The Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago (MoCP) will present Lucas Foglia: Human Nature from July 19 – September 30, 2018. From the untarnished abandon of so-called wild spaces to literal urban jungles, Lucas Foglia: Human Nature reflects on the human impact on the natural world and how humans have altered the seemingly unalterable. Examining a broad range of themes, from the scientific realities of climate change to poetic longing for natural spaces, Lucas Foglia: Human Nature is a nuanced exploration of the forces—internal and external—that both pit us against and bring us closer to the natural world.
Foglia, who grew up “off the grid” on a farm thirty miles east of New York City, has described this work as articulating “a relationship with nature that is more complicated and more intimate.” In his arresting images, humans engage with the natural and built environment in surprising ways: a scientist surveys the changing landscape from within a melting glacier, a prisoner at Rikers Island convenes with nature in a high-security prison garden, a patient participates in an EEG study to test her cognitive response to spending time in nature. Other works emphasize the implied human impact. In New Crop Varieties for Extreme Weather, an image of a greenhouse represents the race for crop scientists to create climate-change-resilient agriculture. To expand upon these images, there will be a gallery dedicated to telling the accompanying stories of these photographs through text, especially in how they relate to pressing environmental issues.
Curated by MoCP’s deputy director and chief curator, Karen Irvine, Lucas Foglia: Human Nature will be presented in conjunction with View Finder: Landscape and Leisure in the Collection. Featuring images form the MoCP collection and curated by MoCP curator of academic programs and collections Kristin Taylor, View Finder: Landscape and Leisure in the Collection considers landscape photography from the late nineteenth century through the present day, examining not only the role of parks as sites of leisure and respite, but also the role of landscape photography in the early formation of state parks.