Will Nature Make A Man of Me Yet?
Pi Artworks London, 55 Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8EG / http://www.piartworks.com
26 August – 10 September 2016
Curated by John Kenneth Paranada
Alex Anikina, Omer Even-Paz, huber.huber, Manuel Mathieu, Rachel McRae, Mark Salvatus, Victoria Sin
Through painting, video, collage, sculpture, performance and installation by huber.huber, Manuel Mathieu, Mark Salvatus, Rachel McCrae, Victoria Sin, Omer Even-Paz, and a lecture-performance by Alex Anikina, Will Nature Make A Man of Me Yet? asks how do humans, and their creations, adapt to uncontrollable environmental changes after centuries of ecocide? The exhibition presents a pan-global perspective on the issue of the Anthropocene, an era that started when humanity began to have a significant impact on the planet. This is done through exploring gender, capitalism, identity, automation, materiality and the potential for nature’s reincarnation after the crisis.
huber.huber’s bubble machine spews black paint against the white gallery floor, alluding to the regulation of creativity by technology. Mark Salvatus’s video installation shows flashes of all the world’s currencies suggesting the blur and meaninglessness of subjective value facilitated by paper money. These works are juxtaposed by a video projection of people climbing up and down a public overpass in Manila, Philippines. Victoria Sin explores consumer culture’s proliferation of images and representations of gender and nature within advance capitalism by creating a forest of larger-than-life plastic banana balloons, which she will inflate in the entrance of the gallery. Rachel McRrae opens up the discussion on environmental detritus as she gathers dust, bits of metal, broken pottery and speculative Roman artifacts from the river Thames, turning them into animated sculptures. Omer Even-Paz creates Frankenstein-ean constructions that mimic cows, rabbits and sparrows out of foil and other disparate materials. Manuel Mathieu’s painting appropriates abstract segments from images of political tensions aggravated by environmental changes. Alex Anikina looks into the anthropocentric camera with her video exploration of imaginary lands.
The artists included in Will Nature Make A Man of Me Yet? reconfigure, appropriate and destroy the simplistic depiction of nature as separate from man: raising awareness of the destructive and creative effects of human consumption on the cosmos.
The exhibition seeks to incite feelings of rage and exhaustion as we witness a new age where artists aren’t able to respond or take control because they are swept up in the current structures of things as much as anybody else. They are unable to view the Anthropocene objectively because they live deep within it. The feeling of frustration and incompetence weaves these artworks together, as the artists visualize the twenty first century’s environmental Armageddon.