Eco-Urgency: Now or Never
Co-organized by Wave Hill and Lehman College Art Gallery, Eco-Urgency: Now or Never is a two-part exhibition showing the varied responses to our current ecological crisis by artists working across wide-ranging practices. Now, the first part of the exhibition, on view at Wave Hill, brings together artists looking at the urgency of the present moment, raising awareness through a holistic approach to understanding social, political and environmental concerns. Or Never, the second part of the project, to be presented at Lehman College Art Gallery starting December 4, is both speculative and reflective, examining the echoing cycles of history that have shaped and led us to our current moment, alongside possible and causal futures.
Both parts of the exhibition investigate a series of overlapping thematic inquiries that preoccupy artists today. Politics and the Land explores the impact of political and economic policies related to natural resources and the social health inequities made worse by unequal distribution of resources. Decentering Human Experience emphasizes the importance of nonhuman perspectives and impresses the need to rethink humans as the primary species. The theme of Stewardship focuses on the urge to collect, archive and preserve. Artists imagining apocalyptic climate catastrophe are explored through Depicting Imminent Change proposing ideas to mitigate the resulting impacts of ongoing environmental changes. Finally, Grief looks at a growing body of work that is mournful, elegiac and prompts questions about what it means to memorialize that which is lost or about to be lost.
The artists in Eco-Urgency rely on research, critical analysis, observation and direct action to create objects, videos and performances to encourage public engagement and deepen awareness of this critical moment. There are no easy answers to this crisis, but these artists provide a series of guideposts and pathways for moving forward.
Eco-Urgency: Now or Never is co-organized by Wave Hill and Lehman College Art Gallery, The City University of New York, and is curated by Bartholomew Bland, Gabriel de Guzman, Jesse Bandler Firestone, Eileen Jeng Lynch, and Deborah Yasinsky. The curatorial concept for the exhibition was initiated with Jennifer McGregor.
Artists at Wave Hill: Allora & Calzadilla, Tatiana Arocha, Hannah Chalew, Lionel Cruet, Nicky Enright, Susan Rowe Harrison, Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens, Mary Mattingly, Alison Moritsugu, Alexis Rockman, SPURSE, Candace Thompson, Natalie Collette Wood, Suné Woods and Sasha Wortzel.
Artists at Lehman College Art Gallery: Vanessa Albury, Samantha Box, Nicky Enright, Rachel Frank, Alicia Grullón, Alison Janae Hamilton, Mary Mattingly, Alexis Rockman, Francesco Simeti, SPURSE, Will Wilson, Natalie Collette Wood and Ken + Julia Yonetani.
The second part of the exhibition, Or Never, will be on view at Lehman College Art Gallery from December 4, 2021 through April 23, 2022.
During the summer of 2020, Wave Hill presented a series of nine virtual programs to introduce the themes within the Eco-Urgency exhibition. Learn more about these programs.
Eco-Urgency: Now or Never at Wave Hill follows the related 2018 exhibitions Avifauna: Birds and Habitat and Ecological Consciousness: Artist as Instigator, and the 2017 exhibition Jackie Brookner: Of Nature.