Audible Bacillus opened at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery on Jan. 29.
The opening reception included opening remarks by curator Benjamin Chaffee, associate director of visual arts.
With the exhibit, Chaffee set out to answer questions such as, “What does it mean for our world concept, language, ethics, and knowledge if we accept that human bodies coevolved with their microbiomes?”
The works are presented as investigations into a variety of themes including alternative epistemologies, the nature and source of volition, a breakdown of the boundary between self/other, the limits of our language(s), and the radical care we need to sustain a future.
Stromatolites, the fossilized remains of ancient cyanobacteria that were the dominant species on the Earth billions of years ago, are included in the exhibition.
The exhibit presents pieces of audio and video to create an experience of movement for visitors, mirroring Chaffee’s efforts to understand the fluidity of the human biome.
The exhibit also incorporates multimedia pieces, including artist Ed Atkin’s video short titled “Warm, Warm, Warm Spring Mouths.”
A conversation between Chaffee and Curator of the Davison Art Center Miya Tokumitsu about this exhibition can be heard on the Center for the Arts Radio Hour.
The Zilkha Gallery is open Tuesday and Wednesday, noon to 5 p.m.; Thursday, noon to 7 p.m.; and Friday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Audible Bacillus will be on display through Sunday, March 3, 2019. (Photos by Sara McCrea ’21)