Gallery 400’s ‘Ghost Nature’ explores human effects on natural world

Felinanthropy video still

A scene from “Felinanthropy,” a 2007 video by Art Orienté objet. (Click on image to download larger size.)

Nineteen artists explore extreme interactions between humans and nature in “Ghost Nature” at Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

UIC’s Gallery 400 hosts an opening reception for “Ghost Nature,” a group exhibition curated by Caroline Picard, featuring works in various media that address the limits of human perspectives on nature and ecology.

Opening reception, Jan. 17, 5-8 p.m.
Exhibition on view through March 1:  Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Gallery 400, 400 S. Peoria St.

Freelance curator Caroline Picard suggests that we can no longer think of nature as a pristine place beyond human influence now that “mice grow human ears on their backs in laboratories and rabbits glow in the dark.”


Milan Metthey’s “Love Ducking – Experiment 1,” radio-controlled duck. (Click on image to download larger size.)

“‘Ghost Nature’ exposes the limits of human perspective in the emergent landscape that remains: a slippery network of sometimes monstrous creatures, plants, and technological advancements,” she writes.

“Working in sculpture, photography, drawing, and video, artists in ‘Ghost Nature’ investigate the borders and bounds between human and nonhuman experience.”

Jeremy Bolen juxtaposes subterranean traces of radioactivity with images of scenery above ground, with a material layer of dirt scattered on the surface of his prints.

Heidi Norton embeds living plants in her work, creating abstract frames with glass and wax.

Irina Botea frames landscape by filming a tour guide on his quixotic search for the perfect “picturesque” view.

Carrie Gundersdorf translates planetary bodies into the motifs of abstract, colorist painting.

Assaf Evron interprets in wood an algorithmic color model, the form determined by the limits of the computer from which it originated.

Other exhibiting artists are Sebastian Alvarez, Art Orienté objet (Marion Laval-Jeantet and Benoît Mangin), Agnes Meyer-Brandis, Robert Burnier, Marcus Coates, Institute of Critical Zoologists, Jenny Kendler, Devin King, Stephen Lapthisophon, Milan Metthey, Rebecca Mir, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Tessa Siddle and Xaviera Simmons.

Gallery 400 offers guided tours for groups of all ages. Tours are free but require reservations online. For more information, contact the gallery at 312-996-6114 or

“Ghost Nature” is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the UIC School of Art & Art History and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.


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