Matty Davis: Until it reached into our lives and destroyed the tranquility that we had
August 31 - October 7, 2018
Lecture: Thursday, August 30th at 5:30pm // Hillside Auditorium
Performance: Thursday, August 30th at 7:45pm // Chi Omega Amphitheater
Reception: Friday, August 31st from 5-7pm // Fine Arts Center Gallery
This exhibition responds to a tangle of geo-political events in recent Arkansas history. These events linked presidents, CIA directors, narco-traffickers and mercenary adventurers while also drawing the lives of countless ordinary Americans into their vortex. A central node in this complex lays deep in the Ouchita National Forest, approximately 100 miles due south of the University campus, in sites allegedly used for covert military training, illicit political gain, and "a little excitement” (1).
While these clandestine events have never been a part of any official record, the people involved in them are slowly disappearing. Some have been murdered, some have simply died, others have changed their names or used their positions of influence to shield themselves from consequences.
Until it reached into our lives and destroyed the tranquility that we had presents a series of gestures, each choreographed in response to a facet of this disintegrating history. The exhibition is comprised of sculptures—many of which were built using elemental materials such as earth and water retrieved from these sites---alongside texts, documents, films and performances. The intimacy of this method of creation presents a counterpoint to a diffused global network of disinformation, conspiracy and unknowability.
Collaborators and contributors include filmmaker Eryka Dellenbach, NCAA athlete Austen Dalquist, builder Chris Lee, glass artist Joshua Stipe, and the University of Arkansas Library’s Special Collections. A publication documenting the development of the project and corresponding research will be available October 31, 2018. The publication was designed in collaboration with Ayham Ghraowi and Matt Wolff, with the support of the University of Arkansas Humanities Steering Committee.
Michael Maizels / Curator
(1) Seal, B. (1985). Adler Berriman Seal Testimony. [Court Testimony] Special Collections University of Arkansas Libraries, Barry Seal Collection. Fayetteville.