Exhibition at Haines Gallery on January 4 - February 24, 2018
David Maisel received his BA from Princeton University, his MFA from California College of the Arts and studied at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Proving Ground is Maisel’s latest body of work, 15 years in the making and his seventh solo exhibition at Haines Gallery.
Since its start in 1946, Dugway Proving Ground has performed as the heart of development and testing of chemical and biological weapons and defense programs. Dugway Proving Ground is larger than the state of Rhode Island, and remains terra incognita, unknown and unexplored territory. Maisel first encountered Dugway Proving Ground in 2003. After ten years of inquiring to the Pentagon, the artist was finally given incredibly rare approval to photograph the site in 2014.
The resulting photographs and videos in Proving Ground reference Land/Earth Art and the discourse of minimalism to describe the terrain in the American West, which has become heavy in toxicity levels, dispersal patterns, and hazardous to the human body.
South Ballistics Grid_04 (2014), pictured below is a monumental 40x40” 9 piece grid that depicts this testing site. The military markings appear as crosshatched grids and nested circles, elegant line drawings taken to a poisonous extreme.
In addition to these aerial photographs, they are further utilized in KYDOI- MOS: The Din of Battle (2017). Projected in Haines Gallery’s Project Space, this half-hour long video work pieces together over 50,000 individual frames of test grid images in a bewildering, rapid-fire series. Intensified by a hypnotic soundscape created in collaboration with composer Chris Kallmyer, KYDOIMOS presents a riveting viewing experience, reflecting and refracting the forces at work at Dugway Proving Ground, and enveloping the viewer within what Maisel calls "a site of dark creativity."
David used the clear matte dye sublimation for this project.
Blazing Editions was lucky enough to take part in the design, production, and installation of the artwork at the new think tank and innovation center in the Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD Center in New York City. SHIELD, which stands for Skin Health Investigation, Education, Longevity Development, aims to bring together creative thinkers from a wide range of disciplines to generate and advance fresh ideas to address some of the challenges associated with human longevity.
At SHIELD, ideators, thinkers, and dreamers come together to create, observe, test, and debate new ideas and promote radical thinking for life-long skin health, nutrition, and wellness. The large embossed fingerprint pictured below is an abstract representation of the Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD logo. Together with their motto, “Touch Tomorrow, Today,” one begins to more fully appreciate SHIELD’s objective to make its mark on the world of skin health, nutrition, and wellness.
During our visit to the SHIELD Center, our team was fascinated to discover that just as art can reflect what’s occurring inwardly on a cerebral level, the skin can also act as a mirror, reflecting what’s going on inside in the body, both physically and emotionally. The connection between the world of art and the work of the SHIELD Center extends much further.
Art brings joy, inspires and encourages us to think creatively, to push the boundaries of our thinking. Similarly, the ideation that takes place at SHIELD aims to enhance the quality of our lives, especially as we are living longer – and to explore the limitless creative potential of scientific and technological innovation. With this new understanding, it was easy for SHIELD to understand why artwork should have a prominent place at the Think Tank space. This actual living lab where, every day, creative thinkers dream up new solutions in skin health and wellness and clinicians are trained in the most cutting-edge treatments.
We were truly inspired by what we saw at SHIELD, and encourage you to check out their work. And when you stop by the Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD Center in New York City, you will truly feel the energy of being in the midst of a unique creative community…and enjoy some beautiful artwork too.