Friday, January 25, 2019

Work in Progress for Upcoming Supreme Court Exhibit

The Supreme Court exhibit, which will be on view from April 2 through June 28, 2019, will be called Vanishment. It explores the fraught relationship between humans and the natural world, using, in part, materials that I've repurposed from previous bodies of work.

There will be two main elements in this show: eight pieces built on oil-on-board paintings from 1998 that have now been sealed with shellac (a surface treatment made from the secretions of a female insect from India or Thailand, the lac beetle), then collaged over with figures of people and animals made with wine foils (the wrappers at the top of a wine bottle that seal the cork). The pieces in this series chronicle the dissolution of a "relationship" between humans and the natural world (represented by animals), from beginning to end. All eight of these pieces are now complete.

1.  In the Beginning, mixed media on board, 27x36", 1998/2018

5 Parting of the Ways, mixed media on board, 25x33", 1998/2018
 The backspace of the gallery will feature a 31-foot installation called Digesting the Planet, built on an 18" high grid of rusted steel, reminiscent of an installation I created in 2010 in Nagoya, Japan in conjunction with COP 10 - the tenth meeting of the UN Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (the United States is not a signatory to this convention). "Intestines" are made with red and brown buttons threaded on wire, interspersed with boxes in which those buttons were originally packed, stored in a basement, and immersed in a flood that left a muddy "shadow" imprint of the buttons on the interior surfaces of the boxes. Small groupings of plastic animals shelter inside these boxes. The medium here is ironic – the animals are made of what threatens them. I'll be preparing the background grids next week, and will then mount the "intestines" and the animals.

It's been really interesting re-purposing my own older work and using wine foils in a new way (in addition to the collages I made for the alphabet book I published

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