Image: Kim Holleman, Future Mountain, recycled plastic shopping bags / ©Kim Holleman 

Image: Kim Holleman, Future Mountain, recycled plastic shopping bags / ©Kim Holleman 


Black and White Gallery // Williamsburg is proud to announce the opening of the spring/fall 2008 exhibition program with Law of the Land by Kim Holleman.

Are we living on the cusp of an Age of Extinction or an Age of Restoration? Are there sophisticated ways of designing aspects of the human enterprise - buildings, vehicles, technologies, cities, parks, etc. — so that they intelligently interact with living systems?

The works of Kim Holleman reveal an interest in following nature’s operating instructions to build environmental scenarios that can lead to healing the earth and supporting all beings in a symbiotic harmony. In this site-specific multi-media exhibition occupying both the interior and exterior spaces, such conceptions are put under scrutiny and given visual representation.

Law of the Land is structured in three 'acts'. The first act, Trailer Park installed on the street in front of the gallery and open to the public examines the paradox of inner/outer space by sheltering the completely functional ‘real’ park from environmental damage and placing it inside a mobile Coachmen Travel Trailer.

In the second act, Playing God, installed in the indoor space, Holleman simulates natural environments to question human attempts to dominate the earth. Detailed miniature landscapes that are playable vinyl records spinning and stopping, atop turntables reinforce the ‘playing god’ theme. In the pastoral wall-mural landscape entitled The Layers, Holleman rises to the challenge of establishing a human connection to the earth's most interior and vulnerable layers. This work draws analogies of various soil substrates to the emotions of human psychology, suggesting an allegorical ‘earth-body interface’ to help bridge the human-soil divide. Creation myths and origin of life theories aside, it is obvious that our own fertility, and indeed survival, is inextricably connected to the fertility of the soils we live upon. In a provocative series of glass microscopy slides titled Creating Life, Holleman asks how far we want to go in creating a ‘better life’. When blown up into large-size photographs, they unmistakably look like the familiar microscopic images of living organisms: protozoa, bacteria, blood cells, spores, mold, ice crystals, etc., but are all created out of artificial substances.

In the third act, Future Mountain, Holleman appropriates the monumental format typical of earlier earth works to reclaim the outdoor space. Sculpting with chicken wire and colorful, ubiquitous plastic shopping bags, the artist constructs a startling 360-degree mountain range foliated as a life-like landscape. Future Mountain does not offer solutions to difficult environmental dilemmas. It communicates and connects environmental realities to a social and cultural context.

Kim Holleman was born in Tampa, Florida and raised in the suburban area of Palm Beach Gardens. She attended The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City and The Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, Holland. Her work has been exhibited at The Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in Colorado, and The Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin. . . Law of the Land is Kim Holleman’s first solo show in New York.