Landscape & Life is a year-long exhibition series that coincides with the opening of Indexical's new brick-and-mortar venue located at the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz, California. The series explores the work of artists who draw our attention to the imminence of life within the landscape, making visible and audible the presence of human and non-human vitality in what in art, geography and law has too often been represented as empty space.
Landscape & Life will feature three exhibitions over the course of its 2021-2022 season, including Los Angeles based multimedia artists Paige Emery and Suzy Poling (Oct-Nov 2021); Diné composer Raven Chacon (Jan-Feb 2022); and the Canadian sound artist Paul Walde (May-June 2022). Each of these artists is a well-known musician and performer, and will join Indexical’s season of live performances during their respective exhibitions.
Threaded throughout Landscape & Life is a series of speaking engagements by artists, scholars, and activists, whose work extends the exhibitions’ themes and ideas, engaging with current political and environmental concerns. Speakers will include radio artist Anna Friz, Louise Leong and Tim Young from Solitary Gardens, artist Aja Rose Bond, the Democratic Socialists of America Ecosocialist Working Group, photographer Karolina Karlic and her collaborators in Unseen California, scholar Adrian Drummund-Cole, and more to be announced.
Landscape & Life is curated by experimental musician Gabriel Saloman Mindel. In addition to being well known as a composer and one half of the seminal 2000’s noise group Yellow Swans, Mindel is a visual artist, writer and scholar who is currently pursuing a PhD in UC Santa Cruz’s History of Consciousness department. Much of his work focuses on the relationships between noise, protest, and power and he has long been interested in exploring how listening and making sound can change our relationships to people, places, and things.
“We all are familiar with images that emphasize the inherent beauty in landscapes, but we don’t always consider the relationship to land and to the life worlds within it that this approach to depicting landscape encourages,” says curator Mindel. “When we look at a landscape painting we place ourselves outside of it, distant from it, and it encourages us to think of land as a property that we can simply own, just like a painting. I’m interested in asking what other relationships to land and life are possible, and how art can guide us towards those relationships.”
Mindel says that listening to local Native American communities such as the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band has forced him to rethink these relationships, not only to the land where he lives but to the people whose lives depend on it. “Learning about the Amah Mutsun’s efforts to protect sacred places like Juristac has inspired me to work with my own communities to better understand our relationships to this place. I’m hopeful that these exhibitions can spark conversations about our collective relationships to the land around us, and to the people - and the non-humans - that live here with us.”
The first exhibition for Landscape & Life
opens on Friday, October 1, 2021, and features mixed-media installations by Paige Emery and Suzy Poling
. Both artists will show new work that explores the animistic qualities of land and life through an array of media: painting, video, sound, textile, wallpapers, photography and living sculptures. Emery and Poling will be returning at the conclusion of the show on Saturday, November 13, to perform and present on their work.