UPDATED Aug. 5: 13Forest Gallery, which reopened at 167A Mass. Ave. on May 21 after having been displaced by a fire next door last August, has announced that "Exquisite Entanglement," an exhibition featuring new work by Yuko Oda and Allison Maria Rodriguez, is now on display and will run through Sept. 23.
The opening reception is set for Saturday, Aug. 6, from 4 to 6 p.m. This exhibition faced many obstacles before we were able to put it on display. Originally scheduled for March 2020, it was postponed twice -- because of the pandemic's onset and lasy summer's fire.
As global leadership struggles to take decisive action to combat climate change, and politicians continue to deny the increasingly apparent impacts of a warming planet, artists Oda and Rodriguez reflect the urgent need to raise awareness and fight for change. Their work employs a hybrid approach, merging activism and aesthetics, fine art and technology, the natural and synthetic.
Ultimately, they see their hybrid approach as the key to addressing climate change; science and art must work together to inspire action and create solutions.
In "Exquisite Entanglement," Oda presents an imagined cycle of death and rebirth. Working in vibrant Japanese pigment on paper with elements of iridescent plastic, Oda begins with her Winged Detonations series, showing delicate hummingbirds exploding after contact with destructive human forces.
The shattered hummingbirds then begin to merge with chrysanthemums on a journey to becoming a new species. In Full Bloom, this hybrid species thrives in its new reality. For Oda, this violent yet beautiful cycle reflects “nature’s calamities, resilience and power to heal.”
In an accompanying installation, "Əvolution," 3D printed dew drops transform and change into organic leaves, integrating natural forms with synthetic materials.
In conversation with Oda, Rodriguez presents her multichannel video installation "Once in a Lifetime." The central image of the installation is a stranded blue whale on Playa Cabuyal in Costa Rica.
The opportunity to encounter the world’s largest creature, while described as “once in a lifetime,” was also challenging for the artist. Juxtaposed with imagery of hatchling sea turtles struggling to return to the ocean, Rodriguez’ documentation of the blue whale serves as both a memorial and a moving reminder of our collective dependence on water to survive. The immersive nature of the installation evokes a powerful connection between the whale, the hatchlings, and the viewer, reflecting the interconnectedness of our species while revealing the fragility of existence.
Oda and Rodriguez do not shy away from exposing the death and suffering caused by human-made climate change. However while exploring the darkness of our environmental challenges, both artists make a point to search out light and beauty as well. Though it is easy to feel hopeless when faced with the scope of climate change, Oda and Rodriguez demonstrate the necessity of hope and beauty if we are to envision a new future for our planet. Exquisite Entanglement urges us to see our inextricable connection with the environment and reminds us of our responsibility to remake the world.
EXQUISITE ENTANGLEMENT, July 23 to Sept. 23. On view at 13Forest Gallery, at 167A Mass. Ave.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: noon to 6
This news announcement, using information provided by the art gallery, was updated Aug. 5, 2022.
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