Capitalism meets the post-apocalyptic in artist Lynn Richardson's exhibit "Inter-Glacial Free Trade Agency," which is currently on display in the Kinetic Gallery of the College Union.
The show features several large and occasionally interactive pieces, each providing a brief glimpse into Richardson's vision of the future of the world following a global warming-induced second ice age.
At a Writers House reception last Thursday night, Richardson discussed how a mix of environment - her home in Canada and her graduate school in Texas - has influenced her style.
"Everything that I was making in Canada was very wooden," she said. "That was the only [style] I knew how to make … [but] I started letting things on the Texas landscape redirect or re-inspire my work." As a result, Richardson's pieces are the products of a mix of mediums ranging from plastic and fabric to a fully inflated kayak.
Richardson explained the premise of her exhibit, saying, "If global warming happens, there's going to be a new ice age and we'll all be stuck up here frozen. [So] I declared myself president of the new world."
As "president," Richardson has designed items - her artwork - to assist people living in the "frozen north."
Her artist's statement reads, "[Richardson] focuses specifically on the end products being marketed to the public; fashionable survival gear in the event we are thrust back into an ice age." The end result is a combination of concern for the environment, punctuated by amusing commentary on the endlessly adaptable nature of capitalism.
The exhibit itself definitely differs from the normal fare of Geneseo galleries. Richardson's eclectic taste shines through in her pieces, such as one consisting of two inflatable life jackets lined with wool. Richardson explained that they were designed to be both buoyant and insulating, "because I figured you might slip off your icebergs and hit the water." The logic of such pieces is humorous, if not entirely sound.
An additional feature of Richardson's art is that it is distinctly maximalist. An entire wall of the gallery, for example, houses a full-size kayak crashing into a glacier made of inflated packing material. As Richardson noted during her lecture, "Once I experienced large works, I got addicted to them."
According to senior Jennifer Whittaker, Arts and Exhibits coordinator for Activities Commission, Writers House, Weeks of Welcome and the Activities Commission are all responsible for booking "Inter-Glacial Free Trade Agency," which will be on display in the Kinetic Gallery until Oct. 14.