Lost Beauty, Time and Hopeful Transition: 'Chasing the Sun' Exhibition Opens in New York

a silhouette stands in front of an art exhibit of colorful images and plants

In Chasing the Sun, artist and Davidson College Professor Joelle Dietrick combines the lost beauty of extinct plants with green architecture.

Joelle Dietrick: Chasing the Sun, opens today at The Shirley Space Project in New York City. Artist Joelle Dietrick’s first solo exhibition in New York combines a series of prints, wallpaper and animations that stretch across three screens. The exhibition will be on view until Nov. 17.

Each screen of the installation is divided into eight vertical sections—24 vertical stripes for the 24 time zones. Within each stripe drift remnants of extinct plants and eco-friendly homes designed by women architects, while colors shift according to the time at each represented location. The slow-moving, meditative installation provides space for audiences across cultures and ages to process climate grief within the context of new understandings of geological time.

The series of prints remix the imagery from the animations, and one flowering plant, the Hibiscadelphus woodii, endemic to Kauai, Hawaii, appears larger than life as wallpaper. Once thought to be extinct, Hibiscadelphus woodii, or Wood's hau kuahiwi, was rediscovered in 2019 by a drone where it was growing out of the steep, vertical face of a cliff.

Joelle Dietrick's Art - California Plants

Chasing the Sun (08-08-01-usa-california-atriplex-tularensis-20220930-152606)

Joelle Dietrick. 2023. Hahnemuhle Photo Rag. 15.75 x 11.75 in.

Joelle Dietrick's Art - Madagascar Plants

Chasing the Sun (21+03-01-madagascar-Ormocarpopsis-nitida-20221011-150254)

Joelle Dietrick. 2023. Hahnemuhle Photo Rag. 15.75 x 11.75 in.

Inspired by Dietrick’s travels to Germany, Chile and China, and her young daughter’s wish to travel at the same pace as the sun, Dietrick began work on the series during the COVID pandemic, when natural systems felt out of control.

An associate professor of art at Davidson College, Dietrick is an artist and scholar who focuses on ecofeminism, and automated systems and their unintended consequences. Creating artworks with fragmented infrastructure, randomly rearranged by code, she represents upheaval in a state of hopeful transition. 

Selected exhibitions include MOCA Jacksonville, Transitio_MX in Mexico City, TINA B in Prague, MCA Chicago, MCA San Diego, Long March Space Beijing, Art Center Nabi Seoul, and Soho20 New York. She has attended residencies at the Künstlerhaus Salzburg, Anderson Ranch, VCCA, Banff, and MacDowell, and received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, UC Berkeley, Florida State University, the Mellon Foundation, Creative Capital, and the DAAD.


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