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Still from 16mm film of NCAA athlete Austin Dahlquist
On Jan. 5, False Flag gallery in Long Island City will host a one-night-only art exhibit that explores remote parts of Arkansas that were allegedly home to covert CIA activity in 1980s.
The pop-up exhibit, called “Until it reached into our lives and destroyed the tranquility that we had,” includes a film, photographs and sculptures made from materials extracted from the remote Arkansas sites that artist Matty Davis traveled to such as soil collected from runways, water scooped from Fourche La Fave River, spare parts and airplane windows mined from the Mena Intermountain Regional Airport aviation junkyard.

Digital photograph of airplane window from Mena Intermountain Regional Airport aviation junkyard. The image one of may photographs featured in the exhibits book which will be available at the Jan. 5 event.

Created in collaboration with Yale-based designer Ayham Grhaowi, the publication features essays, sketches, photographs and film stills from the artist, curator and an eclectic cast of contributors, including an anthropologist, an activist filmmaker and an aviator. The book will be available for free at the exhibit and for purchase at Printed Matter.
Inspiration for the exhibit came after curator and assistant professor of art history at the University of Arkansas Mike Maizels discovered a book in a Fayetteville, Arkansas bookstore full of firsthand accounts of conspiracies involving then-governor Bill Clinton, the CIA, the FBI and the DEA. The events have been the subject of multiple books, a documentary and the 2017 Tom Cruise comedy “American Made” but have never been corroborated by any official government record.
The event will also launch a new book filled with essays, sketches, photographs and film stills from the project’s inception to its completion.
Maizels knew early on that he wanted to commission Davis for the exhibit. The Brooklyn-based artist is known for going to extreme lengths for his art. For his work called “Between Heaven and Earth,” Davis ran the 500-mile flight path of a U.S. Air flight from Chicago to Pennsylvania that crashed and killed 132 people. Davis’ normally incorporates a level of physicality with his work. According to Davis’ website, his performances “function generatively, wherein movement acts as a kid of tap, springing forth drawings, photographs, sculpture, books and video that is inextricably linked to the physicality, site-specificity and materiality engaged.”

Matty Davis performing at “Until it reached into our lives and destroyed the tranquility that we had” at the University of Arkansas Greek Theatre.

The exhibition at 11-22 44th Rd. will begin at 5 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. with free copies of the newly launched book available which can also be purchased at Printed Matter. This will be the only viewing opportunity in New York City.

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