Event - Opening Reception for Chance Ecologies: Queens

Opening Reception for Chance Ecologies: Queens

10.08.16, 2:00 pm

A creek site where four women are engaged in research. The creek is a shimmery brown and sprawls out from the top right corner. There are small rock boulders and dense vegetation at the borders. Three of the women are crouched in the creek with their attention below the shallow water's surface. The fourth is up above with a clear view of the rest of the group. They are all dressed casually. Two of them are wearing floppy hats and three of them have bags strapped over their shoulders.

Exhibition Dates: October 8-30, 2016
Opening Reception & Walkthrough with Curators & Artists: October 8, 2pm-4pm
Participatory Workshops and Public Performances: October 16, 2016
Chance Ecologies Symposium: October 23, 2016

Chance Ecologies: Queens is an exhibit of new works, artistic gestures and research projects engaging with the undesigned and wild growing landscapes found in post-industrial sites, landfills and other liminal spaces around Queens. This exhibit brings together creative works from a large group of Queens and Brooklyn-based artists, who have explored three of these sites around the borough over the past two years: Hunter’s Point South, the Newtown Creek, and the Flushing River. Each of these places has its own unique history and landscape, but all three are united by a shared legacy of industrial pollution and human intervention.

Over the centuries, the Queens waterfront has been reshaped by successive waves of development and redevelopment, creating an entirely new urban coastline. Once a series of natural ecosystems, lined with streams and rivers, wetlands and forests, the shoreline is now home to power plants, highways, landfills, and new residential and commercial developments. However, several sections of this man-made waterfront have been temporarily reclaimed by nature, hovering between waves of development and real estate speculation, and have become unplanned green spaces. These unmanaged meadows, glens and marshes support a diversity of life not found in the city’s official parks, providing an important habitat for wild species of birds, insects, trees and flowers, and upending our assumptions of human dominance in the city.

Chance Ecologies: Queens opens up the complex dialogues about the importance of these spaces by inviting artists and community members to creatively engage with them, both in the museum and in person. The artists’ of Chance Ecologies extensive, ongoing research and fieldwork explores the varieties of life found in these sites, while also articulating a deeper understanding of how the environment has been and continues to be radically reshaped by human impacts, including globalization and climate change. By bringing members of the public to these remote areas, to creatively engage with these artistic responses, Chance Ecologies celebrates the resilience of urban nature, and asks community members to consider their own place in the larger sphere of life.

Chance Ecologies: Queens includes a diverse array of artworks, from video installation and new media to sculpture and drawing, the results of collaborations between archaeologists, architects, filmmakers, urbanists and naturalists with community members of all ages and backgrounds. To expand the dialogue around this exhibit, Chance Ecologies will present a day of participatory art projects and public performances along the Flushing River on October 16th, and a symposium of authors, artists, academics and community groups at the museum on October 23rd. More information on those events will be announced at the Queens Museum website.

Chance Ecologies: Queens is curated by artists Catherine Grau and Nathan Kensinger, and includes work by many of the artists and thinkers who have been a part of Chance Ecologies, including Joianne Bittle, Daniel Campo, Laura Chipley, Nate Dorr, Maya Edelman, Edrex Fontanilla, Dylan Gauthier, Dillon de Give, Ellie Irons, Chris Kennedy, Kristyna Milde, Marek Milde, Anne Percoco, Edmund Mooney, Matthias Neumann, Natalia Roumelioti (ntilit), Raphaele Shirley, Marisa Tesauro, and Sarah Nelson Wright.

Chance Ecologies was created in 2015 by Catherine Grau, Nathan Kensinger and Stephen Zacks, and has been supported by the Queens Museum, ArtBuilt Mobile Studios and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation with a residency at the Studio In The Park program, and has worked in partnership with Amplifier Inc., RadiatorArts, and the Newtown Creek Alliance. More information can be seen at www.chancecologies.org