At the current curated show at the Gallery Project, in Ann Arbor, MI, hindsight is not 20/20 it turns out; it’s odd and beautiful, destructive yet generative, and sometimes even funny. Artfully arranged to keep viewers aesthetically engaged, the show features works by thirty local, regional, and national artists who address the theme of the post-apocalypse from different perspectives. What stands out in this show is each artists’ commitment to their post-worldview and the detail involved in getting their view across. From Denny Gerwin’s After Tomorrow, the large architectural form toppled over in the center of the gallery with it’s futuristic penthouses and collapsed girders to the more modest pen and colored pencil drawings by Clare Rosean, Take No Prisoners and Gangsta, that depict dark yet playful illustrations of street riots, this show offers strange delights at all scales. While some works offer a humorous take on the aftermath of our demise, such as Joe Meiser’s digital prints of robots who continue life without us; some showcase a more probable picture. Erin Garber-Pearson’s video of a churning volcano-like image projected on the floor of the lower gallery easily convinces viewers they have stumbled into a world inhospitable to them. The large and cleverly titled digital photogram The Actual Birth of Venus by Lou Krueger forces us to consider how minor our human drama is, let alone art history, when faced with the cold yet mesmerizing image of galactic stuffs. As usual, the Gallery Project has put on a visually balanced and engaging show where viewers can appreciate things they couldn’t have predicted. Altogether this show tackles its theme accurately and in more ways than we would likely care to admit; it’s not exactly pretty, but it’s quite stunning, our destruction.
Post Apocalypse continues through Jan. 22 at Gallery Project, 215 S. Fourth Ave. Exhibit hours are noon-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.
Jennifer Metsker is a writer based in Ann Arbor and teaches writing at the University of Michigan. View more articles by Jennifer Metsker.