Dust Storm (Dalhart, Texas) 2007

The two Dust Storm works (Dalhart, Texas and Manter, Kansas) both derive from a single archival photograph, dating from the 1930s and depicting one of the legendary dust storms that ravaged the American middle West during that time.
The Dust Bowl, as the region was thereby deemed, has been identified historically as a central player in the economic slump of that time – the Great Depression.

In the works, a dust storm permanently looms on the contemporary landscape. Unfolding according to an autonomous and unscripted pattern, it is conceived by the artist as a sculptural form.

Each Dust Storm required the recreation within the virtual of up to ten square miles (16km) of real landscape, including all the windmills, farms and fences found therein. Built from an archive of thousands of on site photographs, together with publicly available satellite data, the works each required over six months to produce, time which was devoted to being as accurate and rich with detail as the technology implemented would allow.

Producer: Werner Poetzelberger
Programmer: Matthias Strohmaier
Modelling: Daniel Felsner
Additional modelling: Christina Pilsl
Presentation design: Jakob Illera / Inseq, Vienna

Installed at: Equal, That Is, To The Real Itself
Marian Goodman Gallery, NY, USA
21 June - 28 July, 2007
a group show curated by Linda Norden

Exhibitions

Dust Storm (Dalhart) at PICA, Perth, Australia, 2011

16 February – 3 April 2011
'John Gerrrard'

The Perth Institute of Contemporary Art in partnership with the Perth International Arts Festival presents the first Australian solo exhibition by highly acclaimed Irish artist John Gerrard.

Gerrard has fast gained international recognition for his innovative work with slow-moving animated images of stark landscapes, which he describes as 'virtual sculptures'. The exhibition features meticulously created animated video works that depict in chilling realism infamous dust storms in Texas and Kansas during the 1930s, 24-hour circumnavigations of a fully automated pig farm in Kansas and the relentless movement of a lone oil derrick in Colorado. These scenes, which appear astonishingly real, are entirely fabricated by the artist and his studio using the new temporal medium of Realtime 3D, a technology principally employed by the gaming industry.
...
www.pica.org.au

Dust Storm (Dalhart) at Hirshhorn Museum + Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, USA, 2009

5 Novembe, 2009 – 31 May 2010
'Directions : John Gerrard'
Solo exhibition

John Gerrard’s (Irish, b. Dublin, 1974) works hover between fact and fiction.
They present actual scenes from desolate corners of the American landscape and unfold in real time so that patient viewers can experience the progression of the day from morning to night in each setting; however, what looks like a live shot is, in fact, a manipulated, fabricated image. Gerrard photographed every site from 360 degrees and then animated the stills into seamless cinematic panning shots. Instead of the overt conflicts so prominent in video games that use this same technology, the artist relates realistic elements—a pumping oil derrick, a pig processing plant, and a vintage storm photo superimposed on a real farmscape—with elegant subtlety. Yet while these works recall the stark illumination and precision of twentieth-century realist paintings by Charles Sheeler, Charles Demuth, and Edward Hopper, their heightened effects also underscore the bleak ramifications of depleting natural resources. Gerrard’s mesmerizing replicas re-imagine landscape art and offer meditations on the impact of our habits of consumption.
www.hirshhorn.si.edu

Dust Storm (Dalhart) at Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Alberta College of Art and Design, Canada, 2009

9 October – 12 December 2009
John Gerrard / Glenn Ligon
Solo exhibition

www.acad.ca

Dust Storm (Dalhart) at La Biennale di Venezia, Italy, 2009

7 June – 30 September, 2009
'John Gerrard, Animated Scene'
53rd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia
Solo show curated by Jasper Sharp and Patrick T. Murphy
site specific free standing projection wall
450 cm x 600 cm x 30 cm

Animated Scene presented three new works as large-scale projections. Each work introduced a virtual scene - astonishingly real but entirely and meticulously fabricated by the artist and his studio between 2007-09 – based on documentation of the agri-industrial landscapes of the American Great Plains, scattered with grain silos, pig production units and small towns.
...
www.johngerrard-venice.net

Dust Storm (Dalhart) at Marian Goodman Gallery, NY, USA, 2007

21 June – 28 July, 2007
'Equal, That Is, To The Real Itself'
Group show curated by Linda Norden

'Equal, That Is, To The Real Itself' takes its title from the maverick mid-20th century poet, Charles Olson, but the larger idea at play is a rethinking of the Brechtian, avant-garde assertion that every urgent circumstance requires its own form. Olson's source for the essay to which he gave this title, however, was not Brecht, but John Keats, whose celebrated notion of "negative capability" and disparaging of what he described as the "irritable searching after fact" incited Olson to lobby instead for "congruence" between art and experience. Each of the artists in the exhibition conveys through their work a palpable sense of urgency provoked by some direct, lived experience or close observation of the world. Each artist, that is, posits a correlate, something made and shown which feels 'equal,' that is, to a "real.".
...
www.mariangoodman.com

Research

Response

Press

McKenna, Alix: "Directions: John Gerrard at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC", California Literary Review, November 16, 2009

Gopnik, Blake: "Avoiding Mechanical Overload", The Washington Post, November 5, 2009  

Egan, Maura: “Screen Savers”, New York Times Style Magazine, September 2009

Donoghue, Katy: "John Gerrard: Animated Scene" Whitewall, July 2, 2009

Laster, Paul & Von Hase, Bettina: “Blogs and Stories: The Biennale’s Best”, www.thedailybeast.com, 18 June 2009

Gopnik, Blake "A Most 'Animated' Eco-Critique",  The Washington Post, June 9, 2009

Tonchi, Stefano "Venice | Slowly But Surely", The New York Times' T Magazine, June 9, 2009

Wolin, Joseph, R.: "Introducing: John Gerrard", Modern Painters Magazine, November 2006, 2007

Goodbody, Bridget, L.: "Equal, That Is, to the Real Itself", The New York Times, July 6, 2007

Wolin, Joseph R.: "Equal, That Is, to the Real Itself", Time Out New York, July 5-11, 2007

2011 · DUST STORM (DALHART) / PICA, PERTH, AUSTRALIA
2011 · DUST STORM (DALHART) / PICA, PERTH, AUSTRALIA
2009 · DUST STORM (DALHART) / LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA, ITALY
Photo: Michelle Lamanna
2009 · DUST STORM (DALHART) / LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA, ITALY
Photo: Michelle Lamanna
2009 · DUST STORM (DALHART) / LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA, ITALY
Photo: Michelle Lamanna
2007 · DUST STORM (DALHART) / MARIAN GOODMAN GALLERY, NY, USA
2007 · DUST STORM (DALHART) / MARIAN GOODMAN GALLERY, NY, USA
Working Drawing for Dust Storm (Dalhart, Texas) 2007 giglee print on hahnemuehle photorag 80 x 51 cm Edition of 15 + 5AP
Courtesy The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin
Courtesy The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin
Courtesy The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

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