Meghan Moe Beitiks

Moisture Recycling (salty queer hydrologies) (2023)

Hydration (self-care) (2023), mirrored frame filled partly with desalinated seawater

Curated by William Cordova

On Display at Under the Bridge Art Space November 26 2023- January 7th 2024

Artist Meghan Moe Beitiks presents a series of small works reflecting on water as a physically, emotionally and ecologically ubiquitous entity.  Water as everything, gathered.  Water as absorbing and cleaning. An attempt to pull water as love from the air. 

Wetlands is two chairs with basshakers installed under the seats. Visitors encouraged to sit and let the vibrations pass through their bodies.

The speakers rumble with the resonance from 3 microphones which are picking up vibrations from 3 separate boot trays, all of which have a watery soundtrack playing through them. The boot trays have the raised pattern of a text of a recent Florida bill set within them. Included in the soundtrack is the voice of Bebe Deluxe, a Florida-based trans drag performer, who Beitiks asked to respond to the three phrases. Each boot tray has its own soundtrack, set to its own Beats per Minute: 79 for the number of anti-LGBTQ+ and hate crimes in Florida since 2019, 50 for the number of lives lost in the PULSE shooting (49 +1), 60 for the low resting heart rate of the average human.

Each accompanying diagram places the phrases from the Florida laws with other research and statements within hydrologic cycle illustrations from various scientific research papers.  Visitors are invited to stand in the boot trays as they read the explanatory diagrams. One diagram, based on hydrology and wetland function, gives a conceptual overview of the entire piece.

Boot trays, while rare in warmer climates, are commonly used in northern areas like Canada to catch the melting snow from boots once they are brought indoors. “Snowbirds” who spend winters in Florida, contributing the economy but not living in the state year-round, may be familiar with them.

Hydration (Self-care) (2023)
Hydration (self-care) (2023), a pile of salt packets, in the equivalent weight of the SIG sauer MCX, the weapon used in the PULSE shooting. Visitors are invited to take salt away with them: the pile is not replenished.

From the Baroness (This is Water) is a dehumidifier channeling water into natural sponges. Visitors are encouraged to take a bottle (engraved with an imperfect silhouette of Lake Okeechobee, Hitchiti for “water” + “big”), and squeeze some water into it with the funnels provided. The work rests on a tablecloth with a pattern based on several stages of Lake Okeechobee’s planned watershed restoration: the original watershed flow, and the current flow. A nod to Elsa Baroness von Freytag-Loringhoven, the originator of the readymade, as professed by Duchamp in a letter to his sister (1917, Jean Crotti papers, 1913-1973, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution).

Hydration (self-care).  Is a two-part piece. A reflective frame of desalinated seawater, etched with the word “HYDRATE,” paired with a pile of salt packets, in the equivalent weight of the SIG sauer MCX, the weapon used in the PULSE shooting, in a nod to the work of Félix González-Torres. Visitors are welcome to take salt away with them. The desalinated water will evaporate slowly over the course of the show: those who take a bottle From the Baroness may walk away with some of it via the dehumidifier.

Boundaries. Several varieties of the native Floridian Acanthocereus Tetragonus cactus in a tall planter with the word “NO” painted on it. In its smaller varieties, A. Tetragonus is known as the “fairy castle” cactus. It its larger varieties it is known as the “barbed-wire” or “dildo” cactus, most prominent on Florida’s “Dildo Key.” The cacti sit under a solar-powered halo light, and a grow light timed with the local sunrise.

Both Hydrate (self-care) and Boundaries are accompanied by a diagram based on a desalination process.

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