Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Preposterous Ecological Art?

The concept of Ecological Art means something different than the more inclusive term Environmental Art. The latter is most famously embodied by the "Earthworks" of the latter third of the Twentieth Century. Artists such as Robert Smithson and Michael Heizer created sculptures that went beyond "site specific" to incorporate the land itself into the work of art, often with little regard to the destructive nature of the work. As the movement evolved artists like Andy Goldsworthy became more sensitive to the impact their work had on the land and attempted to leave the environment unharmed.

Ecological Art is generally understood to go even further. There generally are two ways this is done. Some Eco-Artists use art to repair or restore damaged environments, as exemplified by Betsy Damon, who recently gave a talk at UWM about her remarkable work with Keepers of the Waters. Others create work that draws attention to ecological principles or deals with issues related to environmental relationships, sustainability, and the like without affecting them directly. A talk entitled "Preposterous Propositions" at MIAD last night by Linda Weintraub emphasized this last type of approach.
Read my full (and skeptical) review at my other blog: Arts Without Borders.

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