Opening Reception: Alice Hargrave
Friday, August 25
5 to 7pm
Alice Hargrave: Paradise Wavering
Paradise Wavering presents 17 new and recent works by Chicago-based photographer Alice Hargrave, including Biosphere, a wall-scale emerald-hued image of a tropical forest printed on fabric. The artist has long been interested in the ways color photography is linked to our memories, and this ongoing series, which began in 2014, includes re-photographed vintage images from her family archive and new ones made during her excursions near and far. Importantly, Paradise Wavering offers an ecologically-based point-of-view. Hargrave says this series is informed by, “the vulnerability of our planet’s biodiversity, the fragility and shrinking of natural habitats, and a desire to express the sublimity and wonder of the organic world.”
Paradise Wavering includes representations of a ruby-tinged lake surface, an indigo view of a mangrove forest, and an aqua image of bird carcasses littering a beach, among others. Hargrave thinks of these photographs as an exploration of the “relics of nature.” There is a renewed urgency to seeing these places, particularly in imaginative ways, as we face threats from climate change. A new work features imaging of the sound waves of the endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow’s calls, accompanied by an audio component made in collaboration with artist Walter Kitundu. Hargrave’s subtle but saturated landscapes remind us that these places are in constant flux, and that the photographs, videos, and memories we make, may be all that we have in the end. Hargrave also offers moments of hope and wonder at nature’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and even to elude us at times. For example, she photographed mangroves because of the trees’ inherent ability to cleanse water, and a chartreuse-tinged patch of mushrooms depicting a new species of chanterelle co-discovered by environmental writer Jill Riddell and colleagues at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History.