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Joseph Gregory Rossano
PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TRAVER GALLERY
Live webcast with Andrew Revkin of the Earth Institute
Sunday, July 19, 2020
7:30 AM PST / 10:30 AM EDT
For how long has humanity’s valuation of human life and lifestyle, over that of other animals, justified a collective behavior that is untenable for all living creatures? IVORY.125 marks one eighth of the journey to IVORY: an exhibition that explores this question and others, particularly the predominant hand of humans in animal extinction.
Throughout existence, humans have vanquished beasts. The most powerful among us killed lions, tigers, and bears, seeking through the wearing of their hides, teeth and claws to embody and portray--to appropriate--our own strength. IVORY.125 engages viewers in the troubled power relations and devastating effects of the global trade in illegal animal parts as an entry point to the broader extinction crisis. The exhibit features a gallery groaning under the visual and physical weight of 60 life-size blown glass tusks---just 25% of the average number illegally harvested every day. A monumental slab of ancient Douglas Fir grounds complementary objects in a time scale spanning human sociocultural evolution. Portraits of imperiled megafauna from the Holocene, our current geological epoch, and those extinct since the Pleistocene, stalk the gallery walls. Sensitively rendered in ash and tar on wood panels harvested from the very forests that have served as their homes for over 9,000 years, these creatures stare down the viewer and the massed ivory.
Humans still cultivate the belief that it is our right to prevail over and dictate the fate of all creatures on this planet, taking at will whatever we desire. Each IVORY iteration incorporates new textures of the fossil record to reveal how our legacy as a species is inseparably tied to behaviors and values driven to ensure human survival. Only by acknowledging our mutual culpability may we move to rightly repair our cumulative destruction of the natural world, and begin acting to insure that the remnants of this planet’s wildlands and inhabitants can survive for epochs to come.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Joseph Rossano, born to clinicians and research scientists, graduated from Louisiana State University as an artist. His path joined him, via mentorship, collaboration, and exhibition, with renowned artists and institutions including Dale Chihuly, Judy Pfaff, The Pilchuck Glass School, Waterford Crystal, Museum of Glass, the South Australia Museum, and Google. Integrating cutting edge technology and science with his art, Rossano engages and challenges the viewer to reflect upon mankind’s impact on our planet and its varied ecosystems. Much of Rossano’s youth was spent in New York’s Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains, formative years that evolved a life focused on creating environmental awareness through Art. Rossano now lives and works 65 miles north of Seattle, his home and studio nestled in the temperate rain forests of the Pacific Northwest.
Learn more at rossanostudio.com
Check back soon as upcoming exhibition details are shared!