Toronto specializing in contemporary photography
 

Judy Natal: Future Perfect

Judy Natal Energy Plant Baby
Judy Natal, Energy Plant, from the series Future Perfect, 2011. ©Judy Natal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New exhibition invites us to imagine the landscapes of the future and consider our present moment and the environmental choices we have yet to make.

Toronto, ON, August 22, 2014Circuit Gallery presents Future Perfect, a solo exhibition by Chicago-based artist Judy Natal. The exhibition is curated by Claire Sykes with a catalogue text by Timothy Morton.

In Future Perfect Judy Natal presents three peculiarly evocative and troubling sites where human intervention and land use are exploring the quality and state of futurity. A Las Vegas desert preserve that envisions a sustainable future; Biosphere 2’s experimental tracts in Oracle, Arizona, that research controlled eco-systems and space colonization; and Iceland’s geothermal landscapes are worlds apart from each other, but become, in Natal’s photographs, perfect foils to imagine what the landscapes of the future might look like, illuminating the present moment and the environmental choices we have yet to make.

The photographs establish unexpected but compelling resonances between these sites to distill and display our hopes, perceptions and misunderstandings of nature, and suggest both the potential and pitfalls of our future on earth. Natal describes how central nature can be to our lives, and how hopeful and confused we may be in using, recreating, and changing nature. While she envisions these areas as indications of our future, they are also touchingly poignant examinations of our current intentions, our limitations, our own fragility and ultimately human nature.


BIOS
Judy Natal is a Chicago-based artist, Professor of Photography, and Co-coordinator of the Graduate Program at Columbia College. She is the author of EarthWords (Light Work, 2004), and Neon Boneyard Las Vegas A-Z (Center for American Places, 2006). Her photographs are in the permanent public collections of the the Museum of Contemporary Art, California Museum of Photography, Center for Creative Photography, the International Museum of Photography and Film at George Eastman House, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, among others. Her work has been exhibited at Projects International and Photograph Gallery in New York City, the Nelson Atkins Museum, Kathleen Ewing Gallery, Washington, D.C., and the São Paulo Biennal.

She has received numerous grants and fellowships including a Fulbright Travel Grant, Illinois Arts Council Photography Fellowships, Polaroid Grants and New York Foundation for the Arts Photography Fellowships. Natal has also been awarded numerous artist residencies nationally and internationally, most recently in Iceland and the Biosphere 2 for her current work Future Perfect 2040 • 2030 • 2020 • 2010.

Timothy Morton is Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University. He gave the prestigious Wellek Lectures in Theory in 2014. He is the author of Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence (Columbia, forthcoming), Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism and Critical Theory (Chicago, forthcoming), Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World (Minnesota, 2013), Realist Magic: Objects, Ontology, Causality (Open Humanities, 2013), The Ecological Thought (Harvard, 2010), Ecology without Nature (Harvard, 2007), seven other books and 120 essays on philosophy, ecology, literature, music, art, design and food.


Future Perfect runs August 28 through September 20 at Circuit Gallery @ Prefix ICA, with an Reception on Thursday, September 11, from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (artist in attendance) and an Artist’s Talk on Saturday, September 13, 1 to 3:00 p.m. Both events will be in the gallery and are free and open to the public.


FUTURE PERFECT

JUDY NATAL

August 28 – September 20, 2014

Reception: Thursday September 11, 6-9 p.m.
Artist’s Talk: Saturday September 13, 1-3 p.m.

Circuit Gallery @ Prefix ICA
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 124
Toronto, ON, M6R 2G5
[ Google Map ]

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Judy Natal, Future Perfect
Judy Natal, Steam Portrait, Emergency Worker, from the series Future Perfect, 2011. ©Judy Natal
Judy Natal, Saguaro Armature
Judy Natal, Wrapped Saguaro, from the series Future Perfect, 2011. ©Judy Natal
Judy Natal, Plastic Curtain
Judy Natal, Plastic Curtain, from the series Future Perfect, 2011. ©Judy Natal

Visit Circuit Gallery for more information and to see more images:
www.circuitgallery.com/exhibitions


ABOUT CIRCUIT GALLERY
Circuit Gallery specializes in contemporary photography. Established in 2008 by Susana Reisman and Claire Sykes, the Toronto based commercial gallery represents both emerging and established Canadian and international artists.

