a disappearing act

All photos by Leah Brown.
Group Show: Environmentalism by Proxy
Text from the organizers of the group show: Environmentalism is quickly becoming a vigorous social and aesthetic movement. Its effects are visible throughout today’s art and design, in ways that stand up to the unsustainable lifestyle it is working against. In art especially, this has created a shift away from the Postmodern view of production and commercial excess. We are confronted with two visions of the future: firstly, the apocalyptic view of climate change, widespread disease, and human warfare, and secondly, a view of the world where the will of people whose innovation is strong enough can save us—a view that we have not seen since the utopian visions of the Modern Era. If Environmentalism is the answer to Postmodernism, then as a movement, it is worth examining. It is in this light that we seek work for the exhibit, “Environmentalism by Proxy” at18 Rabbit Gallery. We seek works that act as agents of Environmentalism, stand-ins, through which we can examine the movement and the relationship we have with it.
To see the catalogue of the show, click here.


winogradsky rothko

18 Rabbit Gallery, Ft Lauderdale, FL

January 8 - February 2, 2010

Medium: 9 pounds of 3" molasses cookies cut into the letters REDUCE. Molasses from New Jersey, flour from Vermont, canola oil from Nebraska, water from the NYC watershed, sugar from Florida, cinnamon from Maryland, clove from Laung India, allspice from Jamaica, ginger from Adrak India, baking soda from New Jersey, natural gas from somewhere, fed ex shipping vehicles, nails from Home Depot, installation energy from Leah Brown, milk from Florida.

The pun of this project is in the command: REDUCE. It is eaten and it is itself reduced. It plays with viewer participation: does the viewer A) not consume the cookie so as to reduce his/her personal consumption, or B) consume the cookie and reduce the cookies available for others. As the cookies disappear, entropy takes over and the pattern REDUCE becomes an incomprehensible landscape of characters transformed from its original meaning. Both the non consuming viewer and the consuming viewer are tied together in the entrophic landscape. One leaving resources for another to partake. The other eating away at the cliche and in so doing, is fueled to share new observations of the world, to tell the time of now - generating living phrases to effect a meaningful environmental action in the current context. Both the consumer and the non consumer influence each other by their 'action' or 'inaction' in a shared commons. Together, they transform their surroundings and their understanding by their agency.