Support environmental art exhibitions at Visual Arts Center
Support art history PhD students Dorota Biczel and Allison Myers in bringing two international art exhibitions to the Visual Arts Center at The University of Texas at Austin in Fall 2016!
These exhibitions share a common concern of urgent global relevance: they show the real and persistent impact of human activities and industries on the natural landscapes and their resulting transformations—in Texas, Peru, and elsewhere.
Moving Mountains: Extractive Landscapes of Peru—Edi Hirose and Nancy La Rosa (curated by Dorota Biczel) shows how Peru—a country best known in the United States for impressive Incan ruins, majestic glaciers of the Andes, and the Amazon rainforest—is physically reshaped by stone-quarrying and mining. These extractive industries accomplish the feat that, according to the popular proverb, is impossible or miraculous: they literally move mountains. Tons of gravel and rock are removed and displaced from the rural hillsides: to extract precious metals and coal or to produce concrete for new urban developments. Through the works in diverse media, such as photography, drawing, and video installation—never previously seen in the United States—Hirose and La Rosa expose dramatic transformations of the seemingly stable, ancient landscapes and their ecosystems, stemming from human activities. They also show their far-reaching repercussions on the everyday, domestic scale by portraying lives and economies of the settlements that have grown around these enterprises.
Tania Mouraud: Regards (curated by Allison Myers) will feature a video and sound installation by French artist Tania Mouraud, commissioned specifically for the VAC’s Arcade Gallery. Mouraud's work immerses audiences in environmental sites normally removed from the public's everyday experience. Here, she will create a new work that engages with Texas' position as a world leader in energy production. In June 2016 Mouraud will travel to Texas to film at various energy industries in the state, including an oil refinery, nuclear power plant and wind farm. The final installation will offer an immersive environment, flooding viewers with images and sounds from these sites and providing an opportunity to consider the complex relationships between our daily need for energy, the Texas landscape we inhabit, and the energy industries that exploit and rely on it. The exhibition will encourage us to recognize our implicit presence in the seemingly distant, powerful forces that shape energy production in Texas and the world at large.
Many of the most pervasive and impactful human activities affecting our planet remain invisible to the majority of the population, residing in protected urban areas. Especially in cities like Austin, which pride themselves on being meccas of creative and digital entrepreneurship, it is easy to overlook or forget how many powerful industries continuously and irreversibly alter the land and natural environment. Despite generational and geographic differences (Mouraud was born in 1942, Hirose in 1975, and La Rosa in 1980), our three artists show how contemporary art engages with and illuminates the most dramatic environmental and social transformations of our time. Likewise, our exhibitions seek to poetically and emotionally touch viewers’ sensibilities in order to mobilize diverse publics around one of our society’s most pressing global issues, encouraging them to broaden their knowledge and environmental awareness outside of the gallery.
We need your help to raise the $15,000 required to complete the realization of our two exhibitions! Every dollar donated is tax deductible and will directly cover our projects’ expenses.
We especially need help with:
- funding the transportation of artworks from and back to Lima and Paris;
- framing and the construction of a video-projection room of the works by Nancy La Rosa and Edi Hirose;
- Tania Mouraud’s short residency in Texas in June 2016 to film at energy sites across the state.
We also need your support for all three artists’ visits to UT’s campus in conjunction with the exhibitions’ openings, which will allow the UT and Austin communities enrich and expand their perspectives on contemporary art and global environmental issues.
The Visual Arts Center (VAC) is a place where art exhibitions and education intersect, drawing together a diverse community of students, faculty, guest artists, and creative voices from Austin and around the world. Situated in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin, it provides pivotal exhibition and research space through five distinct galleries, and serves as a creative hub in the university’s dynamic arts community. In particular, it provides Art and Art History’s students, such as Dorota and Allison, unique hands-on curatorial experiences, which allow them to bridge their research with contemporary art practices and relevant social issues.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Since the 1960s Tania Mouraud has created works that intertwine the conceptual and sensual while exploring relationships between art and society. She has exhibited widely, with solo shows at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, PS1 in New York, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and many others. Having just closed a multi-city retrospective exhibition based at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, Mouraud is an established artist who continues to produce new and experimental works in video, sound, installation and photography.
Edi Hirose was born in 1975 in Lima, to a Japanese-descendant family. In 1996 he graduated from the Instituto Antonio Gaudí in Lima, the first postsecondary school of professional photography in Peru. He has had ten solo or two-person exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows in Peru, Latin America, and Europe. Notably, his work was highlighted in solo presentations at 2013 Istanbul Biennial and 2012 Sao Paulo Biennial. His recent solo exhibition, Intervención MALI, at the Museum of Art of Lima (September 9, 2015–January 31, 2016) comprised of a series of photographs taken over the course of seven years, between 2008 and 2015, during the process of a complete gutting, remodeling, and reinstallation of the collection in the Museum’s building. Hirose’s works are in the collections of the Museum of Art of Lima, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Société Générale in Paris, and many private collections in Peru and beyond. His photographs have also been featured in multiple print and online publications. He is represented by Lucía de la Puente Gallery in Lima.
Born in Lima in 1980, Nancy La Rosa received a BA in printmaking from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and is currently an MA candidate in visual anthropology at the same university. In 2008, she won the second prize in the contest “Passport for an artist” organized by the French Embassy in Peru, considered a launchpad to a professional artistic career in the country. La Rosa’s works in diverse media—drawing, print, photography, video, and installation—have been shown in venues in Peru and Latin America, including Medellín, Colombia, Trinidad, Bolivia, and Caracas, Venezuela. She has had three solo shows: Trampa ante ojo in ARCO Madrid (2014); Manifestaciones de una lejanía, 80m2–Livia Benavides Gallery, Lima (2012); and Datos Insuficientes, 80m2 art&debate Gallery, Lima (2009). She has also participated in multiple residencies and site-specific projects. Her works are in the collection of the Museum of Art of Lima, LARA Collection, and numerous private collections. Together with the artist Juan Salas and independent curator Miguel López, she has co-founded and directs publishing series Encuentros Cercanos that disseminates visuals projects and critical texts by contemporary artists in a simple, low-cost design. She is represented by 80m2–Livia Benavides Gallery in Lima.