Verity In Vision: Art at the Edge of Human/Nature

instinct-art-gallery-logoInstinct Art Gallery
940 Nicollet Mall.
Gallery hours, Wed – Saturday 12:00 to 5:00pm.
Featuring the art of Sean Connaughty, Kate Casanova, Eric William Carroll, Chase boston, Alison Hiltner, and John Schuerman
The Opening Reception is on Saturday November 12, from 6:00 to 8:00pm, and runs from November 9 through December 19, 2016.

Verity In Vision: Art at the Edge of Human/Nature

Humans have learned to control their environment like no other species on the earth. We exalt ourselves for this difference, for controlling the elements and imposing constraints on natural forces.  We create protective, life-extending, buffers from the natural world: we live in homes, wear clothes, take medicine, etc.  The result is a mediated experience of nature.

The artists in this exhibition examine how human and nonhuman nature, coexist.  In particular they look at what’s happening in the buffered interface. Because we are natural creatures our existence is inextricably tied to the health of the natural environment, but our behavior is now shaped as much by the conditions we’ve created, as the forces of nature.

The artists all practice sustained observation, and their own quasi-scientific methods of research, experimentation, and data analysis.  This often leads the artists to ritual, and a simple fixation on their subjects, which tend to be things that go unnoticed, overlooked or disregarded.  The less examined elements become objects of guilty pleasure for the artists, though their inquiry is more existential.  Have we gone too far? Not far enough? Almost certainly some of both.  The road forward requires a truth-seeking in both science and art. This exhibition is a quest for the new truths emerging in our relationship with the rest of nature.

Special Video ‘Push’ for Sean Connaughty’s Is This Yours

About 15 locations around the twin cities will loop the video in public spaces from 6pm Friday, Nov 18 to 8pm Saturday, Nov. 19.  Instinct will host a screening and Q&A with the artist on Saturday, Nov 19 at 6pm.  Sean’s alter ego, the bobble-head man will also be in attendance

About the Artists:

Eric William Carroll is a photographer investigating abandoned scientific structures (such as an old particle accelerator), the images left behind, and the way that nature creeps back in. He focuses on the birds orbiting the structure or nesting in it, and the moisture degrading the maps and images left behind.  These remnants have become artefacts; having outlived their original scientific purpose.

Chase Boston strips away most of the buffer zone to experience nature with his brute senses. He responds with intuition and ritual.  His body is an instrument of direct contact.  Much of his artwork is done in a pristine wilderness area in Washington state, where the landscape is uninterrupted by humans –something that most people will never experience.  His earthworks and totemic creations feel like memories lost and yet remind us of what it meant to be human before we created so many degrees of separation.

Kate Casanova is a sculptor and multi-media installation artist who finds, tends or grows life forms (Bugs, fungus, algae, birds, crabs etc.) in places we don’t expect or envision them –on this fringe where humans meet non-human nature.  Sometimes she brings them over into direct human contact (ick, you put that in your mouth?) but transcends that gut response by showing us the living, amazing beauty.

Sean Connaughty has been working knee-deep in the edge water of Minneapolis’s lake Hiawatha extracting the trash that pollutes the edges of the lake. Most people literally overlook it, keeping their eyes on the shimmering lake, not the filthy shoreline. Sean has collected, catalogued, traced the origins of, and fabricated stories about, the human beings that created this mess.

Alison Hiltner cares for various strains of algae and exaggerates their motility in apparatuses with a sci-fi aesthetic.  Algae is a life form most people don’t think much about, and simply avoid, but Alison brings the color and beauty up to eyelevel through a series of photographs.

John Schuerman’s art is drawing based but strays into photography, video and sound for this exhibit as he examines the place of human ideas and constructs within the natural order.  He calls our attention to the contrast of human ideas and expressions relative anything we see in the rest of nature while reminding us that our minds are still a product of nature –with the same vitality and dark beauty.