Ghost of a Dream: I know a place where they perform miracles

On View: January 20 - March 17, 2024

Truland and Experimental Galleries, Lower Level

The Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington is proud to present I know a place where they perform miracles, an exhibition by the collaborative duo Ghost of a Dream. The exhibition includes a new seven-channel rotating video installation that is part of the ongoing project Aligned by the Sun as well as new composite photographs from their series Is this Paradise…. 

For Aligned by the Sun, Ghost of a Dream has invited artists from all over the world to send them short videos of the sun at the end of the day taken in their home nation, with the goal of including an artist representing each of the 193 United Nations member states, as well as non-member nations and territories. The iteration of the project presented at MoCA Arlington as aligned by the sun (within the revolution) includes artists from 223 geographic locations. The immersive video installation invites viewers to stand in the room as the sun in these 223 locations sets around them.

Aligned by the Sun encompasses contributions that are tied to formal nation-states, to territories, and to regions whose national identity is in dispute. Other contributions are tied to indigenous groups or to other ethnic or cultural identities that are deeply rooted in specific locations. As a collaborative artwork, the project is ongoing and artists whose home geographies are not yet represented are invited to submit their own videos for inclusion in future versions of the project.

Aligned by the Sun is intentionally open-ended and impossible to complete, as geographic boundaries shift and new states and territories emerge. The project’s expansive definition of ‘nation’ further emphasizes the shifting, historically contingent–yet immensely consequential–nature of national borders and identities. At the same time, the project, with its simple prompt to document the sunset, emphasizes global connection. As the artists explain: “As borders have shifted, one truth has remained constant: we inhabit a single planet that is sustained by the light and warmth of the sun.”

The composite photographs from Is this Paradise…. are created using images of climate disasters collected from news stories over recent years, including images of forest fires, melting icebergs, mining activities, dead coral reefs, deforestation, and waste from the fast fashion industry. These images are organized by subject matter and then combined, collaged, overlayed, and desaturated. The resulting images are otherworldly and haunting, both weightier and more ethereal than when viewed individually.

In their distinct ways, both bodies of work address the interconnectedness of the planet as a source of both hope and despair. Created from images of ongoing environmental crises and sunsets that hint at an uncertain tipping point, the artworks serve as a visual reminder of the challenges the world faces. Through both works, the artists call for collective action, suggesting that our shared reliance on the earth and its resources might act as an inspiration for collective action in the face of environmental catastrophe.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Adam Eckstrom
b. 1974, South St. Paul, MN
Lives and works in Wassaic, NY

Lauren Was
b. 1977, Philadelphia, PA
Lives and works in Wassaic, NY

Ghost of a Dream is the collaborative project of Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom founded in 2008. Ghost of a Dream’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions at the MassArt Art Museum (Boston, MA), Ackland Art Museum (Chapel Hill, NC), Hunterdon Art Museum (Clinton, NJ), and at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center (Colorado Springs, CO) and group exhibitions at Crystal Bridges Museum (Bentonville, AR), Courtauld Museum (London, UK), Minneapolis Institute of Art, Frist Center for Visual Arts (Nashville, TN), The Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC), Museum of Craft and Design (San Francisco), and The Textile Museum of Canada (Toronto, CA) among other venues.

Ghost of a Dream has received support from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Artist Resource Trust, and Jerome Foundation. They received the first annual Young Masters Art Prize in London and have participated in artist residencies in Berlin, Basel, Beijing, France, and venues throughout the US including Bemis Center, ISCP, Smack Mellon, Wassaic Project, the Joan Mitchell Foundation AIR in New Orleans, and Elsewhere Museum. They will attend the Rauschenberg Foundation Residency in 2024. Ghost of a Dream’s work has been featured in publications including The New York Times, Vogue Magazine, Hyperallergic, BlouinArtinfo, ArtFCity, W Magazine, Interview Magazine, and World of Interiors.

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