Ineffable Plasticity: The Experience of Being Human

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Past Exhibitions

November 18 – December 31, 2011

Taking shape according to the most current work within each artist’s practice, Ineffable Plasticity: the experience of being human considers the idea that all human attributes and activity are an expression of nature. The exhibition looks at nature as an unstoppable force that governs and defines us, challenging the notion that anything could be construed as unnatural, whether psychological or physical.

The apocalypse on people’s minds these days, regardless of culture or creed, is the notion of an eco-apocalypse. What’s striking is that the end of humanity is not the end of the world, but it is another extinction. The world, the universe, the nature that we are an incarnation of, won’t come to a halt. It’s revealing of a faulty sense of protuberance in nature to think that we are capable of destroying anything. Everything in us and around us will continue in another form. Physical laws contend that everything we know of is either matter or energy. Nothing is created or destroyed it just changes state.

In this case, nature is not being defined as the absence of human influence but rather as the force that causes and regulates matter and energy, and of which we are constituent. It’s interesting to consider what it is to be human. If we take matter and energy to be our component parts its not difficult to see our bodies as matter, while the energy part is perhaps less evident. The life force that animates us, and the thoughts and emotions that shape our experiences are our energetic aspects. The exhibition explores the idea that our physical and non-physical attributes are equally governed by nature.

The experience of being human is the experience of being energy incarnate. We reflect our form in the mental and physical structures we inhabit, seeing ourselves as discrete bodies disconnected from the energy that animates and finds expression in us. Certainly this has implications on the way values, attitudes and behaviours are formed. Is it ever possible to step outside of yourself, to achieve an objective view of what you are?

The majority of works in the exhibition have not been made at the time this text is being written. What is being described is something that is unknowable as it has yet to find form, and the approach to curating reflects the subject it seeks to explore.

Mat Brown/ Sherri Hay/ Faith La Rocque/ Jordan MacLachlan/ Anders Oinonen/ Susy Oliveira

Curated by Camilla Singh
Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art

Installation Shots

Opening Reception

Friday November 18, 8 – 11 pm

HUMANNATUREEd Pien, Leap, 2012