This exhibition features two artists—Joiri Minaya of New York and Anne Austin Pearce of California—whose works question the colonial urges and histories around collecting, controlling and owning nature. Minaya’s ongoing Containers, a series of performative photographs, feature the artist in seemingly natural environments wearing bodysuits she makes out of fabric with designs that represent tropical nature. Minaya’s work often utilizes ‘the tropical’ as a critique of colonialism and as a means to locate and reclaim agency. Pearce’s small sculptures exist somewhere between decorative glass vessels and emollient blob. As if the after-effects of an oil spill, dozens of these art objects suggest humanity’s endless suffocation and consumption of nature through containment. Together, these two bodies of work engage questions surrounding ethics and aesthetics of contemporary ecology, as well as the assumed vessel that is humanity. The artists ultimately ask: What is consumed or preserved and under whose gaze?
This exhibition is organized by Kate McNamara, PCG Curator at Large. The exhibition is sponsored by Providence College’s Department of Art and Art History, Department of Political Science, Black Studies Program, Latin American Studies Program, Women’s & Gender Studies Program, and the School of Arts & Sciences.