Ghost of a Dream “When the Smoke Clears: The Fair Housing Project”

Smack Mellon

poster for Ghost of a Dream “When the Smoke Clears: The Fair Housing Project”

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Smack Mellon presents Ghost of a Dream’s latest installation, When the Smoke Clears: The Fair Housing Project.

Ghost of a Dream breathes new life into discarded materials once destined for a landfill with their multimedia installation When the Smoke Clears: The Fair Housing Project. Refuse dug up from the heaps of trash created by art fairs from across the US are reclaimed as building materials to create a small house and other art objects. Surrounding the house, a multi-channel video shows the structure situated by a lake and slowly reveals its unnatural disappearance from its previous location. Making a comparison to the housing market, the work questions the long-term sustainability of the art market and the wasteful nature of the art fairs’ capitalistic ventures.

When the Smoke Clears: The Fair Housing Project explores the position of art fairs in the contemporary art world and their effect on the artist, collector, spectator, the art itself, and the world surrounding these things. Using collected detritus from art fairs across the United States we have built a small house and a series of other objects and paintings to draw focus on both the wastefulness and the impact of the art fair system.

Art Fairs have become a necessary evil in the art world with almost every major city in the world hosting one and vying to be the biggest and most elite. Many galleries now make over two thirds of their yearly sales at fairs, keeping the art and its directors on the road traveling around the world to stay connected to their collectors. Art fairs give great exposure to artists and allows collectors and visitors to view a multicultural swath of the art world all within one tent or expo center. The problem with art fairs is it can be a terrible way to see art, packed together, each piece struggling to make its presence known. And after the last collector leaves and the artwork is packed up, there are mountains of trash left behind.

Beginning in 2013, we began collecting this ephemera, making paintings and installations, and then finally a small house with the interior dimensions matching a standard art fair booth. The house contains paintings made of art fair carpets and mounted on discarded crate lids. The paintings, layered with pattern and texture, are hung “fair style”, crowded and competing with each other.

The multi channeled video encircling the house shows it in an idyllic setting, in a field by a lake being enveloped by a heavy fog, and disappearing as the fog clears. With this work we question the viability of the market, its long-term sustainability, and its relation to the cycles of boom and bust that often correspond in the housing markets.

Ghost of a Dream is the collaborative efforts of Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was. Their most recent exhibitions were at are Crystal Bridges Museum, The Telfair Museum and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. In Europe they are currently represented by Galerie Paris Beijing (Paris) and Christoffer Egelund (Copenhagen). Ghost of a Dream has received support from Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, Joan Mitchell Foundation and Jerome Foundation and received the first annual Young Masters Art Prize in London, 2009. Ghost of a Dream has attended residencies in Berlin, Basel, Beijing, France, various cities around the United States, and have recently co-founded a new artist residency, ArtGarda, in northern Italy.



from September 24, 2016 to October 30, 2016

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