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Fern Vargas Vargas:
Night and Day

Locust Projects is pleased to present Night and Day, a video installation by Los Angeles-based artist Fern Vargas Vargas. 

In its current version, Night and Day is composed of 108 film and television scenes, each one selected by the artist using three preliminary restrictions:

1. Scene must include a car.

2. Scene must include a police officer.

3. Police officer must say “license and registration.”

The scenes, though random in length, sync up at the exact moment each of the officers utter the words, ‘license and registration.’ Rather than hearing one actor say these lines, a chorus of 108 voices is heard simultaneously. In the minutes before and after the moment of synchronization, the viewer experiences a cacophony of sound and a mosaic of moving images that build up and then fade out.

Night and Day is an ongoing work. The grid it is built on always remains at a height of six, but grows horizontally only when an additional grid of 36 is complete; for example, the subsequent versions will contain 144 scenes, then 180, and so on—keeping the length in perpetual flux. The video loops only once an hour, meaning that for roughly 45 minutes of the hour, the viewer sees only an illuminated white shape that is uninterrupted until the first car scene appears. Both the grid and the bright white shape are influenced by Mallarme’s “A Throw of the Dice.”

Included in the installation is Attenda Floor Stool, four stools that serve as both sculpture and seating for viewing the video. Made by a prison supply company, the stools are presented as readymades taken out of their correctional facility context and placed into a gallery setting. The wall text accompanying the stools is a product description for the stools pulled directly from the manufacturer’s website and catalog.


Fern Vargas Vargas, born 1985 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, lives and works in Los Angeles. He holds a BFA from Cooper Union and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a resident at The American Academy in Rome ('15) and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture ('16).

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