"Nature Interrupted" 2008 Exhibition
Chelsea Art Museum/New York City,USA
Curated by Elga Wimmer

NATURE INTERRUPTED Exhibition

Curated by Elga Wimmer

July 5 - September 6, 2008

Exhibition ARTISTS:

Osmo Rauhala (Finland)
Joan Backes (USA)
Katie Holten (Ireland)
Anya Gallaccio (England)
Dannielle Tegeder (USA)
Soazic Guezennec (France)
Alexis Rockman (USA)
Helen Brough (England)
Jade Townsend (USA)
Jon Brumit (USA)
Chus Garcia-Fraile (Spain)
Jon Elliot (USA)

In this exhibition, Nature Interrupted, twelve artists show very diverse aspects of their concern in painting, sculpture, photography, installation and video. They may focus on a rare species in danger of extinction, such as the eagle or a flock of migrating birds in OSMO RAUHALA captivating VIDEO images, or the preservation of trees threatened by decease, as in JOAN BACKES paintings of tree bark, which could, in the future, become a points of reference to a species no longer in existence.

Another metaphor is KATIE HOLTEN artificial tree made of refuse such as recycled cardboard, wire, newspaper, and black tape. The emblem of a tree in distress is a perfect symbol for the environmental crisis we are experiencing.

ANYA GALLACCIO installation 'like we've never met' includes a series of doors with flowers pressed behind glass. Over the course of the exhibition, the flowers blacken and decay, highlighting the opposition between the instability of the natural materials and the permanence of the cast objects.

DANNIELLE TEGEDERS drawings depict a certain geometric growth as in the constructions of ants colonies or mole hills - it is up to the viewer's imagination to decide whether Tegeder's city is above or under the ground.

SOAZIC GUEZENNEC transfers the African jungle to a suburban surrounding, embellishing it with colorful billboard images resembling a tree house, giraffe or field of orchids. His installation shows a tent, an umbrella and a mosquito net painted with Africa's tropical flora and fauna, yet covered with holes and rips and no longer useful and protective. These objects are a metaphor for environmental problems such as dirty water, acid rains and pollution that destroy Africa's natural environment.

ALEX ROCKMAN in his series of paintings "American Icons" show an apocalyptic vision of American national monuments such as the US Capitol and Mount Rushmore. Even such bastions of frivolity and greed as Hollywood suffer the same leveling fate when it comes to the status-blind and whimsical response of our planet.

Equally the drawings in HELEN BROUGH series "Cataclysmic Hypotheses" generate imaginary visions of iconic contemporary architecture that will eventually become ruins. These drawings serve as a translation of vague unconscious dreams of catastrophes mixed with the haunting recollections of disasters seen in film, television, newspapers or on the web.

The installation of JADE TOWNSEND prompts us to reconsider our striven to achieve in a lifetime.

JON BRUMIT focuses on corn as an evolving instrument for litigation and intellectual property issues. By way of critique of the current corporate influence over food production, his sound installation using recycled plastic bags and counterfeit corn resembles sonic arquitecture and violent instruments more than anything remotely edible.

CHUS GARCIA-FRAILE in her photographs and videos inserts escalators and other examples of modern technology into pristine jungles and landscapes - a vision that is disturbing and enchanting at the same time. Is that the future of nature - will it be saved or destroyed by modern technology?

The same question is asked by JON ELLIOT, whose paintings depict piles of computers and televisions, mixed with the occasional oil/waste drum, populating various waterways. Radiant, though somewhat toxic skies drip, and cast their neon color schemes over these dark and sublime waterscapes, while mysterious undulating patterns appear like life-like forms born of chemical and digital run-off.

  • Elga Wimmer, Curator
    New York City, NY July 2008
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