HENRY ART GALLERY, University of Washington, Seattle WA – To April 28, 2019
by Matthew Kangas
The planet intersects with the human body in this fascinating exploration of sculpture, video, sound art and virtual reality dealing with permutations of climate change, human temperature, and corporeal manifestations of bodily reality. Drawing on statistical information about human settlements, geographical alterations, and medical and social trends, Between Bodies reorients our environment, using the museum setting to help visitors imagine how shifting natural contexts such as earth, water and wind patterns a ect bodily functions and individual psychological perceptions of scientific knowledge.
Henry Art Gallery associate curator Nina Bozicnik notes how “human protagonists, creatures from microorganisms, [and] ocean-dwelling mammals [coexist] with bodies of water, ephemeral matter, and mineral earth, evolving narratives of an uncertain future.” On one level, artists explore potential networks and social a liations that challenge power structures responsible for violence against the Earth and one another. On another level, bizarre, less scientifically tested bodies of knowledge such as interspecies communication, ESP and kinetic projections of physical energy are embodied in two and three dimensions.
British-born artists living in the US, such as Carolina Caycedo and Patrick Staff, examine the impact of gigantic-scale public works projects such as dams on populations; they also create
artworks using human hormones that treat bodily transformations. A work by Susanne M. Winterling from Germany, Glistening Troubles focuses on how bioluminescent single-cell organisms in Jamaica are at risk due to increased toxicity in the Caribbean Sea. To help with displaying Ursula Biemann’s work, Acoustic Ocean, Bozicnik received an award from the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. The increasing number of forest fires is dealt with in a video installation by micha cárdenas and Abraham Avnisan, showing landscapes blanketed in smoke, “inviting ways to consider adaptive forms of being and survival.”
Screening of Caycedo’s film A Gentle Rio Thursday and Sunday, noon, 1, 2 and 3pm