2013 ArtPrize Entry
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Whitewashed is literally and figuratively about blocks of time. The juxtaposition of an 800 year-old Douglas fir and the DNA record of late Pleistocene megafauna, harbors a history of man’s interaction with nature. During the late Pleistocene, as unenlightened stone-blade wielding primitives, we slashed our way through the Americas with nothing on our mind but survival. In our wake, much more than mammoths were lost forever: two species lion, three bears, camels, tapirs, camels, and many others. With the last millennium came the age of enlightenment, an attempt to understand the natural world and humankind's place in it solely on the basis of reason and apart from religion--an intellectual movement. Yet, with the power of our exploration, we exterminated species like the Passenger Pigeon, Labrador Duck, Eskimo Curlew, and the Great Auk, extinguishing in our wake these tragic icons of seemingly inexhaustible natural resources. This installation pays homage to the fallen.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth: 10
  • Medium: Tar, Whitewash, DNA Sequence, Wood, Antique Pigeon Gun
  • Width: Variable, 17' - 22'
  • Year created: 2013
  • Height: 20

Venue & Connection Information

“Whitewashed brings together new developments in art and science through a pioneering exhibition of kinetic sculptures and video projections featuring QR coded links to commissioned essays by leading researchers in evolutionary biology, as well as historical figures such as John J. Audubon. Captivated by the reality that an animal’s DNA is a portal to revealing a wealth of information invisible to the naked eye, and ethically compelled by the increasing loss of a natural world that we barely know, Rossano presents a series of specimen-style boxes, each with a portrait of a threatened or extinct animal on the cover that Rossano has painted with tar and then overlaid with white. The exhibition’s white color scheme references the loss of polar ice and serves to convey the show’s primary metaphor: scientific truths have been systematically “whitewashed” by a culture focused on exclusively human needs.” Dr. David Francis, 2013 Installation, French Cleat

Venue Considerations
  • Special Lighting needed: No
  • Internet needed: Yes
  • Indoor Space needed: No
  • Outdoor Space needed: No
  • Audio/Video needed: No
  • Electrical needed: No

About Joseph Gregory

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