Web: www.circuitgallery.com

Email: info@circuitgallery.com
Phone: 647-477-2487

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New Exhibition Venue: Circuit Gallery @ Prefix ICA

Circuit Gallery @ Prefix ICA

GALLERY NEWS

Bricks and Mortar – Circuit Gallery has a new exhibition home!

Circuit Gallery is very pleased to announce that we have entered a presentation partnership with Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art.

Starting in 2014, Circuit Gallery @ Prefix ICA will present four exhibitions a year at this respected venue located in the 401 Richmond building, a destination arts-hub in downtown Toronto.

Our first exhibition, Embedded, features new work by Canadian photographer Donald Weber, from his new project War Sand, and Ukrainian born, U.S. based photographer Dima Gavrysh, from his award winning project Inshallah. The show opens April 10 and runs through May 3.

Prefix ICA is located at 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 124, Toronto, M5V 3A8

Donald Weber – 2014 Scotiabank Photography Award Finalist

Donald Weber 2014 Scotiabank Photography Award Finalist
Donald Weber 2014 Scotiabank Photography Award Finalist

Donald Weber was a finalist for the 2014 Scotiabank Photography Award. A huge honour and well deserved recognition. Congratulations Don!

Watch the video of Donald talking about his work.

Canadian Art Critic and Writer Sarah Milroy nominated Donald for the Award.

Donald Weber
Nominator’s Statement

Documentary photography is a calling that entails all the aesthetic discrimination, technical expertise, and sophisticated reading of the world demanded of artists working in the fine art tradition. Added to this, however, is the added pressure of making pictures out in the world, often under conditions of threat. It’s a dance with fate: the operations of chance, of light judged on the fly, the threat of equipment failure, the chance nature of human encounter and connection, the sometimes steep requirements for personal courage, and the need for instinct that can never be quantified or explained — all must be summoned in the moment.

Donald Weber, now 40, is one of Canada’s most compelling practitioners in the field of documentary photography, a tradition too seldom honored in Canadian art. His insightful and piercing images of life in Russia and Eastern Europe have lifted the veil on a part of the world little known and understood in the west, his images powerfully bearing forth the vitality, violence and grim subsistence of a people burdened by the weight of a traumatic history, and stranded in a purgatorial present. Whether photographing the snow swept aftermath of Stalin’s purges, or the now-stilled landscapes of the western Ukraine and Siberia that were once the site of political atrocities, Weber captures the eeriness of a present haunted by the past. As we see in the faces of his urban denizens, gang members, and marauding police, the use of force has become a way of life, grimly accepted by its victims and exalted by its perpetrators.

In a similar vein, Weber has explored the vestigial curse of environmental disaster. In the long shadow of Chernobyl, he pursued connection with the human beings left in the wake of the 1986 explosion, either as survivors of the medical afflictions caused by radiation, or as scavengers reduced to rubbish picking in closed contamination areas. (More recently, he has documented the aftermath of the Fukushima explosion.) The sense prevails of people as subject to historical forces beyond their control, whether he is photographing a child living in the Chernobyl exclusion zone or an Inuk negotiating his abrupt cultural transition into the digital 21st century. Through Weber’s lens, poverty, the forces of oppression and the machinations of power are seen to grind the human subject in their gears.

In this regard, his most recent series of photographs, titled War Sand, serves as a solemn coda. The sands of the Normandy beaches are said to be eight percent shrapnel, metal exploded in combat and then corroded by time and the constant ministrations of the ocean tides. Added to this is its grim corollary: a portion of human remains, bone that has been crushed and crumbled to near powder-like consistency. Through the use of microscopic photography and with a kind of forensic inquisitiveness and existential wondering, Weber brings us close to these fragments, offering us, too, the longer view: the eerie hush of the beachhead and the expressionless features of the sea and sky, edged in grasses. The series invites a contemplation of the endless quiet that lies beyond the flare of bold historical events, offering a cautionary tale of the hubris of humankind.

– Sarah Milroy