STORM KING PRESENTS "INDICATORS: ARTISTS ON CLIMATE CHANGE"
FEATURING WORKS BY MORE THAN A DOZEN ARTISTS THAT EXPLORE
THE CHANGING CLIMATE
On view from May 19 through November 11, 2018.
Mountainville, NY, March 8, 2018—This May, Storm King Art Center will present "Indicators:
Artists on Climate Change", an exhibition featuring artworks by more than a dozen artists. Works
included in the exhibition explore the impacts of the changing climate in ways that incorporate
scientific, cultural, and aesthetic perspectives. Artists will reveal how the acts of making and
viewing art differ in both approach and effect from research, advocacy, or reportage on this
multifaceted subject. Both indoor and outdoor installations, including pieces newly created for the
exhibition at Storm King, will illuminate the threats of a changing climate to our biological world
and to humanity. "Indicators" provides artists with a platform from which to reflect on the topic of
climate change by creating works that can command attention for difficult subjects and catalyze
creativity, ideas, and solutions.
John P. Stern, President of Storm King, says, “From its founding in 1960, Storm King has
prioritized environmental projects including land conservation, reclamation of industrial sites for
sensitive landscaping for art using native plants, and preservation of wildlife habitat corridors in
the Hudson Valley. This exhibition features artists whose site-sensitive and site-specific works
resonate with Storm King’s mission and history of environmental stewardship and that further the
dialogue between art and nature while also speaking to broader issues that affect regional,
national, and global ecological health.”
The organizers of the exhibition are Nora Lawrence, Curator; David Collens, Director and Chief
Curator; and Sarah Diver, Curatorial Assistant, who collaborated closely with artists to develop
their ideas and proposed projects for the exhibition. Participating artists include: David Brooks,
Dear Climate, Mark Dion, Ellie Ga, Justin Brice Guariglia, Allison Janae Hamilton, Jenny
Kendler, Maya Lin, Mary Mattingly, Mike Nelson, Steve Rowell, Gabriela Salazar, Tavares
Strachan, Meg Webster, and Hara Woltz.
“With its mission to foster the bond between art, nature, and visitors, Storm King’s 500-acre
setting offers a stunning backdrop for an exhibition of this kind, one that explores new ways for
the public to understand the effects of climate change and, hopefully, take action to help curb its
advances,” explains Lawrence.
Many artists have created new, site-specific works that use Storm King’s unique landscape and
location to examine the challenges and repercussions of this global issue. Although united by this
overarching theme, works included in "Indicators" span a variety of media and represent a wide
spectrum of interpretations, perspectives, and ideas related to climate change.
For his newly created work, "Permanent Field Observations", artist David Brooks (b. 1975) has
identified several natural elements found throughout Storm King’s peripheral wooded areas to
cast in bronze. Brooks will cast objects, like rotting tree stumps, tangles of roots, acorns perched
atop emerging rocks, and other naturally occurring minutia, and install the bronze renditions back
in their original locations next to the objects from which they were cast, where they will remain
permanently affixed in place. These elements that were chosen for their compositional sensibility
are, in his words, “ephemeral sculptural situations that act as veritable ready-mades.” Brooks is
interested in the relationship between geologic and human timelines; hence, the bronze-cast
elements will be in-situ forever, like fossils detailing this climate moment for future generations
and species. A map on view in the Museum Building gallery plots the precise locations of these
fossilized field observations, which visitors can use to perform their own search for the objects.
This project reveals the frustration involved in looking for something difficult to apprehend, like
climate change itself.
Dear Climate (2014–ongoing) is a creative-research project that hacks the aesthetics of public
information posters and guided meditation podcasts to shift ways of thinking and feeling about the
climate. In this, their first outdoor installation, Dear Climate circles Storm King’s first tram stop
with a series of banners that invite visitors to reconsider their relationships to species life and
climate change. Dear Climate is: Marina Zurkow, Una Chaudhuri, Fritz Ertl, and Oliver
A sculpture by Mark Dion (b. 1961) will be situated near the pond in Storm King’s South Fields.
Recently featured in Prospect.4 New Orleans, the work is entitled "Field Station for the Melancholy
Marine Biologist", and is a weathered wooden cabin filled with the trappings of a scientific lab
station. Once installed at Storm King, the contents of the “lab” will reflect the ecology of the
surrounding area, highlighting Dion’s practice of appropriating archaeological and scientific
methods to question authoritative knowledge about our environments.
Selections from "The Fortunetellers", a multimedia project by Ellie Ga (b. 1976), will be on display
inside in the Museum Building. The project centers on the artist’s experience as a crewmember
aboard the ‘Tara,’ the second boat in recorded Arctic history built to withstand the pressure of
pack ice for years at a time. A reflection of her five-month expedition near the North Pole, the
project constructs a visual narrative of Ga’s experience as a resident artist alongside the climate
scientists and fellow crew aboard the ship, as they collected data to measure and contribute to a
future understanding of the Arctic pack ice. The details Ga chooses to highlight are rich with
larger symbolism. Ga and the crew aboard the Tara were themselves obsessed with their own
future: how long they would keep drifting and when they would get back home. Tarot cards (an
element of the installation reminiscent of the ship’s name) signify the uncertainty of this future,
and the lines of a palm reading conjure up the image of prematurely cracking ice.
Artist and environmental activist Justin Brice Guariglia (b. 1974) will present a group of
topographical works inside the Museum building, featuring aerial imagery of landscapes affected
by human activities including mining and agriculture. Guariglia's surprisingly beautiful images
incorporate traditional art materials and precious metals— including copper, gold, and platinum—
that have been abraded with power tools. Guariglia will also debut a large outdoor work entitled
"Ecologisms (Highway Sign 1.0)", a solar-powered traffic sign that displays three-line ecological
aphorisms written by the philosopher Timothy Morton, whose work lies at the intersection of
object-oriented thought and ecological studies. These ominous but often amusing slogans point
to the complicity of mankind in changes to the planet.
