Carbonate of Copper features international and Texas-based visual artists and scholars who work in varied media to examine questions of circuitry, flow, foundation, and cultural inheritance, particularly in relation to infrastructure, the environment, and geological time. The exhibition sits in company with the award-winning poem and forthcoming volume Carbonate of Copper by Houston-based writer Roberto Tejada. Featured artists include Gwenneth Boelens, Anna Mayer, Kate Newby, George Smith, Josie Ann Teets, and Roberto Tejada. The use of the poem is one of a conductive thread, establishing a unique counter-response to the writing’s exploration of vibrant matter – objects alive in their complex interrelationships, entanglements, and tendency for open-ended change. In the poem and exhibition, labor and extractive processes are positioned in contrast to our everyday experience of being used, of using, of residue, squandering, of constraint, of rebuilding, and preservation.
The artwork in Carbonate of Copper evokes deeper thought by requiring closer contemplation of material and process. Artpace alumni artist Kate Newby’s installation, I love you poems (2018-2022), for example, investigates the way material interventions are made in response to a site’s particular temporal, physical, and geographical conditions.
Jennifer Teets told Artpace, “Carbonate of Copper considers what we inherit and its inextricable connection to socio-environmental shifts in Texas and at large. The exhibition is a transdisciplinary experiment focusing on the cross-pollination of the visual arts and humanities, with unpublished and rare works by both writers and artists. Dr. Tejada’s conversation with Dr. Cecilia Balli will undoubtedly be an important public forum to share thinking around material culture and border politics in the now.”
This exhibition has been made possible, in part, through the generous support of the Artpace Pacesetters and by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.