The Drop

The Drop focuses on what many environmentalists consider to be one of the most important issues of the 21st century: water and its controversial role in the global environment.

During the 1960’s and 70’s public awareness of the degradation of the earth’s environment was at an all-time high – the farm industry, oil crisis and global warming, were brought to the public’s attention by activists, environmentalists, and conservationists. Organizations like Greenpeace and the Environmental Protection Agency were founded; the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts were passed; and the first Earth Day was held. Motivated by a vision for environmentally safe practices and solutions to the world’s environmental and ecological problems, these groups and individuals began to shape a generation of grassroots activism and organizing.

In the 1970s artists such as Robert Smithson did large-scale public projects that commented on the environment in which they were placed. In the 1980s and 90s, artists took advantage of new ways to deploy, collaborate, and access information, they responded to new environmental concerns such as recycling, rainforest protection, acid rain, and the near-extinction of some animal populations. Well into the 21st century, we still recognize the world’s natural resources and environment as key national and global concerns. As science and technology move ahead at lightening speeds, so do debates and concerns over the environment.

The Drop is a conceptual exhibition that poses questions about the current environmental landscape in order to foster a deeper understanding of our natural resources and environment. The debates and concerns over the sustainability of the environment have become increasingly complex as systems for environmental erosion are constantly in flux. Cross-disciplinary dialogues amongst scientists, artists, environmentalists, conservationists, and historians are more important than ever in tackling our current world water issues. The Drop presents 26 unique perspectives that add to this ongoing discourse.

Some of the topics being explored in The Drop include: global warming, pollution, shortages, over-building, government regulations, privatization of public lands and the subsequent degradation of our natural environment. The multidisciplinary artworks and installations in this timely exhibition project have a two-fold purpose; to inform the audience about global water issues, and to propose ideas to reclaim, restore and remedy environments so that we can co-exist with nature.

Exit Art has a rich history of presenting issue-based exhibitions that bring together science, activism and concern about the environment, including Paradise Now: Picturing the Genetic Revolution (2000) in which artists brought an awareness to the benefits and dangers inherent in genetic research; and our upcoming exhibition The Brain scheduled for 2008.

ARTISTS

Artists Formerly Known as Women, Lillian Ball, Brandon Ballengée, justin beal, Bob Braine, Jackie Brookner, Donna Conlon, Nancy Drew, Peter Fend, Catherine Forster, Adam Frelin, Tony Hamboussi, Basia Irland, Sant Khalsa, Eve Andrée Laramée, Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo with Eric Forman, Carolyn Monastra, Lucia Pizzani, Andrea Polli and Joe Gilmore with meteorologist Dr. Patrick Market, Aviva Rahmani, Ann T. Rosenthal and Steffi Domike, Christy Rupp, Fidel Sclavo, Arbuzo Virtmanis, Harlan D. Whatley, Bryan Zanisnik

CURATORS

Jeanette Ingberman and Papo Colo

CURATORIAL TEXT

Rain drops keep falling on my head.

But those drops of rain are becoming toxic as we talk, and it is not that I want to alarm you, but the earth’s ecological systems are in distress. Of course we all know that, but few people are doing something about it and it is not the mainstream of the art world who cares, it’s the margin and this is where the artists of this exhibition and Exit Art belongs. There is not activist art any more, but an aesthetic of necessity. The matrix of science and art is in the forefront of approaching issues that are important for our survival.I mean science in the broad sense of the term, scientific, political, anthropological, social, psychological and spiritual behavior. And this is an aesthetic statement.

Temporal! Temporal! Que sera de New Orleans cuando lleque el temporal.
(Hurricane! Hurricane! What will happen to New Orleans when the hurricane comes. – folkloric song in the plena style)

Environmental issues are inspirational material for the imagination of our culture, from landscapes to body organs, new media to genetics, and folkloric songs as the one above. It is the artist and the scientist who always jump into the unknown, research is the brain’s curiosity to find an answer.

The artist’s job is to expose and promote analysis of physical and spiritual concerns, a consistent definition for science. Art then is the collective responsibility of individuals to interpret, translate and illustrate the state of affairs that is our planet and its habitants. Art is expanding into different categories, art that pleases the eye, art that thrills the mind, and art that searches the sciences for new options.With the reinvention of new and established media, artists and scientists are building alliances for the conservation and development of the human species, so why not work together. Exit Art is committed to that idea. At the risk of being seen as idealist, we are also pragmatist and aware of our experimental responsibility as a cultural space. The future is ours to develop sensibilities for resolving, in a creative way, the enormous challenge of our planet’s survival.

The uses of art are as different as the cultures that it represents. There is no left or right wing as we knew it in the 20th Century, political options are becoming interchangeable, both birds and airplanes fly using their bodies for balance, which is in the middle.“I am singing in the rain………..”
“No problem” is the credo of the artworld inc., the preoccupation of the poisoning of the planet, is for the fanatic, activist, left leaning menace, and other cultural riff raff. Real art is: a metaphor of what is, an approximation of the subject, a question that answers another question, an allegory, a fable.

“I am singing in the rain……”

We are three quarters water, that is…. water is blood, our veins are rivers, our saliva the taste and our urine is the waste.

Water and gold are brothers in the law of survival; some day solid gold will melt into drinking liquid. Water will transform into blood that will produce violence.

The distribution and possession of water will be the struggle, the source of life will be the reason of its destruction, water is life and death, surfer and tsunami, mercury and oxygen, transportation and shipwreck, swimming and drowning.

The energy that water produces in dams and in our bodies is our source of life, as we kill the water sources we are killing our bodies.

Water, this see-through substance, carries the force that gives you comfort. Water is the religion of thirst that calms your hunger. In every faith, water is holy, cleansing is its power, cleaning the cleaning liquid is our responsibility, so why is it so difficult? Water is god in liquid form that is inside us, that is why we produce and become art. It’s use is omnipresent and it is crystal clear as the truth.

Every artist in this exhibition has a mission: to illuminate how to care for our water as we pay attention to our bodies.