Julia Kirchmer: Seen from the Anthropocene, Chashama, New York
Alyssa Fridgen: Aleksandar Popovic - Sight Unseen,
Kips Gallery, New York 2013;
Andrej Tisma: Rhythms of Human Depersonalization,
Stephaneum Institute Gallery, exhibition catalogue, Sremski Karlovci 1998
Frances Nicosia: First Time in New York, New Renaissance Gallery, exhibition catalogue, New York 1990;
Svetlana Jovanovic: Aleksandar Popovic, FLU Gallery, exhibition catalogue, Belgrade 1985;
Mica Popovic: Aleksandar Popovic - First Exhibition, KNU Gallery, exhibition catalogue, Belgrade 1984;
SEEN FROM THE ANTHROPOCENE
October 25 - November12, 2017
"Seen from the Anthropocene" explores the dichotomies between Earth’s changing landscape, human-made spaces and products, and our shared mental preoccupations - commenting on the cycles of both consumption and waste, and anxiety and gluttony, that define modern life. The nine included artists employ a variety of media, including painting, photography, installation, sculpture, and video, to illustrate this state of environmental, social and psychological affairs. The term "anthropocene" describes a geological era defined by human impact - anthropo, meaning “man” - and cene, meaning “new”. Together in "Seen from the Anthropocene", these artists place humanity on a dangerous precipice in relation to our worlds, both real and fabricated.
Painters Christopher Blyth and Aleksandar Popovic, and photographer Michael James Murray observe aerial and 360-degree perspectives that blend built, natural and imagined landscapes. Earth is depicted as if recorded by surveillance technology or captured by an extraterrestrial neighbor. Partitioning spaces with structural lines or shapes like windows, these artists frame and identify smaller spheres within our world, illustrating the human inclination to divide up the flesh of the Earth into usable chunks. Blyth, Popovic and Murray relish in the beauty and texture of rock, field, water, bridge and building - at once depicting landscapes both familiar and abstract - informed by the present yet perhaps looking back from the future.
This changing landscape is meditated on, as it shifts, melts, overflows with people, and becomes razed and littered - simultaneously dredged of its resources while filled in by post-consumer waste. Sam Horowitz, Sarah Langsam and Kate Rusek explore the relationship between humans and the Earth, focusing on materials and abundance. Through repurposing wood, bark, cardboard, and plastic, they comment on consumption and resource appropriation. By patterning and repeating everyday materials into large-scale environments, they engulf the visitor, amplifying the concept of overabundance. Encasing installations between ceiling and floor, these artists force us to share space with what we’ve created, and ask us to imagine a better cycle for our resources.
"Seen from the Anthropocene" also visualizes humans sinking deeper into personal digital vortexes, removed from nature and physical connection. Coalfather Industries (Kara Jansson and Craig Newsom) and Wiley Aker dive into these invisible worlds through video, considering both surveillance and the psychological effects of 24/7 information deployment. This steady feed of visuals - much of it junk - plus the cycle of accepting and partaking in surveillance, breeds emotional discontent, fear, and waste. With original animated content, found footage, as well as military and defense reels, these artists explore panic, worry, desire, the absurd and mundane. They highlight this unhealthy psychological landscape which mediates our virtual realities, and proliferates into our daily lives.
"Seen from the Anthropocene" puts our current actions under a microscope, and examines the hypothetical fissures forming in the Earth. It depicts a world in flux and headed for possible catastrophe. Asking for reflection on our current cultural values and on the state of ecological damage, it suggests that what is good for us may also be good for the natural world.
September 5–24, 2013
Aleksandar Popovic’s paintings engage viewers to consider that which often goes unseen, despite being directly before our eyes. In order to see, we must look, and looking is an act of choice. The act of seeing establishes our place in the surrounding world, yet the relationship between what we see and what we know is never resolved. By placing both the figures viewing the sight, and the viewers of the figures and sight in an unexpected vantage point, the paintings invite us to question our perception from a different angle and be active participants in the space. From this non-linear perspective, the viewer is no longer at the center of the world, but rather placed in a position of considering a sight from different perspectives. We are able to both see the landscape and situate ourselves in it. From this sight, we can also be seen.
Opening new directions for figurative art, his paintings encourage continued interest in the figure and present new possibilities for the function of figures in painting. Figures inserted between the landscape and the viewer add an intimacy to the composition and allow the viewer to situate themselves in the scene as an observer. Anonymous figures, unclothed, with no political, social, or cultural ties, avoid the trap of some narrative figurative work, which sometimes forces the viewer to feel a part of a story that is not their own.
The birds-eye view further lends itself to the anonymity of the figures, yet allows the viewer to hover above the story in a way that is still very engaged. An aerial view alludes somewhat to a documentary lens. The compressed space is a map, a kind of living map, which shows a way of seeing, and a way of being in the world. The volume of the figures rendered in subtle gradations of vivid flesh tones, in contrast to the low-saturated flat color planes, create an intriguing sense of depth, further drawing the viewer into the scene.
Alexandria Museum of Art