The Raft

Rico Gatson & Chris Larson

Raft w Rico and Chris


Raft Install2

The Raft - Dylan

Dylan, Stones, Hendrix

Archival Inkjet Print, 24″ x 24″

The Raft - Byrds

The Byrds, Charles, Williams

Archival Inkjet Print, 24″ x 24″

The Raft - Clash

The Clash, Kennedy, Guthrie

Archival Inkjet Print, 24″ x 24″

Louvin Brothers, The Clash

Louvin Brothers (left), The Clash (right)

Archival Inkjet Print, 24″ x 24″

Mos Def (left), Neil Young (right)

Archival Inkjet Print, 24″ x 24″

Kennedy (left), Odetta (right)

Archival Inkjet Print, 24″ x 24″

The Raft (Excerpt), Total Running Time 174:18

The Raft is a multi-channel video and sound installation. Gatson and Larson have been friends and colleagues for almost 30 years since they studied art together at Bethel University in St. Paul Minnesota. Referencing the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Gatson and Larson perform on top of a moveable platform measuring ten feet square. Surrounded by various detritus, they play records from their personal collections spanning the legacy of popular music. Selections range from Mahalia Jackson and Patsy Cline to The Clash and Fats Domino. The role of music has played an important and instrumental role in both artists’ lives, studio practices, and relationships. The setting is Larson’s studio located near the Mississippi River, in St. Paul, MN. The studio is traditionally seen as a sacred space, the place where ideas are generated and the work is created. Gatson and Larson see this location as essential to re-envisioning aspects of this American tale.

The exhibition consists of four projections. The central piece is a three-channel video with a duration of 3 hours. The fourth projection is an endlessly looped video filmed on the Mississippi River in the glistening late afternoon sunlight.

– Sheila Dickinson

The Brooklyn Rail: Rico Gatson and Chris Larson at The Boiler/Pierogi Gallery