Gallery  February 13, 2020

A Perfect Storm: Climate Change in Art

FACTION Art Projects

Tatiana Arocha, Bosque de niebla

FACTION Art Projects is delighted to announce their latest exhibition A Perfect Storm curated by FACTION’s new Curator-In-Residence Natasha Becker. The exhibition will include work by Tatiana Arocha, Allison Janae Hamilton, Riitta Ikonen, Lionel Cruet, Joiri Minaya, Mark Tribe and Demian DinéYazhi ́ and draw on the pressing environmental issues of our planet.

A Perfect Storm refers to a rare combination of events, arising from a number of negative factors, that creates an unusually bad situation. It is an apt expression for the urgent and unresolved challenges of global warming, pollution, climate change, and many more environmental problems that have become a reality for millions of people.

FACTION Art Projects

Riitta Ikonen, mail art project

Instead of bemoaning our fate, the artists in the exhibition offer intricate pathways to a deeper understanding of our significant connection to nature. Together, they provide aesthetic experiences that undercut our tendency to either catastrophize or become overwhelmed when faced with the challenges of climate change.

Through drawing, painting, photography, and installation art, the artists presented in this exhibition offer varied interpretations on the interconnected realities of natural and human made environments, land and bodies, culture and memory. They take into consideration the voices of those with the most intimate knowledge of the environment and comment on their experiences of resistance, relocations, and adaptations.

FACTION Art Projects

Lionel Cruet, Floods Aftermath and Other Hurricane Stories I

Lionel Cruet’s series of paintings on blue plastic tarps depict stranded houses in a dark landscape after the effect of hurricanes and heavy floods. However, a soft yellow light inside the houses denotes human presence, resilience, and hope. In places like Puerto Rico, blue tarp was used as a temporary architectural solution to damaged homes but it has become part of the landscape and a symbol of the country's slow recovery and political chaos.

In upstate New York, Mark Tribe is documenting the wild forests of Balsam Lake Mountain located in the southwest corner of Catskill Park. The wilderness experience we value so much for our spiritual renewal and physical rejuvenation is becoming transformed by human impact. Spurred by the question “what will our few remaining wild places look and sound like a century from now?,” his work captures the remarkable beauty and distinctive preciousness of this wild forest preserve.

Tatiana Arocha’s enduring interactions with nature are deeply collaborative and mutually beneficial. She converses intimately with some of the planet’s oldest residents, plants and trees, found in the jungles of Colombia. Nature, in turn, shares with the artists her exceptional stories, aesthetics, diversity of expressions, and human challenges.

Riitta Ikonen’s performative practice also explores the art of living in harmony with nature, belonging to nature, and being moved by nature. Her projects foreground people-nature interactions and her own experiences across cities, urban environments, green spaces, and oceans. Ikonen is driven to use her voice to discuss our relationships to nature and climate change, and spends half the year traveling to different parts of the world.

© Riitta Ikonen & Annie Collinge

Riitta Ikonen & Annie Collinge, Successive Lines, January, 2013.

Allison Janae Hamilton creates contemporary fables and myths by telling, retelling, listening, and relistening to the silenced stories of Black people in the South. During her trips to Florida and Tennessee she collects natural objects, such as, tree branches, feathers, and horse hair which she combines with human made objects to create imaginative totems; mythical animals and enigmatic sculptures. Imbued with snippets of personal accounts, spiritual beliefs, experiential and cultural memories, Hamilton’s hybrid characters speak to the long history of erasure of African American experiences of the land and the natural environment.

Linking colonial voyages of discovery to contemporary tourism, Joiri Minaya explores the appropriation of local land, oceans, and labor by the tourism industry in Haiti and its consequences; racist souvenirs, economic dependence, and tourist spectacles. It seems our demand for the illusion of a “paradise island” creates an alarming yet invisible reality for local inhabitants.

Through their poetry, artist Demian DinéYazhi ́ born to the clans Naasht'ézhíTábąąhá (Zuni Clan Water's Edge) and Tódích'íí'nii (Bitter Water) of the Diné, tells stories of the entangled relations between land, Native culture, and exploitative colonial, capitalist economic and political systems. Their work honors the evolution of traditional Diné practices, ceremonies, and interactions with the land, while challenging dominant narratives of race, authenticity, class, and gender.

Rooted in research-based art practices, all the artists presented in this exhibition connect us back to nature as heritage, culture, memory, and human right through paintings, sculpture, photography, and installation art. They take into consideration the voices of those with the most intimate knowledge of the natural environment and comment on their experiences of adaptation, resistance, and relocation. Their work represents positive action and supports our greater interconnectedness.

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