Centennial Rust

Artist: Christine McDonald
Curator: Danielle Degon

AUTOMAT Collective | Philadelphia, PA. March 2023.
Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Demolition Derby and General Motors’ invention of aesthetic retooling, Centennial Rust considers the lifespan of vehicles through the manipulated processes by which they are produced, preserved, and pressured into entropy. Multimedia artist Christine McDonald situates herself and her vehicle amidst the complicated relationship between production and destruction while investigating the origin of and destiny for obsolete vehicles. She depends on her vehicle as a tool for understanding the psychological and material conditions of its existence, and draws specific inspiration from moments of its decay– the forming rust and dripping residue which slowly reveal themselves.  

Connecting the tactics of the automobile industry to the sports and sites which arise out of its overproduction– specifically the Automobile Daredevil Demolition Derby, Aerobatics, and the Tucson, Arizona Airplane Boneyard– Christine McDonald interprets her own temporality. She uses archive, video, sculpture, installation, and pigment created from disintegrated car body to explore the symbiotic relationship between production and destruction.

4:25 loop video and original poem

Untersberg Marmor Keifer, Fürstenbrunn, Austria
Video and accompanying poem created during my residency at the Untersberg Marmor Keifer during the Summer of 2021. The hand carved marble sculpture is filmed from several angles as the natural mountain stream flows over it.

Full video ->

I want to know where I came from.
where I am going.
where I am meant to be.

I have searched the earth
forged by the pressures which fill me.
It tells nothing but universals,
stories of water and land expanding.

There will always exist a distance
between what I have and what I long for.

I am not alone
each has an origin like mine.


Untitled (water bottle)
11” x 4” x 8”

Untersberg Marmor Keifer, Fürstenbrunn, Austria
Marble sculpture carved using locally sourced stone and traditional carving tecniques. 2021.

Void Fill

Artists: Samantha M. Connors, Cynthia Reynolds
Curator: Danielle Degon

AUTOMAT Collective | Philadelphia, PA. October 2020.
Through laborious processes of trimming, weaving, and peeling, Cynthia Reynolds and Samantha M. Connors turn single-use materials into works that ask of themselves, “What is my purpose?”, “Where do I belong once my purpose has been served?”, and “Am I bound to the space which asks to be filled?”. The sculptures included in this exhibition—created from cardboard, plastic, dryer sheets, metal ties, Styrofoam, and wool—recontextualize materials that typically occupy unfilled space and reveal their potential for subjecthood.

Cynthia Reynolds and Samantha M. Connors explore the limits and expectations of mass-produced materials intended to protect, block, and fill negative spaces. Whether through Reynolds’ delicately picked-apart cardboard sculptures or Connors’ translucent woven structures, one’s perception of the ubiquitous objects are altered. In Void Fill, overproduced objects are given a new context that allows viewers to contemplate their own existence and construction of self within a culture of overproduction. 

B.O.B. (bottom of basket)
11” x 14” x 9”

AUTOMAT Collective | Philadelphia, PA
October 23 - November 21 2020
B.O.B. (bottom of basket) is a cement cast of a 24-case of plastic water bottles. Its title refers to an acronym used by retail corporations to ensure that cashiers charge for items stored at the bottom of a customer’s basket. The work is created as multiples, and continues to be reproduced in my studio.