Crosstown Arts / Crosstown Arts Screening Room , 1350 Concourse Ave. May 22, 2023 - August 6, 2023

McLean Fahnestock

Deceive the Heavens to Cross the Seas is composed of videos from McLean Fahnestock’s Stratagem series, where the sea and sky flip and merge to generate a new, seductive yet false horizon. Stratagems are plans or schemes that are designed to deceive. Usually referring to warfare, they are a well-executed artifice upon an enemy. Working with her interest in desire as it manifests in the landscape, these works present the ways that our desires can open a door to our ultimate deception.

In a presentation unique to Crosstown Arts, the videos have been loaded into a custom program that randomly chooses the video and the length of time the video will loop before the next one is randomly chosen to play. Viewers will have a shifting experience that will never repeat.

The title for the exhibition comes from the first of the 36 Stratagems – a 6th century Chinese text covering political, military, and social strategy written by an unknown scholar.

McLean Fahnestock works with the dynamically changing landscape. Her practice is centered on our desire for specific visual and physical landscapes as manifested through the concept of paradise. This has led to investigations into how this desire has been the catalyst for climate change, colonialism, and ecocide. She utilizes digital forms of collage, video, and new media. McLean received a BFA from Middle Tennessee State University and MFA from California State University Long Beach. Her work has been exhibited and screened across the United States and internationally. Her work was selected for Off the Screen at the 57th Ann Arbor Film Festival. She has been an artist in residence at Stove Works in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and The Lock-Up in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. McLean keeps her studio in Old Hickory, Tennessee.