13 Jan 2020
Margaret Keller: Botanica absentia
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Reviewed by Alexis Rivierre
Grounded in a dystopian narrative, "Botanica absentia" mirrors the impending reality of a world where species of trees cease to exist. Multidisciplinary artist Margaret Keller investigates how culture, nature, and technology impact our world, illuminating how our collective fate is determined by the rapid rate of climate change. Keller cultivates the experience of standing in the midst of absence by transporting her audience to site meant to document the mutated and memorialize the extinct.
Bleak, black walls frame this reality. Keller has suspended a transformed Eastern Redbud tree branch from the ceiling. Vivid lights, as if slivers of hope, refract off the dichroic plexiglass seed pods that hang from the branch. The holographic vinyl floor shimmers with each step. Seventy-two dog tags pinned to the wall, inscribed with names of extinct tree species and the phrase "memento mori," remind us that eventually, everything dies.
|Exhibition||Margaret Keller: Botanica absentia link|
|Start date||06 Sep 2019|
|End date||29 Dec 2019 (50 days ago)|
|Presenter||Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis link|
|Venue||3750 Washington Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, USA map|
|Image||Margaret Keller: Botanica absentia, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, photo by Dusty Kessler|
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