“There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous.”
The sublime is often defined as a natural event that inspires awe and terror through sheer immensity. In aesthetics, beauty is juxtaposed with terror, and historically artists have often rendered diminutive figures who are subsumed by the omnipotent natural world. Most of us have probably felt the sublime while sailing through rough seas, climbing a steep mountain, hunkering down in a storm, or just contemplating the vastness of the universe. All of these things have the potential to incite a sense of terrifying beauty.
Recently, the entire globe has been confronted with an unstoppable virus. Although of dubious natural origin, the Covid 19 Pandemic has been terrifying and incomprehensibly sublime. The world experienced shock and awe as well as a collective humility resulting from the inopportune mortality or awareness thereof that is afforded by mass contagion. Sublime indeed. But moreover, alongside this acknowledgment of our human place in the natural order of things emerged something else….something ridiculous… in fact, what emerged was not just a hysterical flee to nature (or at least the desire to), but also the reality of how unnatural and disconnected we have become. Hence, Bonaparte’s Ridiculous Sublime as quoted above is the most apt way to categorize our current human condition.
By no means does the word “ridiculous” qualify in describing the artworks; rather it describes us, the 21st century Earth dwellers, whose technological dependence is often heavily at odds with our inherent need to commune with nature. As the best art always captures the invisible forces swaying us in the air, this exhibition brings together a variety of artists both from today and yesterday who depict a magical natural world - sometimes mystical, sometimes ominous, sometimes ridiculous but always sublime.
Artists included are:
Rodolfo Abularach, Vikky Alexander, Nadia Ayari, Adrian Berg, Michelle Blade, Fernando and Humberto Campana, Gabriela Cohen, Tom Colletti, Saraï Delfendahl, Lyn Diefenbach, Morten Løbner Espersen, Andre Ethier, Hadi Fallahpisheh, Claudia Fernandez, Matthew F Fisher, Tim Gardner, Cy Gavin, Nan Goldin, Karin Gulbran, Gabo Guzzo, Paula Hayes, Jay Heikes, Soimadou Ibrahim, Yukimasa Ida, Steen Ipsen, Parker Ito, Max Jansons, Jon Joanis, Scott Kahn, Maki Na Kamura, Kate Klingbeil, Emma Larsson, Amy Lincoln, Linder, Tony Matelli, Sara Boccaccini Meadows, David Price, Camillo Restrepo, RVS Eyewear/Ugo Rondinone, Max Hooper Schneider, Eric Serritella, Trevor Shimizu, Simone Shubuck, Lilla Tabasso, Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, Jonathan Trayte, Anna Valdez, Jingyi Wang, Emma Webster, Nicole Wittenberg, Chris Wolston