Cut Into Chaos
Work by Nicolas Bohac, Richard Houghten, Mary Anne Kluth,
Casey Shane Logan, and Gareth Spor
Curated by Adam Friedman and Katie Sherman, The 2008 participants in MISSION 17's Curatorial Internship Program
Exhibition Dates: September 4 - October 11, 2008
Casey Shane Logan, "Sunset Sunrise", 2005
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. -Albert Einstein
The harmonious systems of the universe, as we understand them, are called the cosmos, and the rest—the infinite void of physical space and the unknown arrangements of the natural world—is chaos. And through the pursuits of art and science, man chisels away at questions about its possible substance and order. The progress of technology and scientific study has provided us with extensive information about the world in which we live, but it also has contributed to generating newfound crises and, paradoxically, revealed the limits of our knowledge. As a result, we now more than ever confront our natural surroundings with feelings of curiosity, fear, and awe. Cut Into Chaos presents five artists that offer a unique lens to look at our natural world, the greater macrocosm, and the disciplines we have established to comprehend them.
Nicholas Bohac amasses images, prints, and a variety of materials to create fantastical, panoramic scenes of nature. His collages present a different take on the "traditional landscape" by making human intervention--and, by extension, our need to construct and be in command of our surroundings--acutely evident in the creation and presentation of his work.
Richard Houghten translates the frequencies of his sound recordings from the city, nature, and the places they overlap, into a single laser projection. His project distills the complex differences between these spaces into a concise, minimalist visual language.
Mary Anne Kluth's watercolors take both flat and sculptural forms, and are at once a depiction of the sublime and the study of the sublime. Amidst vibrant explosions of color, Kluth delicately paints people—such as scientists, surveyors, explorers—engaged in investigating the awe-inspiring power of nature.
Casey Shane Logan's sculptures comment on the human tendency to rationalize savage nature and the absurd notion that the Earth can be articulated into a utopian order of right angles and ups and downs. However, his work also displays a wit and ingenuity that empathizes with our desire to make these systems work.
Gareth Spor explores the creation of awe through artifice in his sculpture and film entitled Machine for Illumination and Unfolding. Spor synthetically constructs "stars in your eyes" with a simple, sculptural mechanism. The accompanying video shows a series of individuals in the "star-struck" state discussing their point of view on the scope of the universe.