Frederick Arts Council Gallery to Feature Act III of Thomas Faison’s Installation, Phase Change

Frederick, MD— The final act of Thomas Faison’s “Phase Change” will open Friday, October 11th at the Frederick Arts Council Gallery, 5:00 PM.

The opening marks Faison’s three-act evolving installation “Phase Change” reaching its

third, and final, act. This evolution of the installation will bring together elements from each prior piece and unite the work as a whole.

Over the last year, Faison has used water in its different states of matter as a vehicle to develop a broad narrative. Through a combination of sculpture and film, the installation journeys through water, steam, and ice as it examines control, powerlessness, destruction, becoming, transformation, and hope.

Act I began with water in its liquid form. A stream simulator showed an explicit disaster, a miniature city destroyed by a river. But throughout the ruin, voices rang out in a documentary, sharing cultural, social, and political relationships within the hydrosphere.

Act II, steam, was approached its ideas more symbolically. It explored the process of re-evaluation and transformation through a video opera in which three millennials leave ruins of the city and return to nature to engage in simple acts of attentive labor. They meditated on becoming in an explicit form by watching a pot boil, steam billowing out of the top. The videos were housed in an old boat on top of the crumbled pile of brick that once held the city.

After presenting a disaster in Act I and reckoning with it in Act II, Act III, “ice,” examines a way forward. The exhibit features an icy, brick staircase which, rather than ending at a destination, explodes with brick hanging in the air. Complementing this futile path is an 8mm film of children in water. The children build, destroy, and play, demonstrating a creative freedom as a possible answer to this grand tragedy.

“All three acts of Faison’s Phase Change challenge us to look at our relationship to water and to the environment in new and surprising ways,” said Louise Kennelly, Executive Director of the Frederick Arts Council. “We look forward to presenting Act III as an impactful finale to this installation and a hopeful continuation of this vital conversation.”

Faison is a multidisciplinary artist living in Frederick, MD. His films have been featured in film showcases and festivals in Baltimore, Ann Arbor, Chicago, and Frederick. His installation artwork has been featured in artist-run spaces throughout Baltimore and he is the co-founder of the Baltimore Student Film Showcase, now operating within the Maryland Film Festival.

“I think Act III has the potential to be the most interesting portion of this show,” Faison said. “I am both still building on the ideas set forward so far, while also tying everything back together. I took on a difficult question with Phase Change, ‘what do we do in the face of societal collapse?’ And I believe Act III is an interesting proposition.”