Curated by María Alejandra Sáenz
August 24 – October 1, 2022, Mason Exhibitions Arlington
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm, 3601 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA
Atlantika Collective Artists: Gabriela Bulisova, Todd R. Forsgren, Billy Friebele, Mark Isaac, Katie Kehoe, Yam Chew Oh, and Sue Wrbican.
An event horizon alludes to a boundary in space around a black hole beyond which nothing, including light, can escape. Acknowledging the current climate crisis of our planet, Approaching Event Horizons: Projects on Climate Change by Atlantika Collective resists the idea that the future of planet Earth is reaching a point of no return. The seven artists in this exhibition illustrate the present environmental crisis and inspire actions to help mitigate the critical consequences of climate change.
Todd R. Forsgren’s photographic series, A Field Guide to Pelagic Plastic Bags, warns about plastic pollution in the oceans as he captures numerous images of plastic bags floating in the water. Gabriela Bulisova and Mark Isaac present, The Second Fire and A Tree for the Forest, two projects that trace the effects of global warming and the climate crisis in different regions of the world—Baikal, located in Eastern Siberia, Cyprus, and the Czech Republic. In Borrowed Time, a 15-foot paper sculpture, Yam Chew Oh instigates a conversation about the rapid consumption of plastic bottles in contrast to their slow degradation and long-term permanence on Earth.
Continuing his research on rivers, Billy Friebele uses digital tools to explore the submerged life of these bodies of water, capturing scenes above and below the water in Machines Learn from the River and Inversion/Submersion. Katie Kehoe reflects on the absence of trees due to urbanization in, 200 Trees, a two-part piece that consists of a video projection and socially engaged performance action. Kehoe also presents, Superimpositions: Wildfires In My Landscape, a series of animated photographs that reveal the ecological emergency of wildfires. Finally, Sue Wrbican’s sculptural explorations draw connections between the excessive consumption of materials during the recent pandemic and the 17th and 18th-century commemorative plague towers, which marked the end of European epidemics.
Accompanying these photographs, videos, and sculptures, are three large-scale videos by Gabriela Bulisova and Mark Isaac (Embers and Effluents), Billy Friebele (Inversion/Submersion), and Sue Wrbican (XXX), and a socially engaged artwork by Katie Kehoe (200 Trees, Part 2). These works further address the present environmental emergency and encourage taking steps forward to establish a more equitable relationship with nature.