Opening Reception : Friday, April 18, 2014 | 6 – 10 PM
Exhibition Duration : April 18 -June 20, 2014
Miami, FL (April 2, 2014) – Primary Projects (PRIMARY) presents “The Castle Dismal”, new works by Christina Pettersson exploring her undying fascination with Southern Gothic, the poignancy of ghosts ever wronged.

“Christina Pettersson wants you under her spell.  A Wonderland pulses from her enchanted hand, and as you stand dwarfed before her towering pieces you are overrun by the contradictions of her natural world, the clash of sensual fantasy with corporeal decay.  Stone lions weep black blood.  Murderous kudzu climbs heavenward.  Neglected columns stand as the grand ghosts of an incinerated mansion. As you’re drawn ever deeper into the tangled symphony of her deft pencil strokes, you are drenched in Gothic whimsy and beguiled by the gentle monster of an imagination overgrown with carnival and myth.  Pettersson is bewitched by the songs of forgotten ghosts, by the incomprehensible decadence of her beloved South.  How could you resist her mayhem?” – Susanna Sonnenberg

Through drawing, installation, sculpture, performance, and a series of weekly events surrounding her new body of work, Pettersson explains “all this is a way of re-addressing the Deep South, a place I genuinely love and feel connected to. I am approaching this imagery hard, face first into utter desolation. A constant state of mourning. A life where everything else falls around you, until at last you are forced to admit that you may be the cause of it all.”

More about Christina Pettersson
Christina Pettersson was born in Stockholm, Sweden and lives in Miami, FL. Recent exhibitions include the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, FL, Launch F18, curated by Site95, New York, NY and Primary Projects, Miami, FL. Other venues include the Birmingham Museum of Art, AL, Columbus Museum of Art, GA, Baltimore Museum of Art, MD, Wiregrass Museum of Art, AL, Naples Museum of Art, FL, and locally in South Florida at the Perez Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, and Locust Projects, to name a few.

She has been awarded the South Florida Cultural Consortium twice, the largest regionally sponsored artist grant in the country, as well as the Individual Artist Fellowship, and is a Fulbright Scholar for Sweden. She has attended residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, the Deering Estate, VCCA and The Studios of Key West. She was named one of the “Young Miami artists making a mark this Art Basel go-around” by The Miami Herald last December, and was one of eight artists chosen worldwide by the Four Seasons Hotel to do a commissioned work for their 50th anniversary. She just received a Knight Grant thru O, Miami to complete a project for National Poetry Month this April at Primary Projects in conjunction with her exhibition.

Her work is in the permanent collections of the Perez Art Museum Miami, The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Debra and Dennis Scholl, Marty and Cricket Taplin, Liza and Arturo Mosquera, Dan and Kathryn Mikesell, Frances Bishop Good and David Horvitz, Edouard Duval-Carrié and Kate Shanley.

The Castle Dismal Calendar of Events | Created by Christina Pettersson / Primary Projects
if interested please send an email to
Many events have size limits. Dates and times are estimated; more details to follow as events draw nigh.

April 26, 9am-12pm
BaynanzaBiscayne Bay Cleanup Day at historic Virginia Beach
For 32 years now, the Baynanza Day has brought our community together to keep our beaches and waterways clean and in ship-shape. Christina Pettersson has participated in this event since she was an 8 year old girl scout. Sign up at and join Ms. Pettersson at a classic event that makes you an active member of your own community.
Location: Virginia Beach, or any other available location near you.

April 28
Harper Lee’s birthday
Celebrate by watching one of Christina Pettersson’s favorite movies of all time, To Kill A Mockingbird. Reading the book is double the fun.
Location: Your own home or abode

April 29, 7pm
Learn to embroider your very own mourning handkerchief
During the Victorian Era, mourning rituals were strictly adhered to, even the colors you wiped your tears with. Embroider your own initials so that you may gift it to the person who will mourn your loss the most.
Presented by artist Carrie Sieh.
Location: Primary Projects

May 3, June 14, 1 pm, 45 minute tour
Cemetery Tour
Explore Miami City Cemetery with the artist as she points out some of her favorite monuments and trees, and discusses the evolution and symbolism of the cemetery, particularly during the Victorian Era and the Civil War. Make your own grave rubbing afterwards. Optional lunch at the S&S Diner across the street, the oldest surviving Art Deco diner in Miami.
Location: 1800 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132

May 3, June 14, 10 pm, 45 minute tour
Ghost tour of the abandoned houses of Christina Pettersson’s neighborhood
Come on a spooky, late night walking tour of our dear Buena Vista. Wear black and bring your own candle or lantern to walk around with. Space is limited to 10 people.
Location: The Artist’s Home, 58 NE 48th St, Miami, FL 33137

May 10, 7pm
The Feast of Species
Only 26 species will be given a seat at the Great Table of Species Dinner, where the humans will step into new skin and become for one evening a species of their choice. You will be required to dress the part, act the part, and speak on behalf of the needs of your species within today’s world. Each species will bring one meal for one fellow guest at the feast. This dinner is planned in collaboration with Red Flag Magazine in celebration of the launch of their eighth edition on the topic of animals, which features the work of Christina Pettersson, along with several other Miami based artists. We will have a surprise musical performance, plus a shwag bag, and a photo booth to record your ‘natural’ look. If you want to join us for this special night please email and tell us which species you would be and why?
Location: Primary Projects

May 16, 7pm
Join Christina Pettersson and her mother’s book club as we discuss a quintessential Southern Gothic work of literature, the short stories of Flannery O’Connor, which won the National Book Award in 1972 (after her death). Known as the “Queen of Southern Ghouls”, O’Connor of Georgia relied heavily on regional settings and grotesque characters. “Whenever I’m asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one” she famously said. Read a story and join us for discussion over wine and regional hors d’oeuvres.
Location: Primary Projects

May 22, 9pm
Southernmost Situations Performance and Tropigoth Masquerade
A new fashion is being created! Blending the sensuous imagery of the Tropics with the melancholy darkness of Gothic fashion, we present TropiGoth. Attendees are encouraged to dress up, wear a mask, and ladies to have fans, just like at Truman Capote’s infamous Black and White Ball at the Plaza Hotel in 1966. The evening will culminate with a performance by local Southernmost Situations, premiering a dazzling inversion of the murderous Bluebeard story featuring Liz Ferrer, accompanied by live piano and candlelight. A collaboration by Liz and Christina Pettersson.
Location: The Artist’s Verdant Backyard Paradise, 58 NE 48th St, Miami, FL 33137

May 26, 2pm
Celebrate Christina Pettersson’s birthday at the Miami City Cemetery Every year Ms. Pettersson enjoys a picnic lunch alongside the grave of John Alfred Ball, a young man with the same birthday as the artist, who died in 1914. Come enjoy the artist’s usual meal of fried chicken and champagne, and perhaps search for your own birthday soul mate.
Location: 1800 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132

June 3, 7pm
What is Southern Gothic? University of Miami Associate Professor of English Joel Nickels examines the central theme in my show from a literary perspective, particularly thru the work of William Faulkner. Recommended reading: As I Lay Dying.
Location: Primary Projects

June 7 | 4, 5:30, & 7pm | tour is 30 minutes
Walking tour of a derelict family farm
Explore relics of a near forgotten past, meet unemployed ghosts and revisit catastrophic histories. Artist Kerry Phillips invites us to nose around as she highlights parts of this once-familiar abandoned homestead. Have your photo taken in front of this historic abode. Comfortable, closed-toed shoes recommended.
Location: Primary Projects