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Charlie James Gallery is delighted to present a solo sh ow of Bay Area artist Carol Selter. The exhibition brings together three bodies of work that use dead animals to look at deadly threa ts to living animals from the actions - or inaction - of humans. The dead a nimals are taxidermied or jarred specimens and animal death masks originall y from university teaching collections. The deadly threats encompass habita t destruction from deforestation\, agricultural encroachment\, and exotic i nvasive species\; changes in ocean chemistry and sea level as climate chang e progresses\; pollution both chemical and physical\; deliberate killing of species labeled pests\; overharvesting both legal and illegal\, even accid ents.

In the videos tha t comprise A Turtle and Two Squirrels Walk Into a Bar... (2011)\, taxidermied animals comment on or question changes that have occurred in th eir lives. Such events as deforestation or loss of fresh water cause conste rnation or bewilderment. A sea turtle swims laden with marine debris. A sea gull searches for the inundated shoreline where it used to nest. The predic aments they experience are serious. Yet to see the clunky "animation\," to hear the specimens "speak" is to be amused. Humor and pathos form a dynamic equilibrium in these works.

The photographs of The Calendar Pictures (1990/2011) mock th e conventional wildlife calendar that soothes us into thinking all is well with happy animals in undisturbed nature. Here also\, dilapidated specimens (in some cases the same as those in the videos) are the subjects. But thes e animals were actually transported to their natural habitats on field trip s in acts of symbolic reparation. There they were helped to "live again" an d photographed in the manner of classical wildlife pictures. We see the fam iliar scenes and settings but they are unexpectedly populated with dead sub jects. The ridiculous ways in which the dead animals have "been brought to life" are uncomfortably hilarious.

By contrast\, the found animal death masks of Burning Down the House (2010) convey no shred of humor. They are solemn\, dignifie d\, the essence of gravitas\, vastly silent and weighted. Named for perils facing their wild populations\, their meaning expands to make them symbols of all creatures that stand to meet their demise because of human activitie s.

The animals of the d eath masks differ from those in the videos and photographs in another way. Those of the death masks retain their animalness\, their "otherness" undilu ted by anthropomorphism. The creatures are mysterious and fascinating. In t he photographs and even more so the videos\, the specimens are deliberately anthropomorphized\, given a mantle of human-like personality in order to m ake their situations more familiar and meaningful. Watching the videos we r ealize that events and issues we hear about in human terms affect creatures that have no idea of the situation and no way to change things.

Carol Selter received her MFA in Photography from the School of Art and Design\, San Jose State University i n 2002. She also holds degrees in botany and biology. Her work has been exh ibited at Gallery 16\, San Francisco Art Commission Gallery\, SF Camerawork in San Francisco\, SFMOMA\, and the San Jose Museum of Art\, as well as at Harvard University\, and at CEPA Gallery in Buffalo\, NY. She has received a SECA award and the Phelan award in photography.

DTEND:20110716 DTSTAMP:20140830T173938 DTSTART:20110611 GEO:34.066589;-118.2382615 LOCATION:Charlie James Gallery\,969 Chung King Road \nLos Angeles\, CA 9001 2 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Animal Stories\, Carol Selter UID:165939 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20110611T210000 DTSTAMP:20140830T173938 DTSTART:20110611T180000 GEO:34.066589;-118.2382615 LOCATION:Charlie James Gallery\,969 Chung King Road \nLos Angeles\, CA 9001 2 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Animal Stories\, Carol Selter UID:165940 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR