ECOAESTHETIC, a project of SEA (Social Environmental Aesthetics), is the first exhibition of SEA to be mounted in Exit Art’s main gallery. In keeping with SEA’s mission to present artworks that address socio-environmental concerns – and to unite artists, scholars, scientists and the public in discussion on these issues – ECOAESTHETIC approaches the mystery of beauty in the environment, which can be destructive or utopian.
The artists in this exhibition do not have a passive engagement with the environment; rather, they seek out beautiful and tragic images to emphasize the human impact on fragile ecosystems, to elucidate our relationship to nature, and to visualize the violence of natural disasters. The purpose of ECOAESTHETIC is to demonstrate that global environmental struggles create an aesthetic. This exhibition of photography explores how the tragedy of an image can become the beauty and aesthetic of the environment.
In conjunction with ECOAESTHETIC, Exit Art will create a collective “artists terrarium" in its two ground floor windows facing 36th Street and 10th Avenue. For this project, artists have been invited to bring a plant to Exit Art and a photo of themselves with the plant. These images will be installed with the plants in the storefront windows. Our intention is to create an environmental community and give a presence to the local environmental movement.