Curated by Dina Brodsky and Michelle Doll, “Barely Imagined Beings” explores one of the most primordial and persistent dialogues in human history. Where once the natural world played a symbiotic role in everyday human existence, it is now completely divorced from mainstream cultural necessity in today’s Western society. Yet “Barely Imagined Beings” defiantly presents nature as possessing a vital importance to the modern imagination. These artists powerfully narrate its impersonal diversity and disquieting strangeness through work full of lively invention, delicate observation, and solemn reverence.
With phantasmagorical landscapes and bizarre anthropomorphic creatures, “Barely Imagined Beings” is inspired by the infinite biodiversity of nature. It is a place where the artists vision can delve into unknown, otherworldly realms that are both serene and terrifying, macabre and sublime, fantastic and strikingly real.
Anthropomorphism, allegory, and other interpretations of nature usually project humans onto the natural world with symbolism that speaks directly to the subconscious. It is a sensibility in art that stresses the interdependence of living beings, both human and non-human, in a technological age of impersonal and disconnected relationships between individuals. Nature retains its value as a vehicle for expression, and the image of an animal symbolically presents itself in ways that define and redefine our identity. “Barely Imagined Beings” stands as a paramount accomplishment in this dialogue where the animals speak for themselves, and also for us.