Chazen Museum of Art


Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials

September 13 to January 5 | Pleasant T. Rowland Galleries

Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials

Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials features contemporary artwork investigating the complex cultural and material nexus that is “Plastic.” Organized around the curatorial concept of entanglement – which describes the literal entanglements of animals and plastic detritus as well as the plasticity of global networks – the exhibition assembles artistic investigations of humanity’s reliance on a material that is at once ubiquitous and, for that reason, virtually invisible. Featuring an international array of emerging and mid-career artists, Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials argues that plastic globally entangles categories of the aesthetic, the ethical, the material, the technological, and the critical.

Morehshin Allahyari, Ifeoma U. Anyaeji, Han Bing, Dianna Cohen, Willie Cole, Bonnie Collura, Gisela Colon, Emmanuel Bakary Daou, Mark Dion, Katrin Hornek, Kelly Jazvac, Chris Jordan, Brian Jungen, Pamela Longobardi, Steve McPherson, Zanele Muholi, Vik Muniz, Matthew Northridge, Aurora Robson, Evelyn Rydz, Tejal Shah, Jessica Stockholder, Rebecca Strzelec, Ann Tarantino, Christine Wertheim, Margaret Wertheim, Deb Todd Wheeler, Kelly Wood, Pinar Yoldas, and Marina Zurkow.

Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art of The Pennsylvania State University, and is supported at the Chazen by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts

Image above: Mark Dion, Institute for invertebrate marine biology, 2017, wood cabinet, plastic and rubber children’s toys, sex toys, glass specie jars, and books. Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.

Preview image: Aurora Robson, Isla, 2014, plastic debris (PET + HDPE), aluminum rivets, tinted polycrylic, and mica powder. Courtesy of the artist.

Events and programs

Reception and Costume Party
Oct. 25, 5:30–8:30 p.m., Mead Witter Lobby
Put your design skills to the test and don a sustainably-made costume or accessory to win a cool prize! Enjoy DJ, photobooth, and hands-on activities. 

Director's Conversation
Chazen director Amy Gilman and Erin Coe, director of the Palmer Museum of Art in conversation.
Oct. 26, 12 p.m., Chazen Auditorium

Drop-in, Docent-led Tours

Sept. 14., 1 - 2 p.m. Join UW Sea Grant Institute to create a sculpture using found materials and design a tote bag to prevent the use of plastic bags
Oct. 19,  1 - 3 p.m.(It's UW Family Weekend!) UW Sea Grant Institute and Wisconsin Energy Institute will help us explore the microplastics that make up many clothing items and design a clothing accessory using found objects. 
Nov. 16, 12 - 2 p.m. Sort found plastics by color and shape and create a colorful mosaic with Sea Grant and Wisconsin Energy Institute

Science Café with Great Lakes Bio Research Center and School of Human Ecology
Nov. 14, 6 p.m. Chazen Café
Hear from UW-Madison researchers whose groundbreaking work is bringing the “speculative future” of plastics to life, and from a plastic-industry representative about what this looks like on the ground. Chazen Café

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Chazen Museum of Art, 750 University Ave., Madison, WI

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