October 24, 2017

The Short Forever

The Short Forever
October 20–November 10, 2017, Flaxman Library Special Collections Exhibition Cases, Sharp Building 5th floor

A collaboration between Phoebe Chin, Andrew Yang, Jeremy Bolen, Kayla Anderson, and the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection.

A notion:
We have entered a new geological period - the Anthropocene - in which human activity is the dominating biogeochemical force on the planet. Through trash, radiation, dust, plastic and so many other means we’ve inscribed ourselves into that large archival and encyclopedic volume called Earth.

And so this particular now becomes now forevermore, unerasable punctuation that irrevocably alters the meaning of every word within the larger planetary text. The Yangtze river dolphin, smallpox, the dodo, polar bear, passenger pigeon, Tasmanian wolf, Neanderthal – so many sharp exclamat!ons followed by  par(e)nth(e)ticals,  some trapped and others newly absent  (  ), ((   )),  ( --- )  :(      

How are we to classify what was, what is, and what will be in the mess of nature-turned-culture-turned-future?

From 1952 to 1959 “Animal, Mineral, Or Vegetable?” was a popular BBC quiz show, a television version of the traditional parlor game. The objects in question came from famous museums and collections and expert archaeologists and historians were set to puzzle on the what any given thing “was.”  Seeming versus being, origins and unoriginals.

You are an animal! (but really you are) – a cousin of the pheasant, ancient fish, and the abalone too. Maybe it is extra effort to think of yourself as a plant, but if you were raised in the United States on a typical modern diet, then over 50% of the carbon that makes up your body found its way to you by corn - syruped, popped, or hamburgered. As for mineral, the iron of blood and calcium of bones say it all. 

Anything is everything else mixed together and life is a lived hybridity. The blurry boundlessness that congeals into an identity for a meanwhile is carved out with the knives of races, classes, teams, nations, sexes, first names, and fan clubs.  We keep track now only with the guarantee that all tracks will be lost later; thank metabolism, and thank entropy too.  All of our things are cataloged in the library of the short forever.

Flipping the Garden Satellite Library
Curated  by Junxi Lu
10/24 - 11/10/2017
Flaxman Library Special Collections Reading Room, Sharp 508 [Flat File]

This satellite library explores the architecture of intimate landscapes, inspired by the contemplative spatial relations of traditional Chinese gardens. Junxi Lu has transformed the Special Collections Reading Room flat file into metaphorical garden, exploring topics of space, the landscape, the body, water, and food. 

Artists' publications by: Ann Hamilton, Anna Geene, Bjarne Bare, Bruno Munari, Christopher Davenport, Darren Almond, Helen Douglas, Hsian Jung Chen, Hugh Connelly, Kim Soo Ja, Laurence Aëgerter, Lele Saveri, Lisa Stone, Martien Mulder, Maurizio Nannucci, Munemasa Takahashi, Nicholas Gottlund, Olafur Eliasson, Pierre Hermé, Roni Horn, Sarah Jones, Son Ni, Telfer Stokes, Yan Zhou, and Yasutomo Ota. Architectural structure by Junxi Lu.