OCTOBER 21, 2015 – JANUARY 22, 2016
Opening Reception: Tuesday, October 20, 6-8pm
Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 12-6pm
Artists included in the exhibition: Allora & Calzadilla, Lara Almarcegui, Brandon Ballengée, Dylan Gauthier, Brooke Singer and Pinar Yoldas. Curated by Kari Conte.
Aqueous Earth presents artwork that reconsiders humanity’s relationship to bodies of water in the Anthropocene era. ISCP’s close proximity to Newtown Creek—a channelized estuary that was once the busiest waterway in New York City—shapes the exhibition’s conceptual framework. Heavy industrial usage has transformed Newtown Creek into an ecological catastrophe; it was designated as a Superfund site in 2010. Mirroring the issues pertaining to the creek’s degradation, Aqueous Earth presents the work of artists who apply multidisciplinary and speculative research to their work. Through a confluence of research, action and optimism, the six artists in Aqueous Earth look beyond the bleak present,rethinking the way humanity entwines with nature.
A series of public programs will accompany the exhibition. These include eight boat voyages throughout October with Dylan Gauthier and guests including Una Chaudhuri, Sam Gould, Maureen McLane and Marina Zurkow, and a November panel discussion on Ecofeminism & Art.
Artworks in the exhibition include Brooke Singer’s Toxic Sites US Project (2007-15), an online data visualization and media-sharing platform about the worst toxic sites in the United States, including hundreds of rivers, creeks and lakes that are Superfund sites. Lara Almarcegui’s Guide to the Wastelands of Flushing River (2010), focuses on the “empty gaps”—urban ruins and detritus—found along most of the expanse of the four-mile-long Flushing River in Queens, New York. The artist’s guidebook and slideshow traces the history and redevelopment of this long-neglected terrain. An Ecosystem of Excess (2014), an installation by artist and researcher Pinar Yoldas imagines how amphibious species can biologically adapt their organs to metabolize plastic in the Pacific Trash Vortex, a floating mass of plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean. In the project, Yoldas asks: “If life started today in the oceans of plastic, what kind of life forms would emerge out of this contemporary primordial ooze?” In What Wilderness: 9 Conversations on Ecology, Abstraction, and the Anthropocene, Dylan Gauthier will be taking on the role of an urban wilderness explorer, and build a 16-foot punt at ISCP with the collective, Mare Liberum, to carry invited guests and the public down Newtown Creek to investigate its industrial past and post-natural present. These early morning conversations on the water will be transcribed in a new video for the exhibition. In Ghosts of the Gulf (2014), a photographic series by Brandon Ballengée, the artist looks at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that happened in 2010, an epic environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that severely impacts its marine life. In Amphibious (Login-Logout), Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla capture turtles floating down China’s Pearl River, surrounded by the world’s largest urban area. Drifting with the current on a log, the group of six turtles observes a rapidly booming economy on the water and riverbanks, causing their habitat to become more industrialized and less hospitable to non-human life.
This exhibition and related public programs are supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, The Greenwich Collection and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Antonio Reynoso, Council Member, 34th District.