Naturae Vulgaris. Using the literal material language of the sidewalk Brooks addresses the irrational efforts and immense amount of energy we exert to maintain the conflicted relationship we have with the natural world. Comprised of a single installation running the length of the gallery, the exhibition presents the perverse impracticality of a sidewalk constructed indoors.
Using the literal material language of the sidewalk David Brooks addresses the irrational efforts and immense amount of energy we exert to maintain the conflicted relationship we have with the natural world. Comprised of a single installation running the length of the gallery, the exhibition presents the perverse impracticality of a sidewalk constructed indoors. The sidewalk's monolithic orientation is interrupted in the rear of the gallery as gantry cranes awkwardly strain to lift sections of concrete slabs into the skylight. The terminating slab encases a 12 ft. high tree being hoisted into the skylight along with the sidewalk, where it exerts its own efforts to sustain an existence between its concrete embedded roots and the unyielding glass of the skylight.
'The production of cement is one of the primary producers of carbon dioxide, producing nearly one tenth of worldwide CO2 emissions per year. If one considers how harmful the production and application of concrete is to the larger body of our environment one would need to be psychotic to live in approval of its use. From a macroscopic perspective, it is nothing short of suicidal. And yet it is the very physical foundation of all extant urban infrastructures; it is the material of our dwelling, and sustains our way of life. With some poetic license, one could see concrete as indicative of a larger existential impasse, highlighting the colossal scale of energy we exert to maintain such a delusional image of normalcy.' (DB)
Understanding that the division of culture from nature is an ideological construction, Brooks investigates how cultural concerns cannot be divorced from the natural world: the natural and cultural exist in symbiotic relationships in which each defines the other. His work approaches the nature-culture divide as an existential impasse, and that this cannot be left up to political and economic trajectories alone, for, in his opinion, such a breach is a cultural construct by origin and inevitably must be reckoned with in the cultural sphere.
David Brooks was the recipient of the 2009 Marie Walsh Sharpe Fellowship, having also spent the summer in collaboration with the Mildred's Lane Historical Society (directed by Mark Dion and J. Morgan Puett). Current and upcoming exhibitions in the US include a large scale installation at Socrates Sculpture Park; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (curated by Mark Dion).
Image: Still Life with Concrete and Tropical House Plants: Cocos plumosa, Dracaena arborea, Ravenea rivularis and Beaucarnea recurvata, David Brooks, concrete, four species of domesticated tropical houseplants, vermiculite, 42 x 96 x 54 inches 2009
Opening Saturday 21st November 2009 6-8 pm
95 Rivington Street at Ludlow, New York USA
Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 12 - 6pm or by appointment