New York

Mike Nelson, Gang of Seven, 2013, mixed media. Installation view.

Mike Nelson

303 Gallery

Mike Nelson, Gang of Seven, 2013, mixed media. Installation view.

Though perhaps not beautiful in the classic SoCal sense of surfably blue waters and dazzling sunsets, nor, for that matter, in the East Coast manner of the beach-plum and sand-dune William Merritt Chase picturesque, the shoreline running from Oregon to Canada—that of the Pacific Northwest—is nevertheless marked by an arrestingly despondent strangeness. It is a place of gloom and doom and endless drizzle, of creeping moss, decay, and rot. It is home to primordially large crabs and ironlike mist, and to survivalist ecotopias and motorcycle gangs. Littered with hunks of bone-white driftwood the size of old-growth trees, it quivers with the promise of a queer transcendence—an ambience of eerie, corporeal mysticism best emblematized, in the popular imagination, by Laura Palmer’s washed-up, wrapped-in-plastic corpse in Twin Peaks. Indeed, since 2007, on the banks of the

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