Emerson Contemporary Presents Spring Media Arts Exhibit “Hurricane Lost”

To kick off the spring semester, Emerson Contemporary’s Media Art Gallery welcomes interdisciplinary Boston artist Georgie Friedman lost hurricane sculptural media art exhibit.

The exhibition, which opens on January 27, features eight video installations inspired by the extreme global weather conditions imposed by the global climate crisis. Each piece is immersive through both the placement of the visuals in the gallery, as well as the original soundscape by independent artist Radio Sloan.

Friedman designs his exhibits based on what the space allows, projecting his digital work onto sculptural pieces of fabric that surround the room. The exhibition’s storm imagery, as well as the soundscape, mimics the feel of a hurricane.

Emerson Contemporary curator-in-residence and professor of contemporary art, Leonie Bradbury, said that lost hurricane was originally supposed to open last fall, but had to be pushed back due to the pandemic. The exhibition is part of a partnership with the Feminist Art Coalition, a national effort founded in 2017 by Apsara DiQuinzio to showcase projects by women-identifying artists who are “informed by feminisms,” according to their website.

Friedman was inspired by the beauty and power she saw from hurricanes to create this project, which is exactly what caught Bradbury’s eye.

“On the one hand, it’s visually so beautiful and elegant, so I love that you can get lost in the experience of the artwork. But at the same time his work has a message,” Bradbury said. “You can be attracted by the climate activism message and then seduced by the visuals or vice versa.”

The 2016 presidential election and the January 21, 2017 women’s march inspired DiQuinzio to create the coalition, which intended to stage exhibits nationwide ahead of the 2020 election.

“We’ve decided to move this exhibit forward, and all of the CAF programming has moved forward so that it no longer lines up perfectly with the election, but that’s okay,” Bradbury said. “All these issues, all these projects that we put forward are always important, regardless of our president.”

A major problem facing the world is climate changeand Friedman conveys the message of his urgency through this selection, drawing on his own experience.

“I’ve lived in many places, but I lived in New Orleans for a while before Katrina hit, it affected so many of my friends and family,” Friedman said. “It’s a bit like survivor’s guilt. I was totally fine and so many people’s lives were totally ruined.

Friedman said she learned more about the role of climate change and came to admire these tropical storms for their intensity.

“I’m truly in awe of these things that are so beautiful, so strong yet so powerful and highlight our fragility,” Friedman said.

The virtual tour of the exhibition will take place on January 27. Students will be able to visit the exhibit in person once Emerson’s “stay in your room” directive ends. The policy asks students to avoid social gatherings and only leave their rooms to pick up meals and mail, work, or attend medical appointments. It is in effect until the end of the day on January 29.

Keeping COVID in mind, Friedman said she hopes students come to see her exhibit, safely.

“I really hope people come here in person. I did it for them,” Friedman said. “When it’s down, it’s just a bunch of metal and fabric and files It doesn’t exist any other way. It will never exist like this again, so it’s a once in a lifetime experience.

Bradbury also hopes that students will come and visit the gallery, as it can provide a sense of creative normalcy.

“With our students being on campus, and there are so few opportunities to see artwork or have an experience that might take you out of your Zoom world or the stresses of living in the time of COVID, I hope it can also be a place of reflection and a place of transformation,” Bradbury said. “Art can offer an escape. I hope they take that step and walk through the door even if they don’t have never been here before. It’s a welcoming space.”

To attend the virtual tour of the exhibition, you can RSVP to Emerson Contemporary’s website. In addition to the virtual tour, Emerson Contemporary will host a virtual artist conversation with Friedman on February 10, which you can register online.

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