FLIGHT OF THE POLYCHROMATIC ZOOIDS
JAN 7, 2021 – FEB 7, 2021
Opening Reception – Friday, JAN 8 [6-9 PM]
The Firehouse is pleased to present a solo exhibit consisting of one, center-hung sculptural installation by Dallas, Texas-based artist Jen Rose. Made of 1,250 forms, it’s divided into five colors that progress through a value scale from high to low color saturation. Designed as an inviting experience that mimics an underwater environment with darkened gray gallery walls and featuring a bespoke musical accompaniment.
From Curator Brandy Coons:
To begin 2021 I find myself reflecting on the previous year, and relishing the opportunity to present a work which is best experienced quietly and maybe alone. Originally scheduled for August of 2020, this exhibit was postponed until we felt more certain of the future, which at the time I assumed might be January of 2021. As an expression of the adage that you can’t always get what you want, it turns out that this January does feel like the perfect time for this installation, even if not for the reasons I expected. First, we’re marking the new year with a type of sculptural work more ambitious than any previously attempted in the space (we’ve had to examine the internal structure of our building to find its most sturdy architectural supports). It is also a depiction of collaborative life, and its expression through craft and a minimalist, darkened gallery is perfect for solitary contemplation (convenient since our capacity is still restricted). It seems we’ve had a year of solitude but real, deep contemplation of the kind that takes your full focus should not be undervalued. I look forward to inviting visitors to the space to bring their own yoga mat, lie directly under the work and relax “underwater” with the zooids. Before we move on into 2021, let’s make sure we’re taking time to examine our structural supports, and meditate on a collective organism made of its 1,250 individuals.
From artist Jen Rose:
“My 15-year exploration of biology began with an interest in the human form and has evolved into studies of invasive environments and underwater creatures. The ocean is fascinating because it is still vastly unexplored. I associate underwater worlds with the subconscious. The zooids are organisms ripe with metaphor because of their colonial animal status. The fact that they are individual clones operating as one animal make them one and many at the same time and prompt philosophical questions about the collective subconscious, hive mind, and cognitive dissonance.
“In the ocean, Zooids are individuals that live in swimming colonies called Pyrosomes, resembling large sea tubes. This artwork speaks to the journey of people and groups through subtle changes in color and sound. It is a microcosm of society, representing a community of interrelated objects/people that function at their best with active participation and cooperation.”