Art in General is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in New York by artist Caitlin Berrigan as part of its New Commissions Program from September 5–November 14, 2019, curated by Laurel Ptak. In our urgent era of climate crisis, her work investigates how deep time and interspecies communication might assist us in radical planetary transformation. A multimedia installation comprised of video, sculpture and communication instruments, Imaginary Explosions explores what other presents and futures become possible once we begin to think beyond the framework of the human.
At the center of the exhibition are two episodic, science fiction videos that follow an affiliation of transfeminist scientists operating in communication with the desires of the mineral earth to simultaneously erupt all volcanoes. As they traverse geological sites across place and time, they attempt to divest technoscientific instruments of their military and corporate power, in order to re-embody them towards alternative cosmologies. Co-conspiring with the videos’ characters—who are artists and scholars whose real-life work pushes the very limits of science and culture—Berrigan presents Imaginary Explosions an an act of mutual alliance, climate reparation and cosmology creation.
Trained at MIT, the artist’s practice has long questioned how technoscientific tools can be re-inhabited by collective imagination as well as queer and decolonial paradigms that emphasize the value of embodied forms of knowledge. Because such technologies remain necessary for us to respond effectively to massive ecosystem change, Berrigan insists that better grasping how these information systems influence, build and shape our world may ultimately allow us to inhabit it differently.
Caitlin Berrigan works across performance, video, sculpture and text to engage with the intimate and embodied dimensions of power, politics and capitalism. Her artist’s book Imaginary Explosions was published by Broken Dimanche Press in 2018 and her book Unfinished State is forthcoming from Archive Books with support from the Graham Foundation. Her work has been shown at the Whitney Museum, the Poetry Project, Harvard Carpenter Center, Storefront for Art & Architecture, Hammer Museum, Anthology Film Archives, LACMA, Henry Art Gallery, UnionDocs and the deCordova Museum, among others. Berrigan has received grants and residencies from the Humboldt Foundation, Skowhegan, Graham Foundation, PROGRAM for Art & Architecture Berlin and Akademie Schloss Solitude. She holds a Master’s in visual art from MIT and a B.A. from Hampshire College. She is a PhD candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, and a research affiliate of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering Technology, Culture and Society.
Support of Art in General is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation; Trust for Mutual Understanding; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; National Endowment for the Arts; Visegrad Fund and FUTURA; Greenwich Collection; Cowles Charitable Trust; Milton and Sally Avery Foundation; Toby D. Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; The Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; and by individuals. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This project was also supported, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.
Special thanks to Centre for Geohumanities, Royal Holloway University, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Henry Art Gallery, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Wassaic Project, Yonatan Katzelnik, AD Cantor, Mika Lee, Marina Ruojia Yang, Lilian Yeling Yang and Art in General’s Board of Directors.