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Michael Eckblad
Free the 11th (Child)

June 1 - June 24, 2023
2-6 pm

Closing June 24th 2-6pm, followed by an after-party nearby [New York] GHOSTMACHINE Gallery is pleased to present the solo exhibition “Free the 11th (Child)” featuring the work of Brooklyn-based artist Michael Eckblad.

Amid the most consequential geopolitical moments in a generation, Free the 11th (Child) sets its designs on the clean energy revolution with a spirit of truth-telling and possibility. Prone to exploring critical thresholds throughout his career, Michael Eckblad (b.1983) responds in these works to the high stakes of public opinion and information control, especially. How do we as global citizens speak truth to power and stop the destruction? How do we insist on greater possibility? Pushing against decades of fossil fuel headwinds, many of these works (2017-present) explore the physicality and reactivity of Hydrogen, the lightest of all elements and humanity's best hope for non-polluting energy.

Though abundant and 'all around us', Hydrogen is elusive to our persons and difficult to grasp. In works such as Liberation Energy (2022), Eckblad creates a sense of intimacy by bringing Hydrogen tangibly close to the body as a graceful flame. An homage, Liberation Energy pays tribute to Hydrogen's harmonious cycle that begins with–and eventually returns to–the Sun. No single 'fuel' has such potential for clean production, storage, and consumption, yet Hydrogen's beauty has been actively suppressed through the last half century of energy crises… 

…until 2021, and more consequentially in 2022, when the The Department of Energy achieved "Hydrogen Fusion Ignition" and signaled the dawn of a clean energy revolution. As world economies move beyond the conceit that fossil fuels are essential to prosperity, they/we are accelerated into a place of possibility with Hydrogen's versatility and ubiquity. The promise of nearly limitless clean energy for people across the globe offers a path to unprecedented unity, repair, and prosperity that couldn't arrive soon enough.

The exhibition title honors the 11th Panchen Lama, whose similar plight exemplifies how power strategically disrupts harmonious destinies. Just as the Chinese Communist Party kidnapped this Lama as a child in an effort to derail Tibet’s future, so too have entrenched energy interests kidnapped–for decades!–humanity's best hope for unity with the natural world.

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