On Saturday, March 14, 2020 the opening reception for “Transformative Encounters” by Bridget Rountree at VCHQ Gallery was cancelled in response to the rampant worldwide spread of COVID-19. Businesses closed, theatrical productions closed, and film festivals were cancelled with just days notice.
Due to the particular themes of the show and their connection to this historic moment in time, Vanguard Culture opted instead, to host a conversation with Bridget Rountree, the show’s curator Chi Essary, and Vanguard Culture Executive Director, Susanna Peredo Swap.
Following are some excerpts from our conversation. To watch the entire interview, please visit https://bit.ly/BridgetRountree
Transformative Encounters presents new works by Bridget Rountree that challenge the notion of human exceptionalism and the Enlightenment philosophy that humans have dominion over everything non-human. In our contemporary world this self(ie)-centered approach has had tremendous repercussions on our collective psyche. From climate change to social justice, the ripple effect caused by human greed and indifference has made it more and more clear that humanity cannot escape what Timothy Morton describes as
‘The most basic ecological fact of all: that all lifeforms are interconnected.’
This exhibition challenges the viewer to consider new relationships between previously defined histories and possible futures. The process of the work, suspended ink, linear action, and mistakes on paper presents a perpetual state of becoming, an interplay of ruin and beauty, a provocation to deeply consider our relationship with one another and the environment. The landscapes are inextricably linked with human figures who face the same ecological collapse and mass extinction as nature. Historical art images are cut out of their original context and isolated into precarious landscapes to explore life without the promise of stability as a generative possibility. As Anna Tsing writes,
‘‘Disturbance opens the terrain for transformative encounters, making new landscape assemblages possible.’
Vanguard Culture’s 2020 Season, RIPPLE EFFECT was programmed as a “yearlong conversation with San Diego’s creative community about the human capacity to effect positive change.” We are very proud to share this very moving and timely exhibition by Bridget Rountree as a part of our exciting 2020 season. “Transformative Encounters” presents themes of human interconnectivity and tasks the viewer with considering new possible futures in the midst of uncertainty.
To learn more about Bridget Rountree please visit http://bridgetrountree.com/
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The artist will also be hosting private art tours on the last Friday of the month in May or June. If you are interested in attending, please reach out to her directly via email: Bridgetrountreearts@gmail.com