Painted Prints, Photographs, and Videos by Ellen K. Levy and Patricia Olynyk
NEW YORK, NY – January 28, 2016 – Baruch College presents the exhibition Some Provocations from Skeptical Inquirers: Painted Prints, Photographs, and Videos by Ellen K. Levy and Patricia Olynyk at the Mishkin Gallery from February 19 to March 23, 2016. The gallery is free and open to the public. An opening reception will take place on February 18, 2016 from 6 to 8 p.m.
The magazine, Skeptical Inquirer, was founded in 1976 to promote scientific inquiry, examine claims of pseudoscience and science deniers, and investigate extraordinary occurrences. Acting in its spirit, Ellen K. Levy and Patricia Olynyk will exhibit a selection of their artwork in a range of media that confronts disinformation about climate change (Levy) and misguided perceptions of the medicalized body (Olynyk). Their targets include science deniers, ill-advised medical diagnoses and treatments, and misperceptions of the past and of our time. Levy and Olynyk explore the consequences of false reasoning while looking critically at some historical and contemporary scientific practices.
Ellen K. Levy’s project, Strange Bedfellows, confronts science deniers with seemingly surreal adaptations to climate change. Mixed media works portray morphing, organic forms invading the built environment. Enlarged details of microorganisms are integrated with bits of information from the internet and other human-made systems, showing the changing of biological traits as nature and technology are mutually transformed. JellyfishRods shows jellies clogging the cooling systems of nuclear reactors. BrooklynSlimeMold references scientific work that is attempting to use ancient organisms to solve modern transportation problems. In Migrations 20/20 heat fuses the eye’s network of nerve fibers with interlacing freeways and parched land. Unnatural colors evoke hallucinatory symptoms of dehydration.
Patricia Olynyk’s work examines the ways in which culture and institutional structures shape our knowledge and understanding of history, science, and the natural world. Her work addresses how interpretation fluctuates between fact and speculation. Large-scale photographs of prosthetic devices probe the practice of bio-elective enhancement, Posthumanism and the human desire to anthropomorphize fetish objects. Comprised of a series of photographs and performance videos, The Mutable Archive enlists a varied group of writers, artists, scientists, medical ethicists, and others to produce a collection of fictional biographies based on a 19th-century physiognomist’s collection of skulls, each inscribed with a tattoo that offers only minimal information on the life of each person.
Levy and Olynyk have collaborated to produce Scenario Thinking, a work that is based on archives of The Skeptical Inquirer. It asks us to consider which categories of human nonsense and pseudoscience have undergone revision or remain persistent over a twenty-year span.
An accompanying essay by Charissa Terranova, an art historian and professor of aesthetics at the University of Texas at Dallas, will be available.
The Mishkin Gallery is located at 135 E. 22nd Street in Manhattan. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, noon to 5 pm; Thursday, noon to 7 pm. The gallery is free and open to the public. For questions about the gallery, call Sandra Kraskin at (646) 660-6652.
About Baruch College:
Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY)) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.
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