Art in the Anthropocene: A Look at Anna Lussier’s “Ecology in Dystopia”


Junior Anna Lussier, in her new exhibition Sage Art Center “Ecology in dystopiawas able to combine his passion for art and environmental justice in a thoughtful visual way.

His eight plays primarily examine human growth within the confines of confined space. Through a variety of mediums – from digital art to landscape substrates – Lussier creates an emotional and evocative exhibition that compels its viewers to examine our own limits as a species and contextualizes the modern environmental movement in our time of grim future. .

The word “ecology” is derived from the Greek phrase “home study,” and Lussier expands this traditionally domestic definition to include our natural, earthly home. One of the gallery’s first pieces, “A Record of Our Home,” emphasizes the deliberately subconscious schism with nature that we create when we build physical homes. The seemingly ordinary photo album shifts from ubiquitous family photos to fragmented snapshots of people or animals with every other organic element “redacted for your convenience”.

Closest to the album is a sculpture titled “Caring for Capacity”, a not very subtle pun for the biological term “carrying capacity”. This phrase describes the maximum population size an ecosystem can support before collapsing. Lussier’s dynamic piece is a monument to the often unintentional insensitivity of science in reducing living systems to simple formulas.

Another article, “Valuation in Trepidation,” explores the negative implications of ecosystem services. An ecosystem service is a natural place and process that has been classified according to the value it provides to human life. Although at first glance his multi-layered acrylic painting appears abstract, upon closer examination viewers can make out bees, butterflies, flowers, mushrooms and coral reefs. However, the deeper you look, the more the shapes and layers begin to blend together until it’s hard to tell what each brushstroke represents. It doesn’t really matter to look further — Lussier, through this medium, successfully illustrates the pointlessness of trying to put an economic value on our biosphere.

The other five pieces in the exhibition are equally effective in telling their stories. “Divinely Exalted” and “The Garden of Plenty of Gaps”, inspired by the Bible, examine our exponentially increasing human population and the subsequent co-option of plant growth for food production. Lussier’s digital art skills are showcased in “Quarantine: The Greenhouse Effect.” This looping film perfectly captures the cyclical banality of quarantine. It presents a grim depiction of our lives over the past two years while addressing the artificiality and futility of our attempts to reconnect with nature. Lussier’s final two pieces, “Waste of Space” and “Mother’s Earthly Impressions,” are deeply personal depictions of her relationship to the environmental movement and how she reconciles her own existence with it. awareness of impending environmental collapse.

Overall, Lussier’s exposition is an impressive commentary on the one-dimensional approach to environmentalism often seen in modern politics and education. “Ecology in Dystopia” is open for free in the ASIS Gallery at the Sage Art Center from noon to 6 p.m. daily through Thursday, March 3.


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