15 June-11 August 2012
This two-part exhibition aims “to elevate the role of handmade paper as a primary conceptual and formal supporting partner in contemporary art…”
Plant Life of the Pacific World is a controversial exhibition of delicate flower and plant forms assembled from collaged photographs of nuclear explosions. In this new work Noronha Feio plays with the relationships between beauty, conflict, the foreign and the domestic.
Each work has been classified in accordance with American botanist E. D. Merrill’s book from which the exhibition takes its name. Originally published for military use in 1945, the book’s dry classification of flora is transformed by Noronha Feio into an explosive revelry of intense, amoebic forms. Plant Life of the Pacific World defuses one of the most recognisable symbols of destruction, horror and power to create a sumptuous taxonomy combining the nuclear mutations of popular fiction, the evolutionary mutations of Darwin’s Galapagos and an imagined botany of Bikini Atoll, whose use as nuclear testing grounds followed the book’s publication.
We’ve entered a new art scene; one where everybody wants to collage. Cut and paste just feels so right. Maybe it’s because that’s one of the first things we learn to do creatively. It makes sense that art has gone in this direction—collage is usually easier, faster, more available, and more versatile. Masterpieces are less time-consuming. This “unconventional” technique can be just as expressive as any other, and it is quickly becoming more of a driving force than traditional art. I feel that, in some ways, collage represents our way of coping with the ever-changing modern world. The cities we live in have an impact on us, and we express them in the way we create.