Epic Style

Shifting Baselines: The NEW NORMAL

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

A Report from the residency and exhibition titled Shifting Baselines including artists’ Cynthia Hooper and Hugh Pocockat the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico, curated by ecoartspace founder Patricia Watts. Opens January 7th, 2013.

Shifting Baselines is my third show in the last year focused on water issues, and Cynthia Hooper has been in all of them. Actually, I also curated her video work in a show in 2010 titled EcoArchive in San Francisco. Needless to say, I think she is brilliant and is very informed about highly complicated political and economic issues around water distribution.

Hooper captures human interventions with video, mostly agricultural, in the landscape with an epic style of a romantic landscape painter. Although her landscapes are very luscious, they are also filled with montage of disruptions that can ironically be seenas poetic. And, she is also an talented painter who depicts very small realistic scenes that she paints with printed text on large sheets of watercolor paper to both inform her viewers visually and intellectually with her writings of the many layers of politics involved in water management.

I first met Hugh Pocock in 2004 at the Santa Monica Museum of Art where he created a salt evaporation garden in their project room that appeared like a laboratory setting for a scientist. It was the first installation I had seen at a museum that appearedaesthetically intriguing, as well as interactive, and educational.

Pocock works with materials such as water, dirt, wind, air in his performative installations. For Shifting Baselines he decided to build on similar installations he has done in the past that address where water comes from and how it relates to ourselves, our bodies, including a work he performed for the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore in 2009 titled myfoodmypoop.

Since his arrival in New Mexico, Pocock has been collecting buckets of snow from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains outside of Santa Fe, which he then filters after it melts to make bottles of drinking water available for participants in the exhibition space. –>

The great thing about this project is that as a curator it is the first time that I have been invited to be in residence along with the artists as they create their work in the gallery before the exhibition opens.

To learn more about the Shifting Baselines residency and exhibition, please go to the Santa Fe Art Institute blog HERE.

Cynthia Hooper

Hugh Pocock

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

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