Main Gallery

Marie Celeste

Liza Statton

May 12—September 9, 2011


A thematic group exhibition, Marie Celeste uses the recent environmental phenomenon of “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD) or “Mary Celeste Disorder,” in which bees mysteriously disappear from their hives, as a metaphor for environmental consciousness and an exploration of the ethical sublime in our post-industrial era.

Ranging from site-specific installations to painting and photography, the diverse works in this exhibition enter a broad, polyphonic discourse on contemporary art practice and the environment that has been ongoing since the 1970s. The eleven artists participating in the exhibition ask viewers to see and think about humankind’s relationship to science and nature—both as a physical environment and an idea. Their works probe the boundaries that encompass our moral and ethical obligations to care for our surroundings, now, and in the future, and make manifest the interconnectedness of ecology and technology in the 21st century. And, while the artists in Marie Celeste explore the conflicts between individual and collective actions, preservation and transformation, production and reclamation, and notions of disenchantment and optimism, their works are created from a deeply personal artistic practice that is grounded in the production of emotional affect rather than in the production of meaning.

Marie Celeste presents works by Stephen Bush, Nick Lamia, Shari Mendelson, Jessica Schwind and Joseph Smolinski, and Alison Williams. With the support of Artspace, the City of New Haven, and the members of the Building Materials Reuse Association, Alison Williams will realize Homage to Guerilla Gardening: a new public art installation in the nearby Chapel Street greenspace, The Lot. Working with a team of students and local volunteers, Williams will design and install a community garden using donated household materials from throughout New England. The public will be invited to participate in the growth and care of the garden as it gradually transforms the space during the 4 months long exhibition. Follow the project’s progress here.