Edge of Chaos (Expelled from Paradise)
Curated by Vita Zaman and Nicola Vassell
With: LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER, AUDRA VAU
2015 / Venice
On the occasion of the 56th Biennale di Venezia, Vita Zaman and Nicola Vassell are pleased to present, Edge of Chaos (Expelled from Paradise), an exhibition featuring works by LaToya Ruby Frazier, Gianluca Malgeri and Audra Vau. “Edge of Chaos” explores these artists’ creative responses to global tumult using the framework of feminism and ecology. As chaos reigns from climate change to political and economic volatility, there is an increasing parallel between patriarchy, social injustice and the degradation of nature. Seeing all life as valuable, the three artists share an outlook that celebrates the earth as sacred and acknowledge our interdependence upon the natural world.
Ecofeminism and sustainability form the exhibition’s foundation. It links theory and activism, viewing the oppression of women and pillage of the earth as intrinsically related. Saluting women’s interconnectivity with the earth, ecofeminsim challenges capitalistic domination of one subject over another as a means of optimizing wealthbased power and extracting finite resources without reciprocity (e.g. man over woman, culture over nature, racism that extends to specieism).
The cosmic thread for the exhibit is found in Edge of Chaos theory, which exploresthe dynamics of criticality. It locates the point between order and chaos that sits a fraction away from bedlam but does not actually cross the annihilative threshold. When an ecosystem is poised at criticality, the trick is to harness the power of small agitations that occur immediately before ruin to alter the composition of the system without completely decimating it. In a sense, criticality could be a superlative evolutionary fix for dominions that need to balance resilience with adaptability. Recognizing and repurposing the ripples of criticality, while utilizing traditionally female values like parity, nuturing and cooperation can bring new wisdom.
In the exhibition, LaToya Ruby Frazier presents an autobiographical and highly personal video, which documents illnesses that she and her mother suffer caused by the systematic industrial pollution of their Pennsylvania town. The sculpture of Gianluca Malgeri resemble utopian architectural models, and are based on his investigation of the Lithuanian symbolist painter/composer, Mykalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis whose work bears the elegy of nature and principle of synesthesia. Audra Vau’s video and photographic series examine her intimate relationship with a local, post‐agricultural Lithuanian landscape in which the strain between a community’s natural resources and its reliant inhabitants is palpable.