Christy Gast's work stems from extensive research and site visits to places she thinks of as “contested landscapes”. These range from beaver-ravaged sub-Antarctic forests, to a mountain in Phoenix undergoing a politicized name change, to the extensively engineered canals and dikes around Lake Okeechobee that divert water from the Everglades. She is interested in places where there is evidence of conflict in human desires. She traces, translates or mirrors those conflicts through her art practice.
The result is a body of work in somewhat divergent media: textile sculptures, performance, video installation, a song cycle. Reworking objects made by anonymous makers such as folk textiles, beaver-gnawed sticks, or prehistoric shell tools belies a belief that histories can be embedded in seemingly mute objects and artifacts. Gast's video works are improvised explorations of particular sites, filmed from an intimate and corporeal point of view. When taken together, her work constitutes a sort of out-of-scale cabinet of curiosities. Often, the objects or documents she creates take the role of a copy, albeit an uncanny copy dislocated from the original through shifts in scale, gender, material, texture or medium.
Christy Gast's work has been exhibited at museums and galleries internationally, including MoMA/P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Artist’s Space, and Harris Lieberman Gallery in New York; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and High Desert Test Sites in California; Gallery Diet, Miami Art Museum and the Bass Museum of Art in Miami; Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich; and Centro Cultural Matucana 100 in Santiago, Chile. Since 2010 she has directed the Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) program, bringing artists to live and work in the Everglades for a month at a time.
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