The Gallatin Galleries
Going Extinct is a performance and installation by the artistic duo nadahada (Juliana Fadil-Luchkiw and María Paz Valenzuela Silva) that enfolds the viewer in an uncanny parody–a darkly fantastical, natural history exhibition about intergalactic, humanoid creatures from the bottom of the sea that are about to become extinct.
The installation attempts to employ some of the typical elements of museum displays, such as detailed descriptive labels and carefully placed arrangements, but seeks to undermine their authority. The exhibit brings in some of the wonder and mystery of curiosity cabinets—precursors of museums—while unfolding an allegory of colonization that is critical of systems of classification and the hierarchies of injustice they enforce. The installation includes an excess of trash artifacts from the imagined civilization—all of which have been modified, made, or recycled by nadahada–as well as a live diorama of “two of the last remaining creature specimens,” housed in a circus tent.
While the exhibition stands on its own, it is meant to be experienced as a guided tour. The Sumerian goddess Ishtar acts as docent and spirit guide, taking visitors on a journey through the seven gates of the underworld, each of which is a separate section of the exhibition. Meanwhile, the guard tries, but fails, to keep order in the gallery. Upon entering the underworld, the creatures perform a “non-reproductive mating dance” ritual for viewers, a kind of multispecies drag striptease, in which the stripped garments become animated puppetry throughout the dance.
Opening reception: Thursday, August 9th, 5-7 pm.
PERFORMATIVE GUIDED TOURS:
Thursday, 8/9 at 7pm
Monday, 8/13 at 6pm
Tuesday, 8/14 at 6pm
Wednesday, 8/15 at 6pm
Thursday, 8/16 at 6pm
Monday, 8/20 at 6pm
Tuesday, 8/21 at 6pm
Wednesday, 8/22 at 6pm
The Gallatin Galleries are accessible and benches exist throughout the gallery for those who need to sit during the tour.
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