621 Gallery Presents:
What Remains Unexplained
a group exhibition by the Endpoint Collective (Deborah Carruthers, Gabriel Deerman, Margaret Hart and Mark Roth)
EXHIBITION DATES | February 4th – 25th
ARTIST LECTURES | TBD
The Endpoint Collective has found value in asking larger questions across their artmaking practices. These questions involve the shift to a posthuman era and the looming climate issues we face, many times finding linkages between the two. By means of research (both traditional and creative), group discussions, and the creation of the artworks, the collective has found a distinct model for their creative endeavors. Through exhibitions of their work, the public is invited into the conversation and engage with these ideas as well.
Ice contains no future, just the past, sealed away. As if they’re alive, everything in the world is sealed up inside, clear and distinct.
Ice can preserve all kinds of things that way- cleanly, clearly. That’s the essence of ice, the role it plays.― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
The atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen and diatom biologist Eugene Stoermer defined a new geologic age, the “Anthropocene”, in which the activities of humans have significantly impacted our global climate, environment and ecology to such an extent as to permanently mark the lithosphere. . There has been some debate as to the start of this epoch, with a range of dates seeming to meet the formal requirements. Crutzen and Stoermer proposed the end of the 18th century as they felt that the dawn of the Industrial Age, heralded by the invention of the steam engine and marked by notable changes in lake ecologies, signified changes that were due to human interventions. Support for their proposal has been found in the form of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in ice core samples.
The role of art and artists in providing a record of our evolving landscapes and environment is incalculable. Artwork can provide a record and timeline of loss, and allow us to view and estimate rates of change. It can create nascent memories of what has vanished, and remind us of our role in that loss. It can translate alternate perspectives of our ecologies, and provoke public discourse.
For this new series, The Past Sealed Away, I want to immerse myself in the properties of ice. One of my reoccupations is the rate of change in the environment: that profound environmental changes occur over time is not in question, but the increasingly accelerated rates point to an environment whose balance has shifted towards an inevitably catastrophic decline if not unchecked. The loss of ice, and the resultant impact upon environments are not trivial, and are of global concern. How can we provoke understanding and meaningful discussion around this loss?
My interest in genetics was sparked very early on; I am an identical twin, and as one who was often a research subject, I wanted to have a better understanding of just what it was that was so compelling. Hence, a fascination with how our DNA makes us who we are, and how slight variations can have a massive impact on an organism or our understanding of it. As for environment, growing up in Quebec I have been fortunate enough to have had life-long access to the Laurentian Mountains. Until early 2004, my family had a log house on a pristine lake in the Laurentians with no road access, no electricity, and no plumbing…heaven! My father had grown up on a farm in the Laurentians, and my family spent countless hours hiking in the area and on the lakes. My Dad taught me to fish and track, and to identify birds and animals, their nesting sites and habitats. More importantly, he taught me that we are all inexorably connected to our environment, and that the loss of any habitat can have a profound ripple effect.
Although I have been exploring the topic of how we are remembered and how we remember others for some time, my father’s death in 2012 has provided impetus for me to engage with this topic on a far more personal level.
Awareness of the Anthropocene prompts shifts in relationships to place, time and self-perception and is likewise prompting shifts in how artists approach these fundamentals within our practices.
In my artistic practice I build on the tradition of landscape and figurative painting as a means of exploring relationships with landscape which have been problematized by awareness of the Anthropocene.
At the core of my work is the age-old tradition of visual interpretation of time and place. This activity flows from the headwaters of cultural awareness, a timeless activity that is infinitely useful as a means for developing and documenting ideas about who we are and how we relate to the world around us — the history of art has been an ongoing discussion about time, place and self-perception. The accumulation of these visual interpretations over millennia have become the story of human civilization. The story of humanity’s changing perception of self in relation to the environment has had several thresholds which have left a lasting mark, and these marks affected successive works within this story. These thresholds are akin to what in geological timelines are called ‘golden spikes’.
These markers indicate cultural paradigmatic shifts spurred by technological innovation and discovery. We are currently at such a point in the story of humanity and in accordance with historical precedent it is a very important time for the arts to assist us in seeing ourselves in relation to the realities of our time and place so that we might proceed with a deeper understanding of the present, how we got here and where we may be heading. The creation of these visual interpretations requires the same activities and attitudes demanded of humanity: to pause, critically investigate our surroundings and reflect on how we have arrived at this crux within our narrative.
My practice accepts the challenge of creating works that meet Timothy Morton’s call for an art that “melts minds” rather than directing them by a didactic approach. Through the generative power of analogy I aim to make visible polarities of existence and problematize modern notions of progress, creating parallels that amplify each other, shift, reverse and deliquesce– opening up a space for connection making and reflection. One of art’s greatest values is the pause that it invites viewers to take in experiencing it- and that this space allows ossified positions to become fluid, creating possibilities for re-configuration, transformation and metamorphosis.
