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."