Life sized replica of New Orleans shotgun house built in St. Paul, MN
Wood, Cardboard, Ice, Home furnishings
Deep North (Excerpt), HD Video, Total Running Time 8:09
As a counterpart to the many socio-cultural stigmas associated with the “Deep South,” Larson has imagined a “Deep North” region where deviance accrues in frigid temperatures, rural terrain and paranoiac isolation. In this work Larson recreates a fully furnished Louisiana-style shotgun shack in the frigid hinterlands of Minnesota and covers everything in “thick, unrelenting ice.” The only things that breathes in this uncanny edifice is a triad of industrious protagonists in felt uniforms as they transport tubes of ice from the front of the house to the back via a medieval-looking machine.
This device was born from Larson’s interest in a “force” that could move unimpeded through the structure while still shaping its constitution. In his words, “I wanted to install a machine inside as though it had grown up out of the house.” Like an unwieldy relic of the Middle Ages meets Rube Goldberg, this colossal contraption is one of many in Larson’s work where function becomes a secondary concern in surreal exercises of uncertain purpose. These large, clumsy technologies are very clearly not about streamlining or efficiency, but rather a slow, meditative, seemingly monotonous labor in which reason withers and rhythm is born.
– Steven Matijcio
Excerpt from Function is Redundant – Chris Larson 12-year survey at the Cincinnati Art Center