‘Tricia Nixon: Summer of 1973’ by Devon Dikeou at Center for Contemporary Art FUTURA

Devon Dikeou, Tricia Nixon: Summer of 1973, 2017 – ongoing antique marble fireplace and mirror, working heating element and air conditioner, clock radio circa 1973 with looped radio broadcasts from the summer of 1973 variable dimensions
‘Tricia Nixon: Summer of 1973’ by Devon Dikeou at Center for Contemporary Art FUTURA
Devon Dikeou, Tricia Nixon: Summer of 1973, 2017 – ongoing antique marble fireplace and mirror, working heating element and air conditioner, clock radio circa 1973 with looped radio broadcasts from the summer of 1973 variable dimensions

“In the summer of 1973 I was in a small town in Kentucky in the scourging heat watching this huge theater of a TV which took the space of a merry-go-round and had three lights—green, red, blue, and there was just one air conditioner which you could stand in front of to get cool. Then on one of three major networks that happened to be on that gargantuan TV, two strange things happened: images of ‘70s gas guzzlers lining up at filling stations for hours in lines that were blocks long. It was the beginning of the energy crisis . . . Then a second thing: Tricia Nixon, who I believe had a White House wedding—a big deal as there are not many—and there’s this story of her turning up the air conditioner on high so she could have a fire going all in the midst of a DC summer . . .”  – Devon Dikeou

Devon Dikeou, Ring My Bell, 2017 – ongoing working Milton Driveway Bell, Hose, and anchor variable dimensions
Devon Dikeou, Ring My Bell, 2017 – ongoing working Milton Driveway Bell, Hose, and anchor variable dimensions
Devon Dikeou, Ring My Bell, 2017 – ongoing working Milton Driveway Bell, Hose, and anchor variable dimensions
Devon Dikeou, Tricia Nixon: Summer of 1973, 2017 – ongoing antique marble fireplace and mirror, working heating element and air conditioner, clock radio circa 1973 with looped radio broadcasts from the summer of 1973 variable dimensions

Tricia Nixon: Summer of 1973 is a visually minimal exhibition comprised of works by American artist, Devon Dikeou. The exhibition includes three large-scale installations that engage viewers’ senses—from the unusual feeling of cold and hot air to the sound of 1970s era American radio. The works in the exhibition hold a ghost-like recollection of a particular moment in American history—a moment when excess, economy, and ecological issues collide.

Devon Dikeou, Gas Shortage, 2018 – ongoing Google Image of 1973 Gas Shortage Etched in Wall Using the Sgrafitto technique, 3 Windshield Fluid Relics Containing the Scrappings of the Sgrafitto Variable Dimensions
Devon Dikeou, Tricia Nixon: Summer of 1973, 2017 – ongoing antique marble fireplace and mirror, working heating element and air conditioner, clock radio circa 1973 with looped radio broadcasts from the summer of 1973 variable dimensions

The exhibition captures the essence of America during the 1970s, while drawing parallels to present-day crises and politics in the United States. Dikeou has described the exhibition as a bricolage—an assemblage of common objects. However, the work is also conceptually-driven, pulling from both public record and the artist’s memory of the summer of 1973. That summer, she remembers a gas crisis hit the United States whilst a story circulated of how the President’s daughter lavishly operated the White House by keeping both a fire and the air-conditioner running simultaneously—producing an opulent mix of cool and warm air. Dikeou’s representation of this memory in her work touches on ideas of America’s overconsumption, neglect of wider environmental considerations, and desire to control personal comfort.

Devon Dikeou, Tricia Nixon: Summer of 1973, 2017 – ongoing antique marble fireplace and mirror, working heating element and air conditioner, clock radio circa 1973 with looped radio broadcasts from the summer of 1973 variable dimensions
Devon Dikeou, Tricia Nixon: Summer of 1973, 2017 – ongoing antique marble fireplace and mirror, working heating element and air conditioner, clock radio circa 1973 with looped radio broadcasts from the summer of 1973 variable dimensions
Devon Dikeou, Tricia Nixon: Summer of 1973, 2017 – ongoing antique marble fireplace and mirror, working heating element and air conditioner, clock radio circa 1973 with looped radio broadcasts from the summer of 1973 variable dimensions

 Through a lens that is at once critical, elusive, and amusing, Dikeou’s works stimulate a cross-cultural discourse regarding “the land of the free”. Tricia Nixon: Summer of 1973 is latently uncanny, as the audience is confronted with an exhibition space that feels vacant yet occupied, minimal yet excessive—and altogether, undeniably American.

Imprint

ArtistDevon Dikeou
ExhibitionTricia Nixon: Summer of 1973
Place / venueCenter for Contemporary Art FUTURA, Prague
DatesJune 29 - September 16, 2018
Curated byCortney Lane Stell
Websitewww.futuraproject.cz/en
Index

See also