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Trey Burns | Recent Landscapes


ex ovo

ex ovo is proud to present Recent Landscapes, an exhibition of new sculptures, videos, and photographs by Trey Burns, opening November 5, 2021. For his first solo exhibition in Texas, Burns examines the tangle of natural and built environments of the region, where remnants of prairie overlap with the infrastructures of the city and surrounding suburbs, producing strange and novel ecologies.

The title Recent Landscapes nods to New Topographics, the seminal 1975 exhibition of landscape photography that foregrounded man-made structures. Nearly 50 years later, Burns presents visuals from a time when the built environment has exceeded the natural one and life is dominated by omnipresent technology. 

Beginning from observation of everyday life, Burns often focuses on subjects that complicate the boundaries between infrastructure and nature. In footage captured during the past year, he documents scenes that at first glance appear common but soon reveal their peculiarity: a flock of geese loitering in a concrete parking lot, a decoy coyote at a pond's edge, a golf course neighboring a nature center. These images, divided across a three-screen system typically used in advertisements, endlessly cycle—colliding the fragments of flora, fauna, and human progress into scenes which dwell at the edges.

In these hybrid ecosystems, technology and media infiltrate even the air around us, from which Burns extracts visuals in the form of digital television. Using plans sourced from the internet, he creates two functioning antennas that capture broadcast signals then transmit and cross feed the captured images to monitors. An altar to both a legacy technology and a DIY hack, Fountain (Wheeler Creek) also exemplifies many of the strategies that Burns uses to reveal what is hidden in plain sight: tuning in and out, locating moments of clarity, or pausing on moments of interference.

Trey Burns (b. 1984) is primarily a lens-based artist whose work explores filmmaking, built environments, and histories of place. In 2018, he co-founded Sweet Pass Sculpture Park, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which highlights temporary projects in an outdoor setting. After receiving his MFA from the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2008, Burns has shown his work at the Ecole Nationale d’Architecture Paris, Malaquais Gallery (Paris, France) Pavillion Vendôme (Clichy-la-Garenne, France), the St. Paul’s Cultural Center (Chicago, IL), Wassaic Projects (Wassaic, NY), ex ovo (Dallas, TX), Trestle Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), The May Gallery (New Orleans, LA), The Hand (Queens, NY) and et al Projects (Brooklyn, NY). In 2020 he received an NEA grant with Tamara Johnson in conjunction with Wassaic Projects in New York. In 2020 he received an ArtsActivate grant from the City of Dallas Office of Arts & Culture. Burns currently serves as Multimedia Producer for the Dallas Museum of Art and Documentarian for the Corsicana Artist & Writer Residency.

Recent Landscapes opens Friday, November 5, 2021 with a reception from 6–9PM. The gallery will be open Thursday–Saturday from 11–5PM or by appointment through December 18. Burns will host a reading discussion and artist talk on Saturday, December 18. 

For additional information or to schedule a visit, contact Allison Klion at allison@exovoprojects.com or 214.695.3753. 

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