Occupy Colby is part of the ongoing exhibit Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale That Society Has the Capacity to Destroy, initiated in 2017 at Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, and featuring artists whose works invoke contemporary political and social issues such as human rights and equality, immigration, foreign relations, and the environment. This second iteration at the Colby Museum focuses solely on environmental issues and climate change—perhaps the most alarming concern of our current condition—especially after the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, which within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) was created to mediate greenhouse gas emissions that have a direct effect on global warming. The aim of this exhibit is to amplify the urgency of artists’ visions. By working through various media, materials, and scales, they offer direct and indirect responses to their manmade and natural surroundings; how both must co-exist with heightened awareness of the fragility of our planet earth.
An integral part of the motivation of Rail Curatorial Projects is to create productive dialogues and collaboration between artists, institutions, and communities alike. Teachers and students from different disciplines at Colby College came together with the Brooklyn Rail to produce public programming, including panel discussions and other conversations and performances, that we present here in this special issue of the River Rail.
In conjunction with this exhibition, Phong Bui and Francesca Pietropaolo have curated an official Collateral Event for the 2019 Venice Biennale with a similar focus on climate change and global warming, Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale That Society Has the Capacity to Destroy: Mare Nostrum at the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Penitenti, on view through November 24, 2019.
Curated by Phong Bui
Works in the Exhibition
David Brooks, Imbroglios (a phylogenetic tree, from Homo sapiens to Megalops atlanticus), 2012. Fiberglass gelcoat, MDF, pencil, hardware. 60 x 144 x 252 in. Courtesy the artist.