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Canadian Artist Mia Feuer Is Building a Sunken Gas Station in D.C.'s Anacostia River

Feuer, who makes sculpture about the links between carbon consumption and climate change, pictures what oil dependency means for the fate of cities.
Mia Feuer, "Antediluvian," a sculpture project planned for D.C.'s Anacostia River.
Mia Feuer, "Antediluvian," a sculpture project planned for D.C.'s Anacostia River.D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities

In late 2013, Mia Feuer built a skating rink in the rotunda of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She manufactured it using a black synthetic ice made from bitumen, a product extracted from North American shale. Overhead, she suspended a cacophonous sculpture, a menacing mobile meant to evoke tar, feathers, and steel. 

It was one of the boldest D.C. contemporary art exhibitions in years. Tapping on her travels—which took her from a hellish reclamation site in the Athabasca oil sands of Alberta to a Soviet ghost-town mining camp in the Arctic Circle—she used sculpture to convey anxiety over oil and the environment. Just one year after her museum solo-show debut (which I wrote about in a cover story for the Washington City Paper), she's returning to Washington with an even bolder proposal.