculptures, actions, and words–propose questions such as: what does it feel or look like to intentionally bump the road? How do the materials we use most commonly in transport, such as steel, transport themselves through different states of place and being? And do clues exist in alchemical material research?

This exhibition was curated by Danielle Degon Rhodes.

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