Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 6-8pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
Water is fundamental for all of life: it can also be understood as an emotional, elemental or spiritual home. For artists, a growing interest in water is connected to the urgencies of visualizing the changes occurring in bodies of water, the element which has become one of the most urgent, visceral and ethically fraught sites of political and theoretical inquiry. Exhibitions which gather up artworks responding to the aqueous come quite literally in waves. What does it mean to mount an exhibition which attends to bodies of water at a time when climatic catastrophe ripples through the hydrosphere? How might artistic research and interdisciplinary collaboration reveal our entanglement with a more-than-human world?
Stories, knowledges and representations help us to make sense of the world. They are able to do so through the foregrounding or backgrounding of different aspects of a phenomenon. Elizabeth Grosz suggests that “concepts do not solve problems that events generate for us” but “they enable us to surround ourselves with possibilities for being otherwise”¹. Investigating an elemental metaphor as a cultural producer carries the potential for being otherwise — the exhibition Learning from the Lake seeks to explore these possibilities, conjuring certain kinds of ethical relations with water and watery others.
¹ Grosz, Elizabeth. Becoming Undone: Darwinian Reflections of Life, Politics and Art. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011: 78.
This exhibition is produced as part of the requirements for the MVS degree in Curatorial Studies at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto.