BEGIN:VCALENDAR VERSION:2.0 PRODID:icalendar-ruby CALSCALE:GREGORIAN BEGIN:VEVENT DTSTAMP:20170523T213455Z UID:245040 DTSTART:20121117T000000 DTEND:20121216T000000 DESCRIPTION:
Please Note: after Dec. 16 thru Jan. 6 the exhibition is pen by appointment only.\n
"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence with no civilization in between"
- Oscar Wilde
In the mid 19th century\, a group o f artists known as the Hudson Valley School sought to
capture the magn ificence of the American frontier at a time when little of it was seen\, an d
even less was known. It was a precursor to the grand experiment of m anifest destiny
and glorified the pristine\, “virgin” land of this you ng country as much as it disregarded the
history of a civilization who had called it home for thousands of years. These painters
corralled t heir efforts under the cloak of Romanticism\, attempting to capture the sub limity
of natureʼs prowess under godʼs creation. It was a method of in terpreting their
surroundings with a child-like innocence\, with littl e regard to sense of place and history\,
let alone the cultures that i nhabited it. While these painters demonstrated a high level of
craft a nd their aesthetic is what the majority of the general public think of when they hear
the word “art\,” their subject matter is arbitrary and gene ric\, offering the viewer mere
surface contemplation\; nothing more th an the saccharine pleasure of an idealized
meadow\, river\, or mountai n.
As the Hudson Valley School proffered idyllic visions of a ne w countryʼs seemingly
endless bounty of open space and natural resourc es\, the group of artists and thinkers in
this exhibition are grapplin g with effects of late model capitalism\, after the 20th centuryʼs
gre atest superpower has reached its peak and begins to tumble down the mountai n.
Engaging what Gilles Deleuze would refer to as “nomadic thought\,” this exhibition
interprets the cycle of people who live on\, alter\, a nd leave certain sections of land as an
amorphous process with constan tly changing boundaries of our physical and
psychological environments . Their choice of media reflects this mode of thinking\,
defining thei r practices with monikers like “exercises in futility\,” “video documentati on of
temporary public installations\,” or “mobile-hybrid sculptural s ystems”. Their works act of
a kind of field guide\, offering the viewe r multiple routes for navigating their physical and
cultural surroundi ngs.
Greg Stewart and Dymph de Wildʼs sculptural works and “surv ival suits” are eerie
mutations of the plant and animal kingdom\, desi gned for the chaos spawned from
migration and adaptation in the areas between urban and rural environments. For Dan
Carlson the residue and monuments of the Cold War\, in the form of abandoned military
bases an d industrial wastelands\, serve as fertile ground for cultivating response in the
form of video installations. Peter Lapsleyʼs sculptures are com posed of industrial
materials used in contemporary architecture that n od to the perfect forms of ancient
mathematics and the ruins that serv e as evidence of their unattainability.
Producing both reflect ive and functional research-based works\, Jan Mun focuses on
cultural and ecological immigration through community-based interventions\, while Ri ck
Reid's conceptual\, text-based work uses Gertrude Stein's The Makin g of Americans in
tandem with the Human Genome Project to create a new vision of human cartography.
Marin Abell's exercises in “unlearning” re-evaluate our instinct to organize and map by
presenting whimsical s cenarios with stoic purposefulness.
Corina Reynolds examines our ritualistic relationship with advertising and its power to
homogenize any foreign space into something immediately accessible and familiar\,
whereas Josh Bricker's videos create a kind of displacement where the com monplace\,
nationalist pride so embedded in American entertainment tur ns into something
John Wanzel employs the method of artist as expert\, taking a pseudoscientific approach
for d escribing man-made structures in geologic terms\, while Leah Raintree's sha le
drawings and photographs that serve as evidence of climate change d istort value
systems of natural resources in abstracted\, economic ter ms. Tom Pnini's work reveals
the mechanics of illusion and skirts a fi ne line between glorifying and vilifying american
industry\, and play nicely with Chad Curtis' scaled down mountains made from
disposable\, everyday materials. Ben Finer's works on paper hinge the seemingly
mun dane beauty of natural landscapes with a constructed spirituality\, while D aniel J.
Glendening acts as a kind of intermediary historian\, culling inspiration from the failed
utopian experiments of our recent past an d producing artifacts that seem to come from
the near future.
Together these artists are united through a heightened sense of awarenes s to their
immediate surroundings seen through the lens of the America n landscape\; a landscape
shaped by unseen socio-political forces\, co nstantly shifting cultural paradigms\, and the
dizzying flux of constr uction and destruction.
New works by: Marin Abell\, Josh Bricker \, Dan Carlson\, Chad Curtis\, Dymph de
Wild\, Ben Finer\, Daniel J. G lendening\, Peter Lapsley\, Jan Mun\, Tom Pnini\, Leah
Raintree\, Rick Reid\, Corina Reynolds\, Greg Stewart\, &\; John Wanzel.
Org anized by: Dan Carlson