unsettled at ADDS DONNA / Chicago

Anderson, Justin Berry, The Institute of Queer Ecology (IQECO), Sayward
Schoonmaker and Tanya Fleisher, John Steck Jr., Katie Waugh
by Holly Murkeson
26 – May 25, 2019

3252 W.
North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

Photos by Holly Murkeson

lake edge erodes, the photograph fades.
 As an introspective kid, I would sit at the
shore’s edge and gaze out across the ocean to the horizon, a contemplative and
restorative act. Historically, we’ve turned to nature to escape busy and
stressful lives, to place our bodies in environments where all our senses are
consciously activated. Now, though, a walk along the shore offers little
solace. I notice how it has changed, how devastating that last storm was. This
thought begets anxiety for the marginalized populations displaced by flooding
and fire, or the low-income communities whose health suffers living in
proximity petrochemical pollution, or those whose livelihoods have been
dramatically altered due to agricultural runoff, declining fish populations,
drought-stricken crops… To walk along the shore is to be overwhelmed with
comes the rain again.
It is
perhaps crucial to mourn the landscape – to recognize that “landscape” is a
construct that has aided the colonist project by drawing a line of
differentiation between human and nature, thus justifying the exploitation of
land and people in the name of use and extraction (1).
If, as Judith Butler posits, that “perhaps mourning has to do with agreeing to
undergo a transformation” (2),
then grieving for this mode of landscape enables us to recognize these
destructive systems of power. Additionally, mourning implies attachment – to
what is lost of course, but the process also highlights the significance of our
relationships and communities, and it is within these communities where we may
find shared purpose toward climate justice.
the works in this show crescendo as critical voices against mainstream
capitalist and patriarchal views on the Anthropocene. The dialogue around this
work seeks to acknowledge the real emotional toll of the effects of climate
change, and to foster the fight for optimism, to actualize a more equitable
future by rooting change within an intersectional approach to ecologic and
social justice.

(1) See T.J. Demos. “Art in the Anthropocene:
T.J. Demos in Conversation with Charlotte Cotton.” Aperture 234 (2019) 46.
(2) Butler,
Judith. Precarious Life: The Powers of
Mourning and Violence
. Verso, 2006,