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THE INVENTION OF NATURE
JULY 8 - AUGUST 19, 2023

Someday is happy to announce: “The Invention of Nature” at Nino Mier Glassell Park (2700 W Ave 34, Los Angeles 90065) , from July 8 - August 19, 2023 (summer hours: Wed - Saturday, 12 - 6pm).  

 

The show features recent work by: Peter Brock, Rachelle Dang, Brittni Ann Harvey, Dmitri Hertz, Brandon Ndife, Umico Niwa, Estefania Puerta, Matthew Schrader and Timmy Simonds.

The very concept of nature implies a distinction between our species and the rest of the physical environment. This sense of separation arises from the semantic conventions of Western language and its colonial lineage, rather than empirical study. The imaginary division between humans and their surroundings has reverberated throughout our cultural discourse, and the increasing omnipresence of technology heightens this tendency. Depictions of the so-called “natural world”  reveal as much about the socio-political conditions of their authors as they do about the flora and fauna they portray. As a genre, landscape projects our desires and fears as much as it observes our surroundings. Today, most computers, phones, and tablets arrive with scenes of pastoral beauty as their default background. Chosen for their calming effects, images of pristine beaches, snow capped mountains and celestial bodies soothe screen-induced anxiety. When overconsumption threatens the survival of our civilizations, the iconography of nature also provides a set of symbols to reflect upon our dilemma.  

 

Instead of fetishizing the supposed purity of the non-human realm, the artists in this exhibition engage with the precarious interdependence of biological and technological systems as a core feature of our existence. Through idiosyncratic  material vocabularies, they reference organic processes in unexpected ways. Often, it becomes impossible to distinguish growth from decay, or found objects from those fabricated in the studio. Some elements resemble the slow accumulation of geologic time, others the rapid bloom of fungal growth. Even two-dimensional images show signs of erosion. Plastic and plant matter mingle together to form hybrid entities that are at once charming and haunting. Echoes emerge between the patterns of plants and the rhythmic shapes of infrastructure, interconnected by invisible ligaments, like the mass branching of mycelium hyphae. Heavy sculptures of stone and wood mimic the eccentric shapes of nanoparticles. The horizon is reimagined as a material boundary; a physical limitation that orients our hopes and fears about the future. These works avoid the pervasive dualism of language by directly addressing our senses. Their peculiar forms and references ask us to simultaneously consider the dependencies and contradictions that shape our relationship to this planet.  

 

Organized by Peter Brock. 

 

The title of this show comes from Andrea Wolf’s book, The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World (Knopf, 2015)

 

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Installation view: The Invention of Nature, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, July 8 - August 19, 2023

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Installation view: The Invention of Nature, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, July 8 - August 19, 2023

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Installation view: The Invention of Nature, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, July 8 - August 19, 2023

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Installation view: The Invention of Nature, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, July 8 - August 19, 2023

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Peter Brock, The Limited Sphere, 2023, oil, aqua-resin, aluminum panel, 9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5cm)

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Installation view: The Invention of Nature, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, July 8 - August 19, 2023

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Umico Niwa, Baby Shoes Series, 2023, foraged materials, horse hair, wax, copper, 5.1 x 11 x 13 inches (13 x 28 x 33cm)

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Timmy Simonds, teachers bouquet transient, July 2, 2023, bleached parsley, oil paint, glycerin, florist, cellophane, plastic 

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Timmy Simonds, teachers bouquet transient, July 2, 2023 (detail)

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Installation view: The Invention of Nature, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, July 8 - August 19, 2023

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Installation view: The Invention of Nature, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, July 8 - August 19, 2023

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Installation view: The Invention of Nature, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, July 8 - August 19, 2023

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Installation view: The Invention of Nature, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, July 8 - August 19, 2023

Installation view: The Invention of Nature, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, July 8 - August 19, 2023

Installation view: The Invention of Nature, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, July 8 - August 19, 2023

Umico Niwa. Installation: Baby Shoe Series, 2020-23, brittania pewter, copper, enamel, foraged organic materials, dimensions variable 

Matthew Schrader, from left to right: Union Avenue, Ailanthus (night), The City is a Tree, 2023, c-print, plexiglass, ink, museum board, 9 x 11 x 1.25 inches (22.8 x 28 x 3.2cm), unique 

Installation view: The Invention of Nature, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, July 8 - August 19, 2023

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