Tuesday, December 14, 2010

EcoArchive: Meditations on Time and Nature at Intersection for the Arts

Intersection for the Arts
There is a lot of ecologically related art showing in San Francisco right now. Andy Goldsworthy has a show at Haines, documenting his artistic practice and an on-going installation at the Presidio but an equally interesting - and challenging show - is at Intersection for the Arts, in their new gallery at 925 Mission.  Located on the ground floor of what used to be the Chronicle building, the huge space has a raw, unfinished ambiance that fits in well with the current show. Co-Curated by Patricia Watts, the founder of ecoartspace which addresses environmental issues, the works attempt to look at the current state of our own planet through documenting human actions, interactions and destructive practices. The show attempts to raise our awareness of ecology and the exhibit works if you give yourself over to it. The show is not one that you can breeze through, full of pretty or at least recognizable pieces. Each section of the exhibit requires time, sometimes a great deal of time, to watch the videos or to understand the real meaning of the photographs and sculptures.

Cynthia Hooper is presenting three visually stunning videos. Each pulls the viewer in with their beauty and then, shocks with the realization of what he (or she) is really watching. The images are both hideous and beautiful, portraying the real meaning of how we are corrupting the earth. Her work is a poetic and meditative look at landscapes transformed, often negatively, by us. The installations come with headphones but the viewing experience would be improved if there were a couch or at least a chair for the viewer.

Jessica Skloven, Chronicles of a Place Unknown, Iceland, Summer 2008

At first glance, Jessica Skloven's work looks like abstract paintings. But they are really series of photographs of Iceland, done during the summer of 2008.  Images of the harsh, barren but fascinating landscape fill the frame from edge to edge.

Matthew Moore is a farmer living outside Phoenix, the last of four generations to live and farm on the same land. His Lifecycles documents, through time-lapse photography. the different types of foods grown on his family farm outside Phoenix. Who would have thought that watching a time-lapse photo of broccoli growing would be so fascinating?

Sam Easterson. Burrowing Owl

Sam Easterson's ongoing project The Museum of Animal Perspectives (MAP) features wildlife imagery that has been captured using remote sensing cameras on animals, spiders, and insects. Upon entering the gallery, two of these videos greet the visitor; the one with a Tarantula is not for the arachnid phobic!

Other artists in the exhibit include Tamara Albaitis sound works, Mark Baugh-Sasaki's sculptures, Karl Cronin, experimental performance artist, Chris McCaw's time lapse photography using vintage gelatin silver black and white paper and Chris Sicat's found and reclaimed wood, covered with graphite.

It's the season to be jolly but while you are maxing the plastic to the max, have a thought for the planet. It's the only one we have and in a time of increasing environmental problems caused by man's thoughtlessness, carelessness and greed, shows like EcoArchive attempt to bring mindfulness and care for Mother Earth into our consciousness.

Andy Goldsworthy: Incidental Objects: Sculpture, drawings, photographs and video. Through Dec. 24. Haines Gallery, 49 Geary St., S.F. (415) 397-8114 www.hainesgallery.com.
Kenneth Baker's review at the Chronicle:  http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/26/DDVF1GGI9C.DTL#ixzz1816VSaQJ

Patricia Watts ecoartspace (www.ecoartspace.org) is a platform for artists addressing environmental issues. Founded in 1997 as an art and nature center in development, ecoartspace was one of the first websites dedicated to art and environmental issues. New York City Curator Amy Lipton joined Watts in 1999, and together they have curated numerous exhibitions, participated on panels, lectured at universities, developed programs and curricula, and written essays for publications.

Intersection for the Arts: 925 Mission Street at 5th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103 http://www.theintersection.org/
Gallery Hours: Tuesdays - Saturdays 12-6PM. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Gallery Closed 12/24 - 1/3, Re-Opening 1/4.

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