Allison Janae Hamilton (b. 1984), a New York-based visual artist, will create a new work entitled
"The peo-ple cried mer-cy in the storm", comprising a towering stack of tambourines on an island in
one of Storm King’s ponds. The installation was inspired by “Florida Storm,” a 1928 hymn written
by Judge Jackson about the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, as well as accounts of the 1928
Okeechobee Hurricane, referenced in Zora Neale Hurston's novel "Their Eyes Were Watching
God". Both storms devastated the state of Florida, the latter killing thousands of black migrant
workers who were buried in unmarked mass graves. The work contemplates how climate-related
disasters can expose existing social inequities and how affected communities contend with this
twofold devastation. A performance will activate the installation at Storm King, involving
musicians presenting a soundscape arranged by Hamilton and inspired by the original “Florida
Jenny Kendler (b.1980), Chicago-based artist and current artist-in-residence with the Natural
Resources Defense Council, drew inspiration for her site-specific commission, "Birds Watching",
from researching local species of birds present in the Hudson Valley. She will present an
installation of reflective aluminum signs, each depicting a massively scaled, realistic bird’s eye.
Some 50-100 eyes will be included, each representing a species of native bird facing the threat of
extinction due to climate change. Kendler emphasizes ideas of reflectivity and reciprocal vision,
reminding us that birds are also sentient beings capable of looking back at us.
Brooklyn-based artist Mary Mattingly (b. 1978) will expand upon her past investigations into
issues of sustainability, climate change, and displacement in her project, planting several different
types of tropical trees, mainly palms, in Storm King’s South Fields. In conversation with the
migration of tree species due to climate change, Mattingly’s work offers a visible demonstration of
the reverberations of climate change within Storm King’s environment by transforming the
Mike Nelson (b. 1967), a British artist best known for his labyrinthine architectural installations,
will present a work inside the Museum Building entitled "80 Circles Through Canada: The Last
Possessions of an Orcadian Mountain Man" (2013). Informed by his friend and collaborator, the
artist and mountaineer Erlend Williamson, the piece comprises a large set of driftwood shelves
laden with Williamson’s last possessions before falling to his death in the Scottish Highlands. The
reverse of the structure acts as a screen on which to project 80 transparencies of discarded stone
fire circles, found and documented between Banff and Vancouver in 2012-13. The exhibition at
Storm King marks the first time this work will be shown in the United States.
A New York-based artist of Puerto Rican descent, Gabriela Salazar (b.1981) will incorporate her
family’s history as coffee growers into a built environment in dialogue both with post-hurricane
temporary shelters erected in the Caribbean and the semilleros used to protect young coffee
seedlings. The installation will feature a tent structure draped with a blue tarp over a platform of
cinderblock forms made from both concrete and compressed coffee grounds. Throughout the
course of the exhibition, Salazar will exchange select concrete blocks for blocks made of coffee
grounds, which will slowly disintegrate. These precarious blocks will leave a new and ever-shifting
imprint upon the space, reiterating its impermanence. Salazar’s project raises difficult questions
regarding the use of concrete, a material that is vital to climate-change-related hurricane
protection and building, yet whose manufacture is also one of the largest sources of carbon
emissions in the world.
A work by Tavares Strachan (b. 1979), a New York-based artist who represented the Bahamas
in the 2013 Venice Biennale, utilizes scientific and cultural phenomena to explore misconceptions
within social conversations. Strachan’s blue neon sculpture, entitled "Sometimes Lies are Prettier"
(2017), will be on view in Storm King’s indoor galleries.
Artist Hara Woltz (b. 1971) will present a work that creates a varied sensory experience
incorporating aspects of climate change, predictability, and the collection of data. Weather
stations capture and record climate data and contribute to understanding of how environments
change over time. A weather station may consist of a single piece of equipment that serves
multiple functions, or multiple instruments arrayed across a landscape. Woltz will position ten
interactive elements, fabricated from painted aluminum and wood, as part of a weather station
where visitors will be encouraged to sit and experience the differences in temperature between
various material and color sections. The elements of the piece will be informed by predictions of
Arctic sea ice melt by decade and related sea level rise, as well as the process of collecting
climate data. A temperature differential between the materials and surfaces of this piece will allow
visitors to feel and consider the reflectivity of ice and the heat absorptive properties of sea water.
Details of works by Maya Lin, Meg Webster, Steve Rowell, and others included in the exhibition
will be announced in coming months.
The illustrated exhibition catalogue will include texts on each work in the exhibition; often in the
artists’ own words. It will also include an essay by Curator Nora Lawrence, which will speak to
larger themes of works in the exhibition, and reflect on the importance of an exhibition of this
nature at Storm King.
About Storm King Art Center
Widely celebrated as one of the world’s leading sculpture parks, Storm King Art Center has
welcomed visitors from across the globe for over fifty years. Located only one hour north of New
York City, in the lower Hudson Valley, its 500 acres of rolling hills, woodlands, and fields of native
grasses and wildflowers provide the setting for a collection of more than 100 carefully-sited
sculptures created by some of the most acclaimed artists of our time, including Alice Aycock,
Mark di Suvero, Andy Goldsworthy, Zhang Huan, Maya Lin, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and
Ursula von Rydingsvard.
Storm King’s 2018 season runs from April 4 through December 8, 2018. For more information,
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