Facts & Fables: Stories of the Natural World
May 31, 2011 (Philadelphia, PA): The Environmental Art Program at The Schuylkill Center is proud to present “Facts and Fables: Stories of The Natural World,” on view at The Schuylkill Center June 25 – October 30, 2011.
Featuring work by: Jeremy Beaudry, Brian Collier, Chad Curtis, Blane De St. Croix, David Dempewolf, Susan Hagen, Jeanne Jaffe
“Facts and Fables” was a group exhibition of seven large-scale, outdoor, site-specific works about stories of our natural world, from a variety of artistic perspectives, from fictional to factual. All art exhibits at The Schuylkill Center are free and open to the public, Mon. – Sat. 9am to 5pm.
Featuring artists Jeremy Beaudry, Brian Collier, Chad Curtis, Blane De St. Croix, David Dempewolf, Susan Hagen and Jeanne Jaffe, this show aimed to reveal the ways in which we perceive, interpret and retell our experiences of nature. The seven artists used diverse methods: memorials, guidebooks, faux landscapes, fairy tale crime scenes, live video feeds, visual perception tracking, distortion of scale, predictions and invitations. See “About the Participating Artists” on Page 3.
Stories normalize the strange and explain the confounding. Our relationship with and impact on our environment is in a state of constant flux, and as an environmental education center, we are always updating how and what we teach about the natural world. As our ways of seeing the world develop, the stories we believe in evolve, change and expand.
Our relationship to our stories is tenuous, however, since they can sometimes oversimplify the reality of nature’s complexities. Historically, we rely on scientific facts until they become obsolete, transforming themselves into fables. What was once believed without question now sounds laughable (the flat earth, the medicinal use of leeches, to name a few ). Regardless, we will always need stories because they help make sense of the world we inhabit.
This exhibition asks important questions about the human experience of the environment: How do stories affect our understanding of nature? How do we represent our environmental impact? What is true nature and what is fabricated, and how can we tell the difference? Is our experience of nature limited by our human abilities to sense the world around us?
The seven artists use diverse methods to address such questions: memorials, guidebooks, faux landscapes, fairy tale crime scenes, live video feeds, visual perception tracking, distortion of scale, predictions and invitations. Some artists tell stories, while others examine the ways stories are created, or retell old stories to unearth new ideas. These artists combine antiquated methods with innovative technology to offer the viewer a range of experience and ways to interact with the natural world.