Tricia Nixon: Summer of 1973
Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA
A whirl of mixed air—democracy, class, commerce, and its failures
“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, Black Cube Artist Fellow
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.
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 while 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.
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.
This exhibition is a collaboration between Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA and Black Cube, a nomadic museum based out of Denver, Colorado. In the fall, curator and the Director of FUTURA, Michal Novotný, will curate a Black Cube exhibition in Denver.
About Devon Dikeou
Devon Dikeou, born in Denver, CO, in 1963, lives and works in Austin, Denver, and New York City. Recent solo exhibitions include Pray for Me—Pope Francis I at James Fuentes, New York City (2017); Please, Outcasts Incorporated, Paris (2015); Between the Acts: Virginia Woolf, Nada Art Fair, Miami Beach (2014); Pray For Me, Nada Art Fair, New York City (2014); Please, The Contemporary, Austin (2013); and It’s Deja vu All Over Again at 179 Canal, New York City (2010). Recent group exhibitions include Sit-In at September, Hudson, NY (2018), The Mere Future at American Medium, New York City (2017); Group Exhibition, James Fuentes LLC, New York City (2017); Foundation Barbin Presents Redeux (Sort of), Kai Matsumiya, New York City (2016); Game Changer, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder (2014); and NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No Star, at New Museum, New York City (2013). Devon was a Winter 2011 Artist-in-Residence at Artpace San Antonio. In 2017, she received the DAM Key Award from the Denver Art Museum in recognition of her impact on the contemporary art community throughout Colorado. In 2018, she conducted a Logan Lecture at the Denver Art Museum. Devon Dikeou is the founder, editor, and publisher of zingmagazine, and curator and cofounder, with brother Pany Dikeou, of the Dikeou Collection in downtown Denver. She is currently a Black Cube Resident at FUTURA in Prague, Czech Republic. Her retrospective Mid-Career Smear will open in February 2019, curated by Cortney Lane Stell.
About Black Cube
Black Cube is a nonprofit, experimental art museum that operates nomadically. Without the traditional boundaries of a physical building, Black Cube exists primarily through partnering with artist fellows to commission popup art experiences. Black Cube describes itself as an unconventional museum pursuing the most effective ways to engage audiences while supporting individual artists with critical professional guidance.
About Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA
Established in 2003, Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA is a private non-profit institution. The institution operates two large exhibition spaces and a residency program in Prague, Czech Republic. Today, FUTURA is recognized for exhibiting internationally renowned artists from the Czech Republic and abroad.