About the Exhibition
The evolution of species and spaces in twenty-first century art explores the environmental, economic, and technological conditions shaping the earth and its inhabitants today. In these still and moving images of land and cityscapes, and in the taxidermy and fabricated figures of The New Frontier, nature meets technoculture, and the new natural is both organic and manufactured. Invoking past and future in a critique of the present, these paintings, photographs, sculptures and videos document observed, current realities while referencing the aesthetic traditions of 19th and 20th century art. Influenced by Romanticism and Surrealism, science and commerce, these artists envision how the dreams and detritus of the industrial era have generated the promise and peril of the digital age.
Landscape, once the realm of the bucolic and pastoral, now appears fantastical, alluring, threatening and threatened, permanently altered into an anthropocene: a manufactured nature whose contours and contents are determined by global commerce and technology. These hybrid territories are home to hybrid creatures, whose forms combine human, animal and artificial features, the offspring of scientific research and imagination, reflecting our anxiety and aspirations for the future. While hybrids have been a staple of the collective cultural imagination for centuries, images of genetic recombinants populate the art of the turn of 20th century as do they now. During periods of significant concurrent economic, technological, and socio-political change, hybrids embody fear and desire, the known and the unknown. They and the territories they may inhabit belong to the uncanny, a place eerily alien and familiar. As the post-industrial landscape recedes into the bytes and pixels of the digital age, the sublime becomes the supernatural.
* Header Image: Simen Johan, Untitled #153, 2008 (Buffalo). Digital chromogenic print.