Peek at Swoon’s “Anthropocene Extinction” Opening at Boston’s ICA

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Opening tonight at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, is an exhibition of new work by Brooklyn Street Artist SWOON, called Anthropocene Extinction.

“The title addresses humanity’s impact on the environment,” says Pedro Alonzo, the Adjunct Curator of the show and the guy who brought the very successful Street Art exhibition “Viva La Revolucion” to San Diego last year.

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Swoon (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Kind hearted and focused powerhouse SWOON continues her efforts to engage viewers at ICA with her hand cut wheat pasted installations of real people and mythical ones, symbolically telling a tale that brings responsibility for the environment directly to our feet. Wholistic in many respects, we find familiar recurring themes in the subject matter, the construction techniques, even the manner of fruition of the installations; The localized environment in which Swoon’s work evolves mirrors the collaborative vision and processes that will be necessary to address the very real issue of sustainability and disaster more populations are facing.

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Swoon (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

For the politically charged time we’re in, a show like this could open itself to charges of smug liberal self satisfaction if the artists’ body of work and projects to create shelter from the storm were not so consistent and authentic. A person entirely engaged in every process, Swoon facilitates others’ stories and incorporates them along with more material considerations, like the 400-pound bamboo temple structure hanging from the ceiling here that uses traditional Chinese construction methods the artist has been studying (It’s excellent when viewed while riding the elevator). Balancing the durability of reinforced joints with the fragility of cut paper species floating through air, the exhibit calls to mind the range of responses we will need to employ if the march toward planetary destruction is to reverse, and if SWOON’s characters are going to survive.

Our thanks to photographer and BSA contributor Geoff Hargadon, who has been documenting Swoon’s installation for the show and who shares images with you here.

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Swoon and assistant Alyssa Dennis work on a linocut print (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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An assistant helps Swoon with final touches on this wall. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Swoon (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Swoon (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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An assistant helps Swoon with this portion of the installation. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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An assistant helps Swoon with final touches on this wall. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Support for the Swoon installation is provided by Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté, Geoff Hargadon and Patricia La Valley, Tim Phillips, and Connie Coburn and James Houghton.

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Learn more about the exhibition Anthropocene Extinction at the ICA website HERE:

Read BSA’s interview with Pedro Alonzo here about his curatorial experiences on Viva La Revolución at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego last year.

Listen to an interview with Swoon and Pedro Alonzo on Boston’s WBUR.

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