Crush Collision (Excerpt), HD Video, Total Running Time 12:10
Larson drew inspiration for his exhibition from ragtime composer Scott Joplin’s song “The Great Crush Collision.” Joplin wrote the song after attending a historic media event on September 15, 1896 in which a collision took place between two 32-ton locomotives in the town of Crush, Texas. The staged crash represented the clash of two cultures—the North and the South. It thrilled spectators as they watched the latest technology and economic power explode into a ball of flame and twisted metal. In this exhibition, Larson’s conceptual “collisions” present a conversation between different and similar worlds where people, ideals, politics, and art are constantly colliding. This concept is best reflected in Larson’s most recent sculpture, a wooden house of similar proportions to the cardboard house, is found lying on its side in an adjacent gallery. Painted flat black, the toppled house represents the aftermath of a collision rather than a literal collision.
At the center of the exhibition is Larson’s film, Crush Collision. The twelve-minute film is a complex examination of the dualities of human existence. Set in a house floating on water, the film features musician Grant Hart (formerly of the bands Hüsker Dü and Nova Mob), performance artist Britta Hallin, local percussionist Michael Bland (formerly with Prince and The New Power Generation and Soul Asylum), and Minneapolis gospel quartet, the Knight Family. The film traces two story lines from different times running parallel in the same location. The first story follows Hart and Hallin as they toil on an elaborate, archaic-looking machine that endlessly creates a circle of clay. The other finds Hart on the house’s upper level while the Knight family says grace and sings below him. The film is a meditative study of both dark and light, and of the physical and spiritual. Filmed by Jason Spafford with sound design by Alex Oana.
— Tamatha Sopinksi Perlman, excerpt from exhibition catalog