I’ve been catching up on posting about some of the excellent exhibitions in Williamsburg, Brooklyn during the last few months. Kim Holleman’s The Law of the Land, which was up at Black and White Gallery through June 30th, was one one of them.

 

Post-Apocalyptic Parking Lot by Kim Holleman

Post-Apocalyptic Parking Lot by Kim Holleman

 

 

From The Law of the Land Press Release

Black and White Gallery (March 14 – June 30, 2008)

 

Are we living on the cusp of an Age of Extinction or an Age of Restoration?  Are there sophisticated ways of designing aspects of the human enterprise – buildings, vehicles, technologies, cities, parks, etc.  so that they intelligently interact with living systems?  The works of Kim Holleman reveal an interest in the following natures operating instructions to build environmental scenarios that can lead to healing the earth and supporting all beings in asymbiotic harmony, while also investigating where we have gone wrong.  In this site-specific multi-media exhibition occupying both the interior and exterior spaces, such conceptions are put under scrutiny and given visual representation.

Law of the Land is structured in three ‘acts’.  The first act, Trailer Park installed on the street in front of the gallery and open to the public, examines the paradox of inner/outer space by sheltering the completely functional real park from environmental dmage by placing the park inside a mobile Coachman Travel Trailer.  

 

Trailer Park by Kim Holleman

Trailer Park by Kim Holleman

 

Trailer Park (Interior) by Kim Holleman

Trailer Park (Interior) by Kim Holleman

 

In the second act, Playing, God, installed in the indoor space, Holleman simulates natural environments to question humans’ attempts to dominate the earth and play at being gods.  Detailed miniature landscapes that are playable vinyl records spinning and stopping, atop turntables standing in the space, reinforce the playing God theme.  In the pastoral landscape wall-mural entitled The Layers, Holleman rises to the challenge of establishing a human connection to the earth’s most interior and vulnerable layers. This work  draws on the analogies of various soil substrates to the emotions of human psychology, suggesting an allegorical Earth-Body interface to help bridge the human-soil divide.  Creation myths and origin of life theories aside, it is obvius that our own fertility, and indeed survival, is inextricably connected to the fertility of the soils we live upon and how we treat them.  Creating life is a provocative series of glass microscopy slides.  When shown blown up, the look unmistakably like the beautiful micoscopic imagery we have seen of living organisms:  protozoa, bacteria, blood cells, spores, mold, ice crystals, etc,, but are all created out of artificial substances.  Holleman is asking how far we want to go in creating a better life.

 

Playable Landscapes (from Playing God) by Kim Holleman

Playable Landscapes (from Playing God) by Kim Holleman

 

Crash (from Playing God) by Kim Holleman

Crash (from Playing God) by Kim Holleman

 

Playing God (Installation View) by Kim Holleman

Playing God (Installation View) by Kim Holleman

 

In the third act, Future Mountain, Holleman appropriates the monumental format typical of earlier earth works to reclaim the outdoor space.  Sculpting with chicken wire and colorful, yet ubiquitous and un-recyclable plastic bags, the artist constructs a startling 360-degree mountain range foliated as a life-like landscape.  Future Mountain does not offer solutions to difficult environmental dilemmas.   It communicates and connects environmental realities to a social and cultural context.

 

Yellow and Blue Landscape (from Future Mountain) by Kim Holleman

Yellow and Blue Landscape (from Playing God) by Kim Holleman

 

Future Mountain by Kim Holleman

Future Mountain by Kim Holleman

 

Bio:  Kim Holleman was born in Tampa, Florida in 1973 and raised in the suburban area of Palm Beach Gardens.  She attended The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York and The Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, Holland.