UN/Sustainable with George Lorio, Zelda ZinnKatie Kehoe, Samantha DiRosa and Susanne Slavick, opening at Stamp Gallery at the University of Maryland 

June 5 - July 12, 2019
Curated by Kat Mullineaux

Resplendent, 2010, Gouache on archival digital print/Hahnemühle paper, 60 x 23 inches

My statement for the show: 
War kills human, plant and animal life. It befouls our air, land and water with its lethal mission, toxic residue, and consumption of resources. Even in peacetime, the U.S. military is the largest institutional consumer of oil in the world. Massive transport of personnel, equipment, supplies and arms around the world demands fuel, and its combustibility threatens and incinerates even more lives. We know with scientific certainty that burning fossil fuels exacerbates climate change. Yet we continue to drill, extract, and fill endless tanks, preparing for or headed to the next siege.

Our political and economic systems perpetuate war, a behavior and condition that is the definition of unsustainability. War not only depletes, pollutes and assaults the environment, and all the living things it hosts, it diverts our attention and vast resources from everything that might slow its degradation. Another Mother for Peace, a grass-roots anti-war advocacy group founded in 1967 was right about Mother Earth. Many posters and placards were emblazoned with their signature claim: ““War is not healthy for children and other living things.”

In "Resplendent," a tree grows out of the remains of an improvised explosive device (IED) on a deserted road. The tree is derived from a 16th century illustration, The Hero Rustam Slays the Witch of the Cosmic Illusion attributed to Qadîmî from Fidawsî’s Book of Kings. The IED is based on a FLICKR image taken in Afghanistan by SSG Wayne Speek. Though rooted in destruction and mangled metal, the sprouting tree suggests some hope for survival and regeneration.

Review by Mark Jenkins, “UN/Sustainable contemplates the environment,” The Washington Post, June 28, 2019

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