Ana Mendieta, untitled, 1978

Terra Anima

September-October 2017
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Larry & Barbara Marshall Family Balcony

This exhibition underscores the idea that soil is not inert, but rather a living environment, or as Claire Pentecost has stated: “Soil is a persistent community structure.” In support of visiting creative specialists and scholars for the Integrated Arts Research Initiative, works of art are exhibited alongside scientific pedagogical tools, including soil monoliths prepared by KU Soil Geomorphologist Daniel Hirmas, and organismal trace pourings prepared by KU Ichnologist Stephen Hasiotis. Claire Pentecost will exhibit two-dimensional, soil chromatography prints, which are the product of exposing soil samples to a photographic process in order to present readings some claim as science and others as folkloric knowledge. Habits by Andrew Scott Ross is a two-channel video installation of worms organizing to form perfect circles—an imaginative and humorous vision of how other species work toward achieving their otherwise unseen tasks. Works from the permanent collection include Jost Amman’s 16th-century engravings of Platonic elements that represent the Earth, Alan Sonfist’s rubbing of a tree’s root system from his Surface Memory series, and a print from Ana Mendieta’s Siluetas series of earth-body works. All these works represent visual responses to the Earth from philosophy of science to artistic ideas about place and the body. For Terra Anima, IARI highlights artists and scientists together as makers of objects worthy of cultural contemplation.