Pollination - 2015.
Peepshow architecture, viewing booths with sound, large scale terrarium, terrarium heat/light lamps, electronic arcade coin slot shutters, tokens, plants, mirrors, razor wire, monarch butterflys, odors, cleaning supplies, Kleenex, trash cans, paper towels and hand sanitizer.
Installation Views, Postcommodity: SouthwestNET., Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, Arizona.
Photos: Sean Deckert / Calnicean Projects
Pollination evokes the premises of a peepshow currently doing business in New Mexico. However, it contains a garden that serves as a surrogate for coveted female flesh. On one level, this vexing switch is not so outlandish. The female body and nature have long been conjoined by literary and artistic allegories. They have both been fetishized as powerless objects of desire. Given the reality and politics of water in the Southwest, it is possible to imagine a dystopic future in which lush natural landscapes could provoke the same illicit response as salacious spectacles. Fantasy is predicated on the unattainable.
Playing with frustration and desire, the peepshow is a pay-to-play ritual and stands here as an anxious metaphor for speculative capitalism with its rewards, liabilities and consequences. The piece pits a dominant male gaze against the disenfranchisement inside the window. Pollination critiques global market systems that thrive on colonial models of the exploitation of resources and peoples as well as overt forms of violence, objectification and sexual subordination. The piece continues Postcommodity’s interrogation of the dominance of the Western scientific, historical and economic models by questioning the acceptance of corporate and consumer activities that endanger our environment, society and the larger world.
Like much of Postcommodity’s previous work, Pollination emphasizes audience participation and interactivity within an immersive environment. Undermining the anonymity and neutrality traditionally enjoyed by museum audiences, this work deliberately subverts expectations and power dynamics between viewer, institution and artists and probes the limits of the definition of the museum as a of reflection and contemplation.