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Rapid Response at American Fine Arts
In our current "Age of Oil," many bemoan the destruction of the planet due to the abuse and overuse of fossil fuels, but most are at a loss when it comes to offering viable solutions to the problem. In this imaginative show, the conceptual art group Rapid Response, a four-artist collaborative including Christina Cobb, Peter Fend, Julia Fischer and William Meyer, proposes cost-efficient alternative energy sources and fuel distribution systems.
The distribution scheme echoes that of the big oil companies like Shell or BP, yet Rapid proposes unconventional fuels made from hydrogen, methane or electric, all alternative energy sources that would be far less dangerous to the environment than those used at present.
Earlier this winter, in cooperation with Nikolai Fine Art on West 22nd Street, the team installed a subtly subversive "Global Warming" billboard near a Chelsea gas station. For the American Fine Arts show, Rapid Response has created a large group of drawings, photos and sculptural objects centered on the "Post-Petroleum Gas Station," complete with model fuel pumps that would dispense ethanol, hydrogen, electricity or methane.
The rainbow-hued corporate logo of Rapid and the meticulous architectural drawings, maquettes and the wall texts that describe chemical procedures, all demonstrate the unique potential of art to help solve problems as crucial as environmental destruction. Without compromising artistic integrity, Rapid Response reaches out to the real world.
Rapid Response, Feb. 18-Mar. 11, 2000, at American Fine Arts/Colin De Land, 22 Wooster Street, New York, N.Y. 10013.