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CLIMA: Solo Artist Series presents “Drawing the Anthropocene” by Gretchen Scharnagl

March 30, 2018 - April 29, 2018

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CLIMA: Solo  Artist Series


“Drawing the Anthropocene”


Gretchen Scharnagl


Hibiscus Gallery
Pinecrest Gardens
11000 S. Red Road
Pinecrest, FL 33156


Exhibition runs: March 30 through April 29, 2018.

Join us for the opening reception on:
Sunday, April 8th from noon to 2pm


Gretchen Scharnagl, “Ate Grapefruit,” 2015 (Photo by Daniel Portnoy)


Drawing the Anthropocene

Drawing the Anthropocene demands the visual language of the Surrealist, the re-contextualizing of debris and the randomness and personal witness of Ledger Art.  The genesis of the second era of human manufacture is replete with unnerving environmental upheaval. The illogical human causes of the oft-irreversible dire conditions remain unabated, defying scientific warnings commonly in the name of religious belief.  Placing societal, environmental and mundane imagery in unexpected juxtaposition elucidate the contradictory aspect of humans being both perpetrator and victim of a tangled web of cause and effect that is careening our blue planet toward an apocalypse.

Embedded in three works are narratives of Climate Change and Water Level Rise and the other ‘Planetary Boundaries’ we are crossing in our lifetime.  Ate Grapefruit interprets Ocean Acidity with grapefruit’s acidity illustrating the catastrophic depletion of carbonate ions resulting in an inability of marine animals to calcify.  A shell or other calcified structure is life and death or extinction for most and would result in the pulling of a lynchpin in necessary food chains.  After Dionysus, with it’s plump bunch of grapes ending in bare branches and spoiled fruit, is surrounded by the contradictions of resolving water level rise with concrete coastal hardening that results in Land System Change and ignores the needs of coastal flora and fauna.  The mining of sand is becoming a global crisis that depletes beaches and sometimes erodes the ground under the walls built to replace the depleted beaches.  A plastic bag floating in the water endangers the unseen surviving adult turtles among other wildlife but also reminds us of our obsession with plastics while ignoring the potential final watery destination.  The interconnectedness of our actions, or lack of action, is the nucleus of Apocalypse Apocalypse.  Water rise results in salinization of ground and ground water.  Coastal septic tanks leak when water levels rise, creating toxic algae blooms and resulting fish kills.  Temperature changes bleach coral.  Mangroves not ripped out for rampant development are forced to cross man made walls while the 7.5 billion humans increase their population of the planet unchecked.  The biblical fig – the third tree of the Bible – with a leaf attempting to cover the shame of our treatment of the earth, fails.  The boundaries of Global Freshwater Use, Chemical Pollution, Rate of Biodiversity Loss, Biogeochemical Loading, all compromised.

Cauterize interprets the healing role of destruction through fire and decomposition of organic detritus in the environment. The black charred wood both presents and represents the debris oft cleared away and the micro-macro representations of the decayed, the collectors, and the decomposers.  In the Anthropocene we are in danger of creating the ultimate death and destruction of species and habitats by fearing the death, debris, decay and the destruction by fire that maintains life.

Suburban Ledgers reflects the fact that the environment and Nature with a capital N is not separate from man, human activity and suburbia.  The random images as one work reflects the fact that we and the environment are one.  Anthropocene.



CLIMA is a science | art platform addressing global climate change and sea level rise.  It was developed by Xavier Cortada in 2015 in response to the Paris Climate Talks. CLIMA is presented at Pinecrest Gardens’ Hibiscus Gallery in partnership with Florida International University College of Arts & Sciences School of Environment, Society and the Arts (SEAS), the FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA), the FIU Honors College (Honors) and the FIU Sea Level Solutions Center (SLSC).

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The Hibiscus Gallery at Pinecrest Gardens
11000 SW 57th Avenue
Pinecrest, FL 33156 United States
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