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L.A. Beat

New CASA exhibits explore happiness and the end of the World with Sonis McAllister and Catherine Ross

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CASA curator Darcy Logan is pleased to welcome back old friends with two new art exhibits opening at CASA this weekend.

CASA curator Darcy Logan examines Catherine Ross' exhibit Impossible-Really. Photo by Richard Amery
Lethbridge artist Catherine Ross combines her love for her  daschund with her love for Mexico in her exhibit “Impossible-really.”

 It features 21 bronze castings of a daschund in various poses, frolicking in front of a looped film of Mazatlán waves.

“It’s a statement about her commitment to place. So  the ocean scenery is from Mazatlán, where she has a property and the dog is based on her dog who she used to take down there with her,” Logan said.

“ The dog has various expressions, so it is barking at the waves or running in to them,” Logan observed.

Matthew Holden aka Sonis McAllister returns to Lethbridge after extensively traveling the United States.

 He interviewed people from all walks of life about the end of the world and brings back fascinating relics of a country in turmoil.

“ The Survivors: An Archaeological Journey of People and Their Prosthetic Extensions of Joy From a Dying America” features video, photographs, printed dialogue and found items from all over the United States including an old gas pump, a pair of giant chicken legs and a confederate flag.

“I did a lot of trips to the United States from 2008-2010 when everybody was talking about the end of the world in 2010,” he said.

“ You probably won’t believe this, but I met a dwarf who dressed as a Viking who became my spiritual guru and advisor. He told me to go to America and talk to people about their thoughts about the end of the world,” he said.

  He talked to members of the Aryan Nation, Black Panthers and everybody in between including gang members and ordinary people.

“I wanted to find out why they thought the world was gong to end,” he said.
 In addition to  video, some including  McAllister’s  guru, there are photographs of his subjects accompanied by  transcriptions of his interviews with them.

“I spent a lot of time in the desert with people. A lot of places in America are abandoned and derelict,” he said, adding that is reflected by some of the found items he collected, like an empty can of Monsanto pesticides and a rusted gas pump.


“I went to Detroit to the neighbourhood where Diana Ross grew up, and found this old record and old  record player. I like to imagine her listening to this same record and record player, though she probably didn’t,” he saidSonis McAllister sets up his exhibit “Survivors” at CASA. Photo by Richard Amery.

Curator Darcy Logan actually joined McAllister on some of his journeys down south including stops in Mississippi and Louisiana.

“On one side of the room, there are people he asked  when  they were most happiness, and on the other hand, it’s people he asked about the end of the world,” Logan said.

“It’s a peek into hidden America,” he said.

“ He talked to white supremacists and a well known hip hop artist. He talked to black nationalists, klansmen, folk artists. He talked to people from all walks of life. Just a broad cross-section of average people,” he continued.
 The opening reception for both exhibits is 7-9 p.m., Saturday, Nov.7. They both run until Dec. 30.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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