Cédric Maridet’s “Fragments of Future Histories” felt like a slick steampunk take on contemporary exploration. The exhibition of photographs, videos, assemblages, and kinetic sculptures opened with Rise, Fall, 2016, an acrylic tank, placed on a wooden pedestal, comprising four compartments filled with distilled water, ethanol, camphor, potassium nitrate, and ammonium chloride. This chemical admixture resulted in white, snowflake-like formations of crystals that adhered to the acrylic walls, sat on the surface of the water, and gathered at the bottom of the tank. An LED placed in the vessel’s interior illuminated the flakes; its cold glow called to mind the light of the Arctic Circle. Indeed, the entire exhibition was framed by the artist’s travels to the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, where he visited the abandoned Russian mining town of Pyramiden, the Ny-Ålesund research
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