Freaks of Nature

Freaks of Nature

On View from July 20, 2007 – August 25, 2007

curated by José Ruiz & Teneia Wooten


Cesar Cornejo (installation)
Javier Cuellar (photography)
Domenick Di Pietrantonio (installation)
Ryan Hackett (painting & sound)
Jenny Ham (video)
Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow (video)
Bronwyn Minton (photography)
Joey Piziali (installation with offsite actions)
Justine Reyes (photography)
Patrick Resing (installation)

10 international, national and local artists make their debut at the Bronx River Art Center in the summer exhibition, Freaks of Nature. The exhibition, as organized and curated by José Ruiz and Teneia Wooten, poses the question: Can nature be a successful subject in contemporary art without falling into the formal conventions of landscapes, au-plein-air aesthetics and the organic? In response, Freaks of Nature brushes off these traditional notions of nature in art while presenting the current climate of our environment through artist projects that mutate, synthesize and satirize artifice, decay and the resilience of humanity. Coming from a diverse set of places such as Bogotà, Lima, London, Jackson Hole, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Vancouver and Washington DC, the artists present a 10-point perspective on the customary and extraordinary occurrences of nature as a mediator between destruction and creation. Collectively, it is an analytical stance that examines the apocalyptic underbelly of technology, science, global warming and pollution.

Cesar Cornejo’s installation is based on a city’s recent decision to build three public schools on a former rubbish dump while Domenick Di Pietrantonio’s site-specific installation, The Meek, presents the view of an eroded beach with toxic glowing horseshoe crabs. Derived from the temptations of scientific probing, Ryan Hackett’s paintings manipulate extinct and endangered animals and their skeletons to create a series of suggested “growths.” Meanwhile, Jenny Ham’s interdisciplinary project, TRACT, explores body, race and class through the parameters of occupied land and Joey Piziali’s site-specific installation with off-site actions chronicles the recreation of two silver maple trees (native to the Bronx River) and their subsequent re-integration throughout the streets of the Bronx.

Top Image by Joey Piziali

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Bronx River Art Center
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Saturday: 12 - 5 PM
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DIRECTIONS TO CENTER:  By Train: Take #2 or #5 to West Farms Square/East Tremont. Walk one block east to Bronx Street. By Bus: Take #'s B9, 21, 36, 40, 42, or Q44 to East Tremont and Boston Road. By Car: Take Bruckner Expressway to Sheridan Expressway, and exit at East Tremont Ave. Turn left at the traffic light one block down onto East Tremont. Turn left after one block onto Bronx St. (Cross Bronx Expressway) towards Rosedale Ave, then exit. Turn left onto Rosedale Ave, then take a left onto Tremont Ave. Drive four blocks to West Farms Square.

This program is made possible with support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, including Council Members Eric Dinowitz, Althea Stevens, Kristy Marmorato and the Bronx Delegation. Additional support is from Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, the NYS Council on the Arts with support from Governor Kathy Hochul and the NYS Legislature. Foundation support is from Con Edison: The Power of Giving, The New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, The Lincoln Fund, and private donors.

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