Monday, April 30, 2012

“Where the Wild Things… Aren’t?” @ Wall Space Gallery

Exhibition view, Wall Space Gallery. Front right: artwork by Tony Taylor; at the back: performance video by Gareth Bate: Penance, 2011

On Earth Day 2012 opened an environmental art exhibition at Wall Space Gallery that explores the human relationship to nature - or at least the concept of it.

The exhibit bases on the “central paradox” of human and nature, like scholar and environmental theorist William Cronon writes:
“This, then, is the central paradox: wilderness embodies a dualistic vision in which the human is entirely outside the natural. If we allow ourselves to believe that nature, to be true, must also be wild, then our very presence in nature represents its fall. The place where we are is the place where nature is not… We thereby leave ourselves little hope of discovering what an ethical, sustainable, honorable human place in nature might actually look like.” (excerpted from "The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting back to the Wrong Nature")

Jessica Marion Barr, Augury: Elegy, 2011

The show features works by artists who share a keen interest in exploring themes of environment: Ottawa-area natives Stefan Thompson, Barbara Cuerden and Carmella Karijo Rother, along with Gareth Bate, Karen Abel, Jessica Marion Barr, Tony Taylor, Ingrid Koivukangas, and Jane Fulton Alt.

Karen Abel: Hibernaculum, 2012. Bats made of Cast sugar.

The exhibition aims for an intimate reflection, and rises questions about our relationship to nature and the environmental crises – without prescribing solutions. Rather, the viewer is prompted to rethink the human-nature connection, and to question his habits.

Photographs by Jane Fulton Alt that deal with the environmental desaster of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

This exhibition represents a partial fulfillment of curator Cynthia Mykytyshyn's degree requirements. This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Mixed media works by Ingrid Koivukangas. Underneath the photographs of herbs and flowers, you will find their seeds in little glass cases. 

Wall Space Gallery
“Where the Wild Things…Aren’t?”
April 22 – May 6, 2012