SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY.- The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery
at Skidmore College announces the opening of Lover Earth: Art and Ecosexuality, a student-curated online exhibition that encourages viewers to think critically about their bodies and the planet. The exhibition opens Saturday, May 30, on the Tang website.
Organized by Caroline Coxe 20, Lover Earth draws on the ideas of Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle, collaborative performance artists who coined the term ecosexuality to describe an erotic connection to nature. Instead of Mother Earth, they opt to use the phrase Lover Earth to denote a reciprocal relationship between humans and Earth.
I came across Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens and their ecosex movement last summer, and I was really struck by the ways it embraced environmental activism, art, and sex positivity all at once, Coxe said. It's a really fresh, exciting perspective on environmental justice. It's rare to see museums tackling environmental issues through their exhibitions, so I thought by using ecosexuality as a framework, I could get viewers to think critically about their relationship with the earth through art.
Through a selection of paintings, prints, photographs, and moving images, Lover Earth recontextualizes artworks from the Tang collectionmany being shown by the Museum for the first timeto create a diverse ecology that celebrates nature, sexuality, and the ways in which these ideas intersect.
Franklin Williamss A Beautiful Dark Moment, 1973, combines acrylic paint, twine, yarn, and fabric to create abstract shapes and hairy tendrils that conflate human, animal, and plant sexual anatomy. Frank Moore and Jim Selfs video Beehive, 1985, explores the sexuality of honeybees through dance, beginning with a bee's role in pollinating (fertilizing) flowers, and culminates in a mating dance between a drone and the queen. Paula Wilson's video Salty & Fresh, a recent acquisition to the Tang collection being shown by the Museum for the first time, pays homage to feminine creativity by telling the creation myth of an artwork while alluding to fertility and birth as they symbolically relate to bodies of water.
Other artists with work on view in the exhibition are Steven Arnold, Atong Atem, Dorothy Dehner, Naomi Fisher, Flor Garduño, Corita Kent, Ana Mendieta, John O'Reilly, Olivia Parker, Clare Richardson, and Dasha Shishkin.
Lover Earth continues the Museums tradition of Skidmore College students curating their own exhibitions. Coxe, a studio art major, is the 201920 Eleanor Linder Winter 45 Intern, and the exhibition is the capstone project of her internship.