exhibition explores the politics of oceans in a globalized world

The Ocean After Nature is on view at The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center's Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery, 2 West 13th Street, The New School

Opening Reception: February 9, 2017, 6-8 pm (curator's walk-through at 5:30 pm) On view: February 9 through April 17, 2018

An-My Lê, Offload, LCACs and Tank, California, 2006. Courtesy of the artist and Murray Guy, New York.

NEW YORK, January 22, 2018 —The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (SJDC) at The New School’s Parsons School of Design presents The Ocean After Nature, an exhibition that considers the ocean as reflecting the ecological, cultural, political, and economic realities of a globalized world. Featuring work by 20 artists and collectives in a variety of media — including photography, video, sculpture, and design — the exhibition explores new ways of representing the seascape as a means to identify and critique various systems of power, including land-sea divides, the circulation of people and goods, and the vulnerabilities of ecosystems.

In the past 15 years, global technological and economic shifts have triggered new concerns and understandings of the ocean. Invoking personal themes of identity and migration, alongside more universal concerns related to tourism, trade, and the exploitation of natural resources, the internationally established and emerging artists in The Ocean After Nature respond to the intertwined factors that define this new understanding of the ocean. The show proposes that seascapes do not only reflect power but can be instruments of power themselves.

The Ocean After Nature is about the politics of the ocean and an ocean of politics,” comments Alaina Claire Feldman, the exhibition's curator and Director of Exhibitions at Independent Curators International (ICI). “Through the diverse visions of rigorously investigative artists, the exhibition encourages a rethinking of our place in the world — and of the relationship of a post-Sandy New York City to the ocean — and ultimately aims to motivate us to cause change through action.”

“In a poetic and critically engaged way the works in the exhibition respond to some of the key environmental and social challenges of globalization that we face today,” says Christiane Paul, Director/Chief Curator of the SJDC. “The Ocean After Nature provides an ideal platform for advancing research and discussing the breadth of these issues.”

Featured artists are Ursula Biemann, CAMP, Yonatan Cohen & Rafi Segal, Mati Diop, Drexciya, Peter Fend, Manuel Gnam, Renée Green, Peter Hutton, Hyung S. Kim, An-My Lê, Manny Montelibano, The Otolith Group, Maria D. Rapicavoli, Carissa Rodriguez, Allan Sekula & Nöel Burch, Supersudaca, and UNITED BROTHERS.

The Ocean After Nature is a traveling exhibition curated by Alaina Claire Feldman, a curator and Director of Exhibitions at Independent Curators International (ICI) since 2011, and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, in collaboration with the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, with the generous support from ICI’s International Forum and the ICI Board of Trustees.

Parsons School of Design is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines, as well as online courses, degree and certificate programs. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century.

Sheila C. Johnson Design Center is an award-winning campus center for Parsons School of Design that combines learning and public spaces with exhibition galleries to provide an important new downtown destination for art and design programming. The mission of the Center is to generate an active dialogue on the role of innovative art and design in responding to the contemporary world. Its programming encourages an interdisciplinary examination of possibility and process, linking the university to local and global debates. The center is named in honor of its primary benefactor, New School Trustee and Parsons Board of Governors Member Sheila C. Johnson. The design by Rice+Lipka Architects is the recipient of numerous awards, including an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.

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Media Contacts:

Scott Gargan,
The New School
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gargans@newschool.edu



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