(September 15, 2015]
Meadows Museum of Art opens "The New Sublime: Video Works by Courtney Egan"
SHREVEPORT, LA — Visitors to Courtney Egan's exhibition at the Meadows will experience four separate installations that question how our perception of nature is changed by technology. The rich flora of New Orleans, where Egan has lived and worked since 1991, influences her imagery. Large, vividly real images of plants and flowers will transform via video loop. The more attention visitors give to Egan's digital flowers, the more elusive and intangible they become.
"The way that humans experience nature more frequently, through the glass of the computer or television, unsettles and inspires me. I find it a fundamental irony that the closer humans get to the perception of nature, as mediated by a technological lens, the farther we get from direct experience," said Egan. "There's a sublimity that results from the convergence of technology with what we consider the natural. I am intrigued by how lens- and technology-based experiences of the natural world can be enjoyable, illuminating, disturbing, and ethically challenging, all at the same time."
As enchanting as Egan's work can be, it also contradicts the joy that nature typically inspires. One's personal experience of the natural world is replaced by a new, mediated, technological experience. Beneath the wonder and