Molloy College Art Gallery
Interstate 495 is a Terminal Moraine works by Rachael Champion
March 28 - April 24, 2019
The site of interest in Interstate 495 is a Terminal Moraine is Champion's birthplace, Long Island, NY. For this exhibition, Champion delves into the prehistory of Long Island and how these histories manifest in contemporary life. The title of the exhibition uses Interstate 495 (also known as the "Long Island Expressway," "L.I.E.," and "The Expressway") as a metaphor to link these deep time relationships. Interstate 495 runs through the very center of Long Island and functions as the primary vehicular conduit to one of the most densely populated places in the United States. The road is situated along a terminal moraine left over from the receding glaciers of the Earth's most recent Ice Age.
Central to the exhibition is an investigation into the Atlantic horseshoe crab (Limulus Polyphemus), a 450-million-year-old species of arthropods, which live in the shallow coastal waters on the Eastern seaboard of the United States. This species of great prehistoric significance plays a paramount role in the biomedical industry due to the extraordinary characteristics of their blue blood, which is routinely extracted for the detection and quantification of bacterial endotoxins. For Interstate 495 is a Terminal Moraine, Champion has collaborated with CERCOM, Molloy College's Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Ocean Monitoring. This marine science laboratory located on the Great South Bay studies the Atlantic horseshoe crab through captive breeding and conservation research.
This iteration of Interstate 495 is a Terminal Moraine includes a series of cylindrical photographic digital collages, coastal oceans monitoring reports from CERCOM, and a facsimile of Limulus amebocyte lysate, the remarkable and highly valued blood of the Atlantic horseshoe crab. The digital collages feature some of the resident horseshoe crabs at CERCOM and a variety of Long Island landscapes. These landscapes include industrial areas where raw materials like sand and mulch are extracted, processed, and recycled and also the natural habitats of the Atlantic horseshoe crab, including Captree Island in the Great South Bay and McAllister County Park on the Long Island Sound.