April 16, 2014

We Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Dust: a public sculpture collaboration

OxyArts at Occidental College
Finishing School with Nadia Afghani and Matt Fisher, We Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Dust. Photo: Finishing School

Occidental College is pleased to present We Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Dust, a public sculpture created by Los Angeles-based artist collective Finishing School, in collaboration with artists Nadia Afghani and Matt Fisher. The sculpture will be on view at Occidental College through May 9.

We Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Dust is a participatory sculpture that employs the fabrication of a full-size replica of a MQ-1B Predator drone aircraft. Over two hundred people assisted Finishing School and collaborators to hand-finish the drone with an age-old application method applying architectural-grade mud to the surface of the cnc’d substrate. In the dichotomy between the drone’s form and its surface, the sculpture initiates a discussion of technology and foreign policy while inviting multiple propositions about cultural legacies and possible resistances in the era of pervasive global surveillance and warfare.

The project essay by Matt Fisher is available for download here.

In conjunction with the project, the artists will participate in “Military Visuality and the Work of Art,” a symposium hosted by Occidental College on Thursday, April 24. More information on the symposium is available at

About the artists
Established in 2001, Finishing School is a socially engaged artist collective that explores an expansive range of subject and media territories. The Los Angeles-based collective has five members who represent a broad range of skills. Finishing School produces interdisciplinary actions, installations, workshops, design, studio art, performance and new media. They have presented work throughout the United States and internationally.

Matt Fisher is an artist and writer living in Oakland. His studio practice interrogates intersections of analytical abstraction and identity politics. He writes regularly on contemporary art for the San Francisco Bay Guardian and ARTnews.

Nadia Afghani is a Los Angeles-based conceptual artist whose work investigates the parameters of subject versus object, the mechanics of language and the ambiguity of meaning and understanding.

About OxyArts
OxyArts is the recently launched multi-disciplinary arts programming initiative at Occidental College. OxyArts promotes exhibition and programming practices that are key to the college’s long-term vision for the art and has been designed to engage the campus with a contemporary art dialogue via its Weingart Gallery, campus-wide interventionist art projects, and projects developed over time by artists in residence.

We Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Dust is a project of Occidental College’s Wanlass Artist in Residence program, which is supported by the Kathryn Caine Wanlass Foundation. Support for this project is also provided by Occidental College’s Remsen Bird Fund.

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