Jeremy Bolen: Because the sky will be filled with sulfur – Announcements
In Because the sky will be filled with brimstone, Artist Jeremy Bolen presents an immersive new exhibition of speculative documentary works that record our current climate crisis while simultaneously speculating on the optics and aesthetics of a possible geo-engineered future. Comprised of photographic images, hybrid objects, videos and sculptures, Bolen’s works often incorporate materials and methods that have been proposed to cool the planet, envisioning a world with sulphur-filled skies, tinted shields for coral reefs and iridescent cultures.
The exhibit centers on a climate engineering proposal called solar radiation management, in which sulfur particles injected into the stratosphere would combat rising temperatures by reflecting sunlight away from the Earth’s surface. Mirroring the cooling effects of ash clouds caused by volcanic eruptions, the procedure could have many unpredictable and adverse consequences, including whitening the daytime sky, obscuring our views of the stars, and impacting on agricultural production.
This project also includes images of a sediment core sample that Bolen documented during a research trip earlier this year to Searsville Lake in the Jasper Ridge Biological Reserve in Stanford, California. When the artificial reservoir was dammed in 1892, it created conditions that caused the body of water to fill almost entirely with unusually undisturbed sediment. Sediment cores like this reflect our civilization, offering evidence of earthquakes, chemical residues, nuclear testing and the burning of fossil fuels. They mean how we have manipulated the world in the past and how we can behave in the future. Researchers from the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) believe this 127-year-old core may offer geological signatures that indicate when the Anthropocene epoch can be said to have officially begun. Geologists researching this marker refer to it as the “World Boundary Stratotype Section and Point” – or, more colloquially, the Golden Point. They may have found the appropriate signals in cores taken from Lake Searsville.
Additionally, Bolen incorporates a range of found objects and casts – such as airplane parts, dyed coral, unexposed 1963 films, air conditioners, leaf blowers, silver corn, and casts of the passenger pigeon. once abundant (and now extinct) – which offer relics and artifacts of our collective global movement, as well as representations of a seemingly fantastical future.
Using a range of materials that index the human impact on the planet and the proposed technology to save it, ‘Cause the sky will be filled with brimstone offers a scenario in which we can discuss how collective human patterns affect what is, and what will remain, perceptible, knowable, and habitable.
This exhibition is presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, as part of the Working Artist Project grant. This series of Working Artist Projects was curated by Jordan Carter, curator at the Dia Art Foundation in New York.
Jeremy Bolen is an artist, researcher, filmmaker and educator interested in site-specific experimental modes of documentation and presentation. Much of Bolen’s work involves rethinking systems of recording – in an attempt to observe the unseen presences that remain from various scientific experiments and human interactions with the Earth’s surface. Bolen has had numerous exhibitions and screenings around the world, including at the Origins Center Museum in Johannesburg; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; La Box, Bourges; PACT Zollverein, Essen; EXAMIE, Berlin; POOL, Johannesburg; Andrew Rafacz, Chicago; and Club Soccer Club, Chicago. He has recently screened films at Antimatter (Media Art), Vancouver; Lima Alterna International Film Festival, Lima; Chicago Underground Film Festival, Chicago; and Bideodromo International Film Festival, Bilbao. Bolen lives and works between Chicago and Atlanta, is assistant professor of photography at Georgia State University, co-founder and co-organizer of the Deep Time Chicago collective, and is represented by Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago.
MOCA GA’s Working Artist Project (WAP) was developed to support mid-career or established artists in the Atlanta metro area. The program is funded by the Charles Loridans Foundation, the Antinori Foundation, and the AEC with additional funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. There are a total of 42 scholarship recipients over the past 15 years. As a museum primarily dedicated to supporting contemporary Georgia artists, MOCA GA’s goal is to encourage these artists to stay in our city to make Atlanta one of the best cities to launch a viable career. in the arts.