January 10- February 4, 2012
At this point in our shared history, there are few who would deny the inevitable change needed to keep the world around us healthy. However, few agree as to the exact understanding of the problem or the measures that could be taken. Are humans part of the natural world, or do we no longer fit into this category? Is technology a savior for our planet, or an aspect of its demise?
When we look to humanity for answers, we may be looking in the wrong direction. Increasingly scientists note that humans may have gained our understanding of community and cooperation from wolves, the first socialists. Perhaps through lupification, we became dualities instead of singular bodies focused on the ape within. It may be that we do not struggle against nature but within it.
Archer Gallery presents Lupification, or the Divide, works by Bonnie Fortune, Julia Oldham, and Ryan Pierce. The artists in this exhibition approach humanity through its connection to or separation from the natural world. Each presents a unique perspective, whether exploring the relationship, seeking to understand, looking for solutions, or discovering connections to animals, plants, and insects.
Bonnie Fortune (Copenhagen, Denmark) is an artist and activist who researches and explores issues such as health, ecology, and communication, often collaboratively. In these drawings and posters, she demonstrates the need to, and the possibility of, addressing habitats for wildlife in urban areas.
Julia Oldham (Eugene, Oregon and New York, New York) explores science alongside her own notions of desire and understanding of the natural world. By translating the activities of insects into choreography or performing experiments on plants, she communicates a romantic and inquisitive approach to the natural world.
Ryan Pierce (Portland, Oregon) explores his understanding of humanity and nature using both optimistic and pessimistic approaches. His paintings are of a post-industrial world, simultaneously suggesting either a clean slate for or the inevitable downfall of humanity.