Cara Despain: Cast Set

May 17, 2014 - July 31, 2014

Opening reception May 17, 2014, 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.


Emerson Dorsch is proud to present Cast Set, a project by Cara Despain.

In Cast Set, Despain layers sound, animation, and sculpture to approximate the experience of place in time. Exploiting tropes of the American West that are embedded in our collective psyche, the work conveys a doubling of mythos that is nostalgic, eerie, and dimly familiar. The identity of Despain as a native Utahn is evident in her practice, motivating both conceptual and material choices. In Cast Set she constructs a world that at once embodies the type of optimism associated with the new frontier, and the loss that colors its inevitable settlement. She uses concrete, salt, and fools gold (pyrite ore) to reference the reconfiguring of land for mining, the promise of gold that conflates with a promise of salvation and religious freedom, and the certain disappointment of false hope.

Cara Despain (b.1983, Salt Lake City, Utah) holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Utah. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Central Utah Art Center, Salt Lake City Biennial, Art Platform (Los Angeles), Torrance Art Museum, Jancar Gallery (Los Angeles), Pierogi Gallery (Brooklyn), For Your Art (Los Angeles), and Museum of Contemporary Art (Miami). Despain was selected for the Salt Lake City Mayor Award in the visual arts in 2012. She founded and operated GARFO Art Center in Salt Lake City, 2009-11. Cara lives and works in Miami, where she holds a position as the Foundation Education Manager at the Rubell Family Collection, and is a contributing writer for the Miami Rail.


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