Jenny Kendler: Rewilding

Oct. 7 – Dec. 10, 2017

Ledge Gallery

Jenny​ ​Kendler,​ ​​Camouflage​ ​X​ ​(Deflector Prototype​ ​for​ ​Endangered​ ​Coppery-bellied Puffleg​ ​Hummingbird)​,​ ​2013.​ ​Courtesy​ ​​the artist.

enny​ ​Kendler,​ ​​Camouflage​ ​XXVI​ ​(Poacher Protection​ ​for​ ​Threatened​ ​Chinese Black-naped​ ​Oriole)​,​ ​2014.​ ​Courtesy​ ​of​ ​the artist.

Jenny​ ​Kendler,​ ​​Camouflage​ ​IX (Woodwoodpecker)​,​ ​2013.​ ​Private​ ​collection.

Jenny​ ​Kendler’s​ ​work​ ​often​ ​exists​ ​between​ ​the​ ​fields​ ​of​ ​art​ ​and​ ​environmental​ ​activism.​ ​With​ ​a strong​ ​ecological​ ​voice,​ ​her​ ​sculptures,​ ​drawings,​ ​videos,​ ​and​ ​installations​ ​articulate​ ​urgent concerns​ ​without​ ​sacrificing​ ​the​ ​role​ ​of​ ​aesthetics​ ​in​ ​communicating​ ​through​ ​visual​ ​languages. For​ ​the​ ​exhibition​ ​​Rewilding,​ ​Kendler​ ​presents​ ​a​ ​series​ ​of​ ​sculptures​ ​that​ ​bear​ ​the​ ​interventions of​ ​her​ ​hand​ ​in​ ​the​ ​name​ ​of​ ​subtle​ ​yet​ ​poignant​ ​protest:​ ​familiar​ ​porcelain​ ​bird​ ​figurines​ ​are modified​ ​and​ ​transformed​ ​in​ ​an​ ​attempt​ ​to​ ​preserve​ ​the​ ​otherwise​ ​endangered​ ​species​ ​the works​ ​refer​ ​to.​ ​For​ ​many​ ​this​ ​involves​ ​the​ ​fabrication​ ​(and​ ​decoration)​ ​of​ ​“deflector helmets”—speculative​ ​prostheses​ ​for​ ​each​ ​bird​ ​that​ ​further​ ​adapts​ ​the​ ​species’​ ​natural camouflage.​ ​Some​ ​figurines​ ​may​ ​find​ ​refuge​ ​under​ ​a​ ​veil​ ​of​ ​wind-fallen​ ​lichen,​ ​highlighting​ ​the importance​ ​of​ ​different​ ​species​ ​working​ ​together​ ​to​ ​combat​ ​environmental​ ​erosion.​ ​Muted​ ​as they​ ​are,​ ​these​ ​sculptures​ ​yet​ ​sound​ ​the​ ​alarm​ ​and​ ​ask​ ​us​ ​to​ ​further​ ​consider​ ​the​ ​role​ ​we​ ​all​ ​play in​ ​preserving​ ​the​ ​diversity​ ​of​ ​life​ ​on​ ​planet​ ​Earth.

Jenny Kendler: Rewilding ​is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Steven L. Bridges, Assistant Curator. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Alan and Rebecca Ross endowed exhibitions fund.