CARA DESPAIN | Specter | Bass Art Museum Exhibition

CARA DESPAIN | Specter | Bass Art Museum ExhibitionBass Art Museum, 2100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 3313906JULAll Day31AUG

Cara Despain Specter art exhibition at Bass Museum Miami Beach


(Wednesday July 6th, 2022) - (Wednesday August 31st, 2022)


Bright neon green imagery dominates the Cara Despain Specter art exhibition at Bass Museum Miami. This otherworldy green leaves the viewer asking why.   Cara’s mother and grandmother grew up in Southern Utah, 150 miles from the Nevada’s Nuclear testing site. Nuclearism and the local fallout as well as the broader concern is the subject matter of the art exhibition at Bass Museum Miami Beach.   Iodine 131 is one of the chemicals Despain references as a nuclear by-product leaving long lasting effects on the land and the livestock.The readymade sculptures are constructed of Uranium Glass in the shape of Dinnerware.   This juxtaposition confronts the viewer with the prospect of Nuclear saturation and consumption.  The plates being symbolic of the agriculture effects of the nuclear testing from the governments nuclear Manhattan project.  

Cara Despain Specter, Bass Museum

Cara Despain | Test of Faith

Test of Faith is a video installation exhibited with Specter.  These videos have a rorschach effect leaving the viewer with unanswered questions.   The video imagery is peaceful and soothing in both presentation and music. Yet the viewer can feel that there is a much deeper message below the harmonious music and imagery.    

These video are actually footage from various nuclear explosions at the Nevada testing site. These videos are beautiful and mesmerize while also harkening to the a larger global situation. 

If you watch the linked youtube video above, Cara makes it clear that these works are speaking to an ever present threat of nuclear war.  Presumably Cara Despain was referencing the unrest in Eastern Europe and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in 2022.  

Cara’s imagery and juxtaposition of the rorschach style images and the tranquil music are a are a thought provoking to present this subject matter.    Much like the Uranium glass formed plates in the Specter art exhibition, the video imagery challenges the user to think about the effects of nuclear technology without making the process overtly scary.  Particularly as tensions rise in Eastern Europe in 2022.  This art exhibition reminds us that Nuclear concerns are not just relevant to Cara’s mother and grandmother.  These are very contemporary concerns.



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