Shonisaurus Popularis

Hazel Brill
July 20, 2018
 to September 2, 2018

Free & open to all

At the end of the loneliest highway in Nevada there lies a burial ground for a group of 6 aquatic reptilian dinosaurs, the Icthyosaur species, Shonisaurus. The Ichthyosaur has a huge eye. It swims deep in the ocean, a lens-like muscle protecting the eyeball from the high pressure. Their skeletons are found embedded in rock on top of a mountain.

215 million years after their mass extinction, the City of Las Vegas begins to germinate and sprawl across one of the many Nevada desert valleys. Fish swim deep into hotel lobbies, whilst an Eiffel tower, an Egyptian pyramid, a Statue of Liberty and a synthetic sea, share the same horizon. Steve Wynn, the Casino Tycoon, is introduced to the City, becoming one of the main players in a brutal cut throat competition of extreme entertainment capital. The City is thus rapidly reinvented and compressed, becoming both the growth and implosion capital of the world, within a setting of depleting natural resources. A tour guide, a tourist and a palaeontologist travel through these shape-shifting landscapes. Through parallel narratives, and with the Shonisaurus as their orbit, we discover different kinds of sediments: geological, economical and fictional.

This exhibition uses material gathered from a research trip to Nevada, awarded by Boise Travel Scholarship at Slade School of Fine Art in 2017. Combining film and sculpture, the installation uses imagery and research from Las Vegas, Death Valley desert and Berlin-State national park.

Continuing an attempt to make video feel like a show, this installation incorporates sculpture, animation, sound, text and video.

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Letters: ‘Shonisaurus Popularis’, Hazel Brill

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Artist-Designed Patch: ‘Shonisaurus Popularis’, Hazel Brill

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