Michael Swaney

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Currently on view at Locust Projects in Miami, FL are new sculptural collages by Canadian-born, Barcelona-based artist Michael Swaney. The exhibition, Safari Arc Performance, features artwork created during the Fountainhead Residency, in which the artist focused his material selection on found and recycled objects from Biscayne Bay. While Swaney is no stranger to creating work with recycled materials–often large collages–he did state, “I was quite taken aback at how disgustingly messy the bay’s shore was, and also grateful that I could build almost an entire installation on this basis.” Once displayed, the sculptures begin to act as artifacts that have been hypothetically unearthed to offer insight into the cultural rituals of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Swaney creates hilarious cultural connections within the work, negating any serious overtones that may have been present. The arrangement, which is built to mimic a museum display, is complete with its own faux-viewer and an over-sized styrofoam humidity control device. Other works on display culturally refer to Jar Jar Binks, Cheech, and Mr. Peanut. The exhibition successfully mixes humor with more serious issues of environmentalism, institutionalism of objects and cultural investigation past and present.

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Swaney is represented by Iguapop Gallery in Barcelona, Atelier Gallery in Vancouver and Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects in Toronto. The artist has an upcoming exhibition with the Shooting Gallery in San Francisco in April.

Safari Arc Performance will be on view at Locust Projects through February 28th, 2009.

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