BEGIN:VCALENDAR VERSION:2.0 PRODID:icalendar-ruby CALSCALE:GREGORIAN BEGIN:VEVENT DTSTAMP:20170524T064238Z UID:259496 DTSTART:20121028T000000 DTEND:20130224T000000 DESCRIPTION:
Los Angeles artist Jessica Rath’s take me to the apple breeder
is the culmination of a three-year project steeped in plant genetics\, seen
in its entirety for the first time. Comprised of porcelain apple
sculptures and large-scale photographic portraits of hybrid trees\, the exh
ibition is informed by Rath's visits to the USDA/Cornell University Plant G
enetics Resource Unit (PGRU) in Geneva\, NY\, which preserves endangered va
rieties from extinction\, and its Agricultural Experiment Station\, where a
pple clones are crossbred to create new varieties for large-scale consumpti
on. The exhibition reminds the viewer that edible fruits are not born of na
ture\, but are scientific and cultural constructions based on both a desire
for idealized beauty and on meeting increasing agricultural demands as glo
bal warming changes how farmers grow.
The individual seeds of an apple are all genetically differ ent from one another\; planting the seeds from one apple engenders vastly d ifferent fruit and trees. PGRU’s vast orchard project to keep thousands of varieties alive has been aptly described as the “Noah’s Ark of orchards” in Michael Pollan’s book Botany of Desire. Sublime and haunting\,
The exhibition is made up of the nine sculptures capturing the dying fruits and eleven photog raphs that capture the new breeds by revealing their extreme architecture a gainst white muslin backdrops. Investigating at the point of human interven tion in the natural world\, Rath questions the naturalist\, artist and scie ntist’s drive to contain and beget beauty within the landscape\, whether in the cultivated ground of agriculture and in our own backyards.
Jessica Rath received an MFA from California Institute for the Arts in 1996 and also studied at School of th e Art Institute in Chicago. Recent solo exhibitions include Ben Maltz Galle ry at Otis College of Art and Design and the Torrance Art Museum. She recei ved a Center for Cultural Innovation ARC grant and Investing in Artists gra nt for this project and was visiting artist faculty at California Institute for the Arts in 2011/2012.