Reception: Friday May 20, 7-9pm
May 19, 2011
through June 11, 2011
LZ Project Space is pleased to present Convergent Evolution, a solo sculpture exhibition by Deborah Simon. Inspired by viewers miscatagorization of Simon’s animal sculptures, she began to group together her pieces along those lines - also known as convergent evolution. This exhibit contains both king penguins and northern fur seals, both animals that have arrived at seemingly alike solutions for locomotion despite coming from different and unrelated ancestries. Simon’s animals float between taxidermy, toy, and art object; their life-sized bodies represent hours of meticulous multi- processed work in the form of sewing, molding, and painting of their almost ethereal clay faces.
Working at the Bronx Zoo was an influential experience for this series, she contemplated how humans perceive, consume, and interact with animals, and how animals behave in return. In replacing the artificial obtrusion of a “natural habitat” with the stark walls of the gallery space, Simon forces a dialogue between viewer and sculpture, acknowledging the power roles and expectations inherent in all human/animal interactions, showing that they are contained in a box of our devising, at our pleasure and convenience.
Simon’s animal kingdom hangs from the ceiling, in contrast from seeing them swimming below, interfering purposefully with the space and the viewer, challenging all entrants to meet their gaze and wind around their bodies.