Jeremy Bolen & Jenny Kendler

‘LOUNGING THROUGH THE FLOOD’, 2019 Video, 1’ 22” (loop)

Jeremy Bolen is an artist researcher, organiser and educator interested in site specific, experimental modes of

documentation and presentation. Much of Bolen’s work involves rethinking systems of recording –– in an attempt

to observe invisible presences that remain from various scientific experiments and human interactions with the

earth’s surface. Bolen is a recent recipient of the Banff Research in Culture Residency in Alberta, Canada; POOL

Center for Art and Criticism Residency, Johannesburg; PACT Zollverein Residency in Essen, Germany; Oxbow

Faculty Artist Residency in Saugatuck, MI; Anthropocene Curriculum Campus in Berlin and Center for Land Use Interpretation Residency in Wendover, Utah. His work has been exhibited at numerous locations including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; La Box, Bourges; PACT Zollverein, Essen; EXGIRLFRIEND, Berlin; University at Buffalo, Buffalo; IDEA Space, Colorado Springs; The Mission, Houston; Galerie Zürcher, Paris; Andrew Rafacz, Chicago; Soccer Club Club, Chicago; Salon Zürcher, New York; The Drake, Toronto; Untitled Art Fair, Miami; Gallery 400, Chicago; Newspace Center for Photography, Portland; Depaul University Art Museum, Chicago and Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. Bolen lives and works between Chicago and Atlanta, serves as Assistant Professor of Photography at Georgia State University, is a co-founder and co-organiser of the Deep Time Chicago collective, and is represented by Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago

Jenny Kendler is an interdisciplinary artist and environmental activist whose work asks us to de-center the human, making space for the radical, transformative otherness of our biodiverse Earth. She received her BFA from MICA (2002) and her MFA from SAIC (2006). Kendler has exhibited at Storm King Art Center, MCA Chicago, The Eden Project, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Albright-Knox, MSU Broad Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, the Chicago Biennial, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, and has created public projects for locations from urban conservatories to remote deserts to tropical forests. Parallel to her art practice, she is an organizer for Extinction Rebellion Chicago, Board Co-chair of artist residency ACRE, a member of artist collective Deep Time Chicago—and since 2014 has been the first Artist-in-Residence with environmental non-profit NRDC. She continues her work focused on climate change and extinction with an exhibition on the Anthropocene at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. opening March, 2020.

About the work:

Ninety-two years ago, the Mississippi River overflowed its banks, flooding more than 27,000 square miles of farms and townships, in an event known as The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. In this era of increasingly rapid climate change, these once rare events, so-called 1000 Year Floods, have become increasingly common, rendering absurd both this nomenclature and the climate denialism which has brought us to this place in history. Lounging Through the Flood is a sculpture created to ride these waters, which define and demarcate an essential geography—a geography of not only of the American heartland, but of the American mind.

This floating collection of ninety-two life preserver rings topped by a classic lawn chair lounger evokes a madcap structure built by climate refugees or survivalists stockpiling against disaster. Taking its cue from the uncanny irrationality of a society plunging headlong into environmental catastrophe, Lounging Through the Flood, asks us to consider the complex—and particularly American— constellation of apathy and survival, ingenuity and denial that plays out throughout the Mississippi River system and takes form in this piece.
Echoing the “ghost bikes”—white-painted bicycles which memorialise cyclists—found throughout Midwestern cities, the lounger and tubes are also painted white: in this case a particular shade produced by the Behr Paint company, which was bizarrely given the evocative name “Climate Change.” [Behr’s website suggests this colour harmonises particularly well with “Rain Dance” and “Back to Nature.”] Lounging Through the Flood calls out this culture that accessorises the apocalypse, offering a comfortable seat from which to watch it all drown...or, just perhaps, attain a better view. through-the-flood

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