Born in Bolinas, California 1979, Gabriel Deerman is primarily a painter, printmaker and mixed media artist with a strong interest in contemporary figurative and landscape based visual arts. Gabriel’s work utilizes many approaches and techniques, often engaging such topics as globalization and climate triggered cultural and scientific re-assessments of human relationships to time, place and history. Gabriel’s art practice is an inquiry into the aesthetic experience of nature within the context of collapse, climate anxiety and loss. His work also serves as a process of attunement and catharsis- bringing him and viewers closer to bridging the human/nature divide through facing the tensions that define that relationship in this time increasingly referred to as the Anthropocene.
Gabriel received an MFA from Transart Institute (New York / Berlin), a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2007 and is a practicing art instructor. Gabriel was the owner/director of independent arts venues Maslianski’s Parking Lot and Recording Studio and Gaff Gallery in Vancouver’s Down Town East Side, Galerie Rye in Montreal and the art education initiative Salmon River Studios in Tamworth, Ontario.
In addition to his teaching practice in Canada Gabriel has taught in Qatar and China. He currently teaches art in Bella Bella, BC in Heiltsuk territory.
Finding MJ23 explores the idea of interconnection of all species and beings.
Starting from a place of science fiction and post-humanism, I work with collage as a medium to physically bring together disparate pieces to create connections and new narratives. My practice involves a parallel writing and visual process which is evident in the work as well, but is also never literal. In this large-scale collage the circle elements connect across the field as each smaller vignette unfolds. It could be the story of human evolution or space exploration, but perhaps it is something more cautionary.
The posthuman aspects of the work spill over into the Chimera Portraits where the collages of human figures are combined with animal and plant organisms to create new beings. Through repetition and elimination these creatures take on new forms highlighting various aspects gracefully occupying the lens.
The creatures of the Chimera Portraits emerge from the places found on or around MJ23. They thrive in their own special environments but also seek connection with others. Physical adaptation may be one way they are able to achieve that goal.
Margaret Hart (1967, Dubuque, IA, United States) is an artist who explores issues of gender politics. Her mixed media, video and installation works employ a wide variety of materials through which she addresses larger critical issues investigating identity, technology and personal narrative.
Her work can be found in many public and private collections in the United States. Hart received her BFA from the University of Iowa and her MFA form the University of Colorado, Boulder. She recently completed a PhD in creative practice from the Transart Institute/ Plymouth University, UK focusing on collage as a tool for understanding posthuman gender. Currently she is a full Professor of art at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She resides in Boston, Massachusetts.
Aurora posits that Being itself is ecstatic – with the sun as the animating energy that activates everything in our orbit.
The sun/aurora/dawn is ecstasy and ignites ecstasy. The vegetation (a replication of Albrecht Dürer’s Great Piece of Turf) represents rapture taking form. This visual quote along with the allusions to Bridget Riley and Frank Stella are intended to indicate an equivalency in terms of operation and nurturance between the ecosystems of Nature and Art.
Similar to the fleeting luminous forms of the Aurora Borealis, the process of creating the painting generated a sequence of transitory painterly referents. In addition to the Stella-inspired lines mapping the proportions of the canvas and the black and white burst evoking Riley’s Op Art paintings, there is a glimpse of Willem de Kooning’s Rosy-Fingered Dawn at Louse Point and an evocation of Alma Thomas’ radiant circle paintings that persist as pentimenti phantoms.
Other associations were not the result of strategy but rather the unforeseen efflorescence of enthusiasms. Notably, Aurora seems in dialogue with The Rose by Jay DeFeo – a work never far from my thinking and heart.
Also, lately I’ve been listening to Daniel Johnston’s astonishing “True Love Will Find You In The End” (my favorite version is his session at KCRW featuring Lucius).
Speaking of Love, he asks:
“But how can it recognize you
Unless you step out into the light?”
This leads to the moment where Johnston enacts the meaning of the song by making a gift of his vulnerability: in a touching DIY audio effect he crafts his own reverb, intently repeating “the light” a second time so that it initiates an enduring echo in the mind.
In doing so Johnston welcomes into being a photon shower that washes over the listener. This succinct incantation of “the light, the light” resonates in the vernacular of one’s tender inner voice – the whisper within that assures and counsels kindness.
As Alma Thomas, whose work also demonstrates the alchemy of empathy, describes it: “Color is life, and light is the mother of color.”
Mark Roth emerged as a monologist in Chicago’s performance art scene of the 1980s and 90’s. Headlining at such venues as NAME Gallery, The Green Mill, Randolph Street Gallery, Club Lower Links, New York’s PS122 and San Francisco’s The Marsh. His monologue, Footing The Turf was awarded first place in the San Francisco Bay Guardian playwriting competition.
From 2015 through 2019, his unsanctioned augmented reality installation, Missing the Megafauna: Rewilding The Canon, could be encountered at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Roth’s recent New York City solo painting exhibits include Tumbleweeds and Superheated Reservoirs at The Phatory, Dormancy Quota Exceeded at Michael Mut Gallery and The Tornado Paintings at DD172. Excerpts from his painting series Missing The Megafauna and Grazer’s Gaze: The Grass Paintings have been published in the University of Oxford’s Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities. His curatorial project, Adjacent To Life, has presented over 90 exhibitions in New York City.