Eco-Femmes: Next Nature
Curated by Jesse Firestone
Artists: Emmaline Payette, Whitt Forrester, Pony Express’s Ecosexual Bathhouse, Wife.NYC, Andre Springer, Devra Freelander
Reception: Friday, February 9th, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
February 8th - February 21st, 2018
CP Projects Space, 132 West 21st Street, 10th floor, New York, NY
Monday - Friday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, weekends by appointment
CP Projects Space at the School of Visual Arts is pleased to present Eco-femmes: Next Nature, curated by MA Curatorial Practice fellow Jesse Bandler Firestone. Eco-femmes: Next Nature is the first exhibition in the ongoing research project, PSYCHO SENSUAL EARTH PEOPLE, which applies queer studies to ideas of animism and materialism in the hopes of charting new psychological and physical relationships with Planet Earth.
Largely inspired by Greta Gaards seminal 1997 essay, “Toward a Queer Ecofeminism,” this exhibition brings together queer ecofeminist artists, “eco-femmes,” to posit a scenario in which nature and humans are entwined in exchanges that are emotional, physical, and at times perverse. Eco-femmes do not prescribe to a specific set of gender identities or sexual conformities, but rather are aligned in their desires to dismantle and expose a number of repressive systems with the hopes of creating “an open, democratic, ecological society envisioned as the goal of Ecofeminism.” Similarly, Gaard suggests that by freeing human sexuality from the restrictive grasp of heteronormativity, we can begin to address the ableism, racism, and violence inherent in the systems that reduce our idea of nature to an alienated beautiful mother. Instead, eco-femmes are nurturing a new relational dynamic through intimate contact, experimentation, and psychological healing.
As the first exhibition in the series, Eco-femmes: Next Nature will ease the viewer into the larger study by presenting a survey of strategies that eco-femmes employ to expand the viewers psychological, physical, and emotional connection with Earth. In a screening room, viewers will watch short clips of eco-femme actions by Pony Express, Devra Freelander, and Whitt Forrester. These body-oriented, somatic experiments include caressing icebergs, initiating automatic plant drawings, or being bitten by snakes, all to create a voyeuristic scenario where the viewer can see an eco-femme world partially realized. Photographs of public interventions by Andre Springer illuminate our psychological relationships with our planet by recognizing that our environments, both built and natural, are also witnesses to the history of violence that marks the human condition. Emmaline Payette’s work often uses recycled materials, namely plastic bags. Her seed-based bioremediation projects are aimed at reinvigorating and healing barren earth. Pony Express’ listening station features retellings of ecosexual desires aimed at erotic awakenings. Similarly, Wife.NYC’s botanical sculpture creates a discreet and poetic encounter with plants and the cycle of time. Lastly, Eco-femmes: Next Nature will include an informal library that features a range of media, from academic articles to memes, which chart a growing shift in consciousness and desire to manifest a queer-ecofeminist reality.