During a six month residency in Bern, Switzerland, Travis Leroy Southworth spent much of his time investigating the Large Hadron Collider run by the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Having completed the residency, he approached Projective City with a proposal for his most ambitious project to date. Inspired by the power of the CERN synchrotron to produce tens of petabytes of data per year, Southworth believed it possible to produce a slightly smaller scale, Do-It-Yourself version of the hadron collider, to enable his own experiments on the invisible particles that compose us. The project promised to further Southworth’s ongoing artistic investigations into the cosmic forces that continually mold us, and his presentation of the self in relation to the universe.
Nevertheless, even a smaller version promised to be much larger than his domestic arrangements could accommodate, so he approached Projective City about using the large gallery space in Paris as a workshop in which to build his hi-tech machine. We were initially overjoyed by the possibility of bringing such a worthwhile scientific project into the context of an art gallery, but if we had known the extent of the project we might not have been so eager.
In order to install a bank of superconductive magnets, Southworth demolished much of the east wall of the gallery while the staff vacationed in New York, initiating what will likely be protracted litigation between the building managers and the gallery. The gallery in Paris remains closed pending further legal action and is unavailable for French visitors. However, the Paris-Scope viewer was largely undamaged, and New Yorkers can still avail themselves of this unique opportunity to see the results of art and science colliding. Though this might mean the end of the Projective City gallery space in Paris, we feel Southworth’s accomplishment should be celebrated as best as possible under the circumstances, as it so clearly embodies the qualities of passionate inquiry, curiosity, and purity of heart we hope to foster.
Brooklyn-based Travis Leroy Southworth holds an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibited his work at The Drawing Center (NYC), Martha Otero Gallery (Los Angeles), Mixed Greens Gallery (solo project, NYC), Thomas Robertello Gallery (Chicago), The Bronx Museum of Art (Bronx), Arthouse at the Jones Center (Austin), and the Center for Curatorial Studies at the Hessel Museum of Art (New York). He was awarded a 2010 Fellowship in Photography from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and has participated in the Artist in the Marketplace (AIM 29) Program at The Bronx Museum of Art.