Work by 2015 Cape Cod Modern House Trust (CCMHT) artist in resident Mathias Kessler.
Wellfleet Library through end of August.
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This August, Mathias Kessler will stage three events at the Wellfleet Library; an intervention in the form of a large mesh banner printed w/ a photographic image which can be seen clearly or faintly depending on the light and time of day, a video installation beginning August 18th and a book signing and artist’s lecture on Aug.19th. (7.30pm) This is the culmination of Kessler’s three-part participation in the CCMHT artist/scholar residency program.
Kessler initially connected with CCMHT in 2010 via the residency program and the with AIRE residency in the Everglades National Park. These locations are environmentally fragile natural paradises as is Mismaloya, Jalisco Mexico, where Mathias has made multiple trips.
Part of his investigation is how urban gentrification ripples out to places of resource, be it mineral, energy, water, or touristic, which contain “unspoiled” landscape in close proximity of large urban centers.
Wellfleet is part of this investigation. Partially protected by the National Park Service since the 60’s, the ecological system has been able to persevere, but tourism has grawn and so have real estate prices and other costs. So what is a paradise and retreat for some, is becoming a place where the runaway cost of living is driving out the local inhabitants.
During his site-specific installations, Kessler is exploring his interest in the gaps between memory and desire. The billboard is a 3D rendering of a tropical sunset that promises an exotic place where one can retreat and relax, much like the Cape. While we all like to visit other exotic places we tend to ignore the fact that the inhabitants of those places are often denied entry into our country.
Media plays a major role in how places are created. Starting August 18th we will be showing a version of John Huston’s 1964 film Night of the Iguana re-edited by the artist. Huston build a movie set in the jungle of Mismaloya, then a virgin beach and his film plays with imagery of desire and of the unspoiled. These are in sharp contrast to images Kessler has photographed in the past 4 years and superimposed on the clips.
Here and Now, the title of this project, reflects Kessler’s concern with the media driven emergence of places. He explores how the film industry creates dream places, whether “Girls”, which has contributed to the gentrification of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, or Night of the Iguana which turned an untouched sandy beach into a monstrous tourist destination.
In reality Hollywood doesn’t only construct places, it also destroys them.
For more on Mathias Kessler go to
Many thanks to the Wellfleet Library for making this possible.