Penn State Abington art instructor Julia Clift’s first venture into curation, “Seeing the Anthropocene” (StA), is open in Philadelphia as a cross-venue exhibit that thoughtfully explores the climate crisis and urgent environmental issues through works by a diverse roster of international collaborators.
“Many works in the show point to the concept that we humans are part of nature rather than beyond or above it,” Clift said.
“I think it’s important for that perspective to spread, culturally, to seed meaningful change. The show is about envisioning a more sustainable future. I want the audience to walk away feeling energized rather than simply despairing.”
Pieces by 13 sound and visual artists and scientists as well as an ensemble shed light on the policies, conventions and attitudes that led to the climate crisis and sustain it today.
There are several unexpected and remarkable elements to the exhibition, including:
- At the Tiger Strikes Asteroid venue, about 2 miles from the Cherry Street Pier, visitors will experience the prototype of “The Immersion Project,” a collaboration between artists and oceanographers that incorporates large-scale coral-inspired sculptures, AR animation, and sound into a multi-sensory installation to educate the public about deep-sea ecosystems.
- Artist Austen Camille’s AR animation within “The Immersion Project” at Tiger Strikes Asteroid and an evocative collaboration there between a visual and a sound artist tie the two sites together.
For Clift, curating StA evolved organically from her distress about the current state of the planet.
“I felt compelled to say something,” she said. “It made the most sense to articulate that ‘something’ as a conversation between insightful, poignant artworks. The climate crisis influences my own artistic practice, and I see my paintings as related to all of the works in this show.”
When it came to selecting artists for StA, Clift chose those whose work she admires and who influence her.
“I think the artists who I’ve had the privilege to work with over the past several years for StA have inspired me to be more fearless and ambitious. I can’t wait to get back to the studio and see what emerges after this whole, powerful experience,” she said.
The exhibit runs through December 2nd at Tiger Strikes Asteroid and Cherry St. Pier.
Read more about the socially-conscious and pertinent exhibit on Penn State Abington’s website.
The Immersion Project Prototype, Philadelphia 2023