Fauna of Mirrors
Artists: Charlotte Becket, Samuelle Green, Tamara Kostianovsky, Jessica Lagunas,
Christina Massey, Lina Puerta, Kathleen Vance
Curated by Etty Yaniv
Dates: Monday, March 4th through Fri, April 26th
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 14th, 6-8 PM
In his short story “Fauna of Mirrors,” Jorge Luis Borges portrays an alternative world which is believed to exist behind all mirrors and inhabited by diverse and mysterious life forms. The group exhibition “Fauna of Mirrors” features sculptural installation work of seven NYC female artists who probe with superb skill, rigor, and fresh imagination at the intersection between nature and artifice, materiality and fragility. Due to the way that these artists utilize the unique architectural traits of the space - its transparency, columns, height, and curved shape, the gallery space transforms into a solarium or an aviary. The space itself becomes a conduit for a fantastic world inhabited by hybrid forms which represent a diverse range of life. At first glance this encapsulated universe may seem exotic and separate from our own, but as we get closer it resonates with familiar connectivity, eliciting concerns about the fragility of our ecosystem and our place in it.
Charlotte Becket’s kinetic sculpture consists of bulging, rigid, and symmetrical forms made of dark reflective surfaces - slowly swelling, collapsing, and resuming composure; irregularly at times, like breathing. Automation, information, consumerism, progress and erosion altogether collapse into a rhythmic motion which transforms the sculptures from motorized machines to figural abstractions or landscapes. These bloated bodies are creaking and laboring, moaning and muttering to themselves in an unresolved internal dialogue - both embracing and questioning the banality of the human condition.
Samuelle Green coalesces in her large-scale sprawling environments found and upcycled materials, drawing upon occurring design principles in nature such as repetitious decentralization of barnacle formations, or rhythmic gradations of the sea floor. Abandoned objects, urban waste, and institutional refuse metamorphose into natural patterns which heave in her installation with renewed life.
Tamara Kostianovsky’s naturalistic birds made of discarded clothing, transform the "repulsive" into the “tolerable,” the "disgusting" into the “appealing”- processes of birth, growth, and decay found in nature reintegrate back into the viewer’s field of vision. Drawing upon art historical Still Lives and images of butchered meat she encountered while growing up in Argentina, Kostianovsky’s brutally beautiful creatures open a window into the world of abjection and degradation, of the body that exists behind the scenes of our manicured lives.
Jessica Lagunas displays in the case by the entrance both assorted pages for artist books and jewelry, all made of leaves and other natural materials she collected from Wave Hill and Inwood Hill Park. The delicate book pages are produced by applying meticulous bookbinding techniques, and all objects are lavishly decorated: the pages with lace or machine embroidery; the jewelry with gold leaf. Associated with a decorative or creative function, this display of encased intimate sculptural objects resonates a sense of fragility, ephemerality, and in the end, extinction.
Christina Massey‘s mixed media sculptures clustered together create an installation that hints at possible futuristic or alien-like plant forms, the artist’s imaginative take on the possibilities of plant life as they must adapt to the chemicals and plastics inescapable in our environment today. Hand blown glass bulbs created as a part of her ongoing "Experimental Glass Blowing" project grow within a nest of "foliage" made from aluminum and plastic altogether create exotic or mutated organic forms that suspend from the ceiling, sit atop pedestals, and appear to grow from the floor - both familiar and foreign, abstracted and realistic. Experimental Glass Blowing is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).
Lina Puerta’s cast iron sculpture, built through Kohler Arts/Industry Program, represents a bold expansion of her artistic vocabulary, beyond her signature mixed media. Puerta’s work is guided by the physical qualities of a wide range of materials with varied textures, form, and color, altogether exploring the cyclical evolution of natural systems and representing the human form as its own small universe within the constructed worlds they inhabit.
Kathleen Vance’s river installation connects people to aspects of nature that are overlooked, while considering the need to protect our under-appreciated natural resources. Environmental issues such as water sustainability, personal land ownership, water rights, the necessity for preservation of our green areas and water sources play central role in her visual explorations. She brings nature back into the viewer’s hurried daily pace, inviting them for a moment of respite and reflection.
Etty Yaniv is an artist, curator, and art writer based in Dumbo. Yaniv has curated multiple group exhibitions in the NYC area, with special emphasis on featuring female and underrepresented artists in projects that involve engagement with the local communities. This is her third curatorial project at LIU Brooklyn.
Location: Humanities Gallery, LIU, 1 University Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11201
At the intersection of DeKalb and Flatbush Avenues, downtown Brooklyn Transportation: B, M, Q, R trains to DeKalb; 2, 3, 4, 5 trains to Nevins For press inquiries please email: email@example.com
Continuators: Brooklyn Arts Council, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs