DOCUMENTS FOR THE PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE
Erain Lopez Gallery, Chicago, IL 2016
The artists included in this show take on roles commonly reserved for the botanist, astronomer, geologist, anthropologist and archaeologist. They utilize the tools of these professions to investigate, research, collect and explain the world, but they interpret this information in a different way. They are not held to any academic standard, and are therefore free to present rather than explain, and to attempt to preserve the un-preservable.
These artists are documentarians. Their work seeks to preserve a moment, a fact, a phenomenon of our present moment. The act of preservation implies a threat of loss, and there is a potent fear of loss pervading the world in its current state. The Anthropocene heralds a new era in which we have begun to acknowledge the impact of both human and natural forces on the planet. We are also experiencing a dematerialization of information with the increasing reliance on digital records and use of the internet as a tool for archiving and communication. As we entrench ourselves deeper into this new era it becomes clear that some aspects of nature and culture will be lost. These artists understand the importance of creating material objects and work to memorialize these things.