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Land and Time, Opening Reception

 

Momenta Art

November 4- December 17, 2017

Opening reception: Saturday, November 4, 6-8pm

Gallery hours: Saturday and Sunday, 12-6

During Atlas Studios work hours please call 845.391.8855 for admittance

Organized by Tal Beery and Eric Heist

 

Michael Ashkin

Eliza Evans

Joseph Moore

Alison Moritsugu

Sarah Cameron Sunde

Mark Tribe

Jayoung Yoon

Eco-Practicum

 

 

In Sarah Cameron Sunde’s 12 hour video, 36.5 A durational Performance with the Sea, a woman in a red dress faces down the immense ocean expanse as the tide rises menacingly to her neck and just as slowly recedes. This is the frail human body facing epochal change, standing witness to shifting geographies, toxic landscapes, and a warming climate. The artists in Land and Time confront monumental transformations through video, sculpture, performance, and painting, embracing time as a palpable element in their work. These artists mine forgotten histories or expose imagined landscapes, reminding us that every “landscape is not a record but a recording,” polyvalent and multivocal. Land and time are in flux, unable to be pinned down, frozen, or commodified. And yet, they reflect upon us.

 

Michael Ashkin’s cardboard sculptures depicting megaphone platforms built onto abandoned infrastructure reference the history of communist Appalachian coal miners seizing their means of production in the 1970s. They conjure ghosts of hope and reference the etchings of politics on the American landscape. 

 

Alison Moritsugu’s work examines how images of the land shape conceptions of the natural world. Her large-scale paintings capture what little remains of the once mighty pineapple and sugarcane industries in Hawai’i, the artist’s place of birth. In Big Pineapple, fields on the Wahiawa plain are left unharvested as the land transitions to another crop; King Cane depicts what once was the last working sugar cane plantation on Maui.

 

Mark Tribe’s Rare Earth series explores the function of landscape as a symbolic setting for paramilitary fantasy. These striking photographs of landscapes found in combat video games and moving pictures shot at a militia training ground in Upstate New York depict a nature more beautiful, more real, than the thing itself - its perversion undermines conventional notions of natural beauty. 

 

In Suspect Revival, artist Eliza Evans wraps dead trees and tree limbs in heavy gauge plastic and suspends them from living trees. The embalmed forms are anchored to the ground through an intricate network of taught twine, mimicking those fungal networks that sustain live trees, but here only delay decay.

 

In Joseph Moore’s 24.237.237.93, a 24-hour webcam video of two polar bear worker/performers at the Anchorage zoo is compressed into a time-lapse of only a few minutes. For these animals, the zoo is an human-invented landscape offering refuge from a native habitat that is increasingly inhospitable due to human intervention.

 

Jayoung Yoon uses hair sheared from her head to create sculptures that the artist wears and performs in as a tool for perceptual awakening. Each strand of hair is hand knotted or woven into delicate forms, conjuring invisible thoughts and memories. Her sculpture, Branch, eerily connects between a discarded tree limb and the artist’s own appendages, suggesting both the immortality of our refuse, as well as a physical merger of the mortal body with an equally mortal landscape. 

 

Eco Practicum, an artist-run school for ecological justice, presents a full day of talks and performances with Newburgh historians, anti-gentrification activists, artists, and real-estate developers. The day situates the gallery itself within Newburgh’s own land and time, using each of the works in the exhibition as a spark for further dialogue concerning issues of immediate concern. The date of time of the event is to be determined and will be announced separately.