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Michael C. McMillen: Red Trailer Motel
We enter the gallery...It is dark. We hear a faint night chorus of crickets and the sound of a gentle gust of wind. We find ourselves in a large space, dim except for an illuminated structure. What is it? It is the Red Trailer Motel.
Feel gravel crunching underfoot, hear buzzing flies and a faraway piano tune, and see structures built of corrugated metal, old signs, and other found objects. McMillen’s motel has three locked doors, and visitors become voyeurs as they peer through peepholes in each. Featuring the artist’s characteristic interest in miniature and sound and visual effects, the large-scale work Red Trailer Motel will occupy an entire gallery at the de Saisset Museum. This will be the first time the piece has been shown in Northern California. McMillen, who earned both an M.A. and MFA from UCLA, got his start in the film industry creating sets for movies including Blade Runner and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Incorporating mixed media sculpture, architecture, photography, collage, film, and audio, Snelling’s meticulously crafted miniature sculptures are created from found objects and often feature working batteries, wiring, motors, and lighting. Her luminous photographs depict these structures in the landscape, distorting our expectations of scale.