Spotlight on the Kniznick Gallery
When I stepped into the Women’s Studies Research Center last Wednesday, I was amazed by how stylish this exhibition was. My first impression of the decoration of this exhibition was the perfect blend of green with rustic and urban style.
The name of this exhibition is “Krautsourcing.” As a solo exhibition of Kansas City-based artist S.E. Nash, “Krautsourcing” continues Nash’s investigation into the collective and creative inventions of people and microbes, the tiny living things that are found all around us, but too small to be seen by the naked eye. Most of the artwork in this exhibition are sculptures and wall-based works drawing on the territories of the kitchen and the science lab as extensions of the studio and sites of knowledge production. As an art exhibition, “Krautsourcing” is also very socially engaged. In the opening of this exhibition, Nash invited people to make and share their own sauerkraut. By displaying the sauerkraut, Nash asks the viewers to consider their bodily entanglements, particularly with the bacteria that engendered life nearly 4 billion years ago.
In this exhibition, the artwork that I appreciated the most is “Brassica Oleracea Cultivars: Selection of Heads, Florets, and Leaves.” I first noticed this artwork because of its bright colors. Brassica Oleracea Cultivars is composed of four wooden frames. The frames present different vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and red cabbage. Each frame has a picture of one vegetable and a dehydrated assemblage of that vegetable. At first, I didn’t realize that the parts in the center of each frame were dried cultivars. As I realized the existence of those dried vegetables, I also understood the motivations of Nash’s and his artwork. I think Nash intends to display four common vegetables in an unconventional way. By creating this seemingly unrelated contrast between biological specimens and fine art, Nash raises ontological problems and explores the gap between lab and kitchen, science and nature, activity and stasis, life and non-life, individuals and the universe.
The “Krautsourcing” exhibition is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the WSRC, Epstein Building, and will be open until Feb. 26. Please stop by and sense the power of S.E. Nash and his art.