The Biophilia Hypothesis
School of Visual Arts presents “The Biophilia Hypothesis,” an exhibition of work by BFA Fine Arts students. Curated by department chair Suzanne Anker, “The Biophilia Hypothesis” is on view Saturday, September 17, through Saturday, October 15, at the SVA Flatiron Gallery, 133/141 West 21st Street, New York City.
Taking its name from biologist and author E.O. Wilson’s belief that human beings share an instinctive bond with other living systems, the work in “The Biophilia Hypothesis” reflects on humanity’s “urge to affiliate with other forms of life,” as Wilson describes it. Speculating on this phenomenon, curator and BFA Fine Arts Chair Suzanne Anker wonders: “Why do people have pets, houseplants or gardens? What is it about life forms that are so intriguing and vital? As humankind moves into the Anthropocene, our biochemical natures and cosmological understandings require sustainable strategies.” Select projects include Steph Mantis’s exploration of the different forms and colors of salt crystals; Mingyi Yan’s chemical gardens, which are reminiscent of geological formations; and Leah Xie’s flower installation and ode to the interconnections of matter.
Additionally, the exhibition showcases a collaborative project entitled MyoTomato*, in which a tomato was injected with myoglobin (a protein found in animals).
Participating artists Leman Akpinar, Viktorea Benois, Sebastian Cocioba, Andrew Cziraki, David Hanlon, Marguerite Li, Bo Liu, Steph Mantis, Kirin Pino, Shannon Pollak, Gina Proenza, Tarah Rhoda, Victor Taboada, Darya Warner and John Wells.
BFA Fine Arts at SVA prepares students to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing field head on. With a faculty of approximately 90 active artists, critics and curators, a distinguished roster of guest lecturers and various exhibition opportunities, the department offers direct and multifaceted engagement with New York’s art community. From course work in anatomy, figure drawing and color theory to interdisciplinary workshops in digital and photo-based media, the curriculum provides a broad platform for expression. The department boasts a digital lab with recording, editing and projection technology; fully equipped printmaking facilities; sculpture studios with computerized milling machines; and the Nature and Technology Lab, where living materials can be employed in art production.