Automat Collective, Philadelphia, PA
On view Friday, November 1st - December 1st, 2019
Cultivating a Garden off Grid // A Clearing for the Voice Yet Heard brings together three artists engaging with the narratives of domesticated plant life through various forms of research, image making, and storytelling. Calista Lyon uproots the history of the Franklinia tree by way of a distant relative, plant hunter John Lyon, who collected and commercially traded its seeds. Asking questions about what is native and what is knowing, she presents extensive research in an installation of non-linear images, text, and performance. Sam Calvetti translates the voice of a bromeliad, a common tropical houseplant and witness to mundane acts of labor. They construct a new methodology by quilting together punch cards, computer coding, and audio interface, which simultaneous reinvents and challenges binary classification systems. Zach Rawe contemplates wildness, control, logic, and decay while creating paintings that reimagine cropped moments of unyielding growth by depicting subjects such as American cacti caged underneath the glass domes of the botanic gardens in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Gathered, these works transform the gallery into an unconventional garden, unveiling different bodies of nature with new identities, voices, and histories in the space while growing together in shared soil.