“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Marina Zurkow in Houston

houston, texas
diverseworks art space
march 16 - april 21

production still, Mesocosm (Wink, TX), 2012, software-driven animation
In January 2011, DiverseWorks supported a two-week research trip for Zurkow to the Permian Basin. From Marfa to Midland, she met with geologists, naturalists, cattlemen, oilmen, and activists. She traversed the high southern plains of the Llano Estacado-the ecosystem stretching from Lubbock to the Edwards Plateau - a landscape so subtle most people call it The Big Empty. In the Permian Period 250 million years ago, the geological riches of the area were formed, as marine microorganisms accumulated in sediments on the floor of a vast saline sea. Over millions of years, the seas dried out, the landmass itself moved more than 2,000 miles into its present location and these creatures transmuted into hydrocarbons. In the past century, we have pumped over 100 billion barrels of oil and a hundred trillion cubic feet of gas from these Texas hydrocarbon reservoirs. The exhibit asks us to think about how we disturb, worship and are dominated by these long-dead beings: Necrocracy or the rule of the dead.
- John Pluecker
The show is composed of seven new animated works and a labyrinth of fifty 10-foot high high banners of things made out of petroleum plastics - IV bags, flip flops, rubber chickens, artificial flowers, nylon umbrellas, gas masks, police riot shields, cell phones, car parts, condoms, diapers, and more. The animations – some video, some software driven – look at the petroleum-rich landscape of West Texas through a series of lenses: geological time, the larger ecosystem, and the interdependence of resources like water and oil.
DiverseWorks Main Gallery and Aurora Picture Show's Flickerlounge
1117 E. Freeway
Houston, Texas 77002
Reception Friday, March 16, 6pm - 8pm
Gallery hours Wednesday - Saturday: 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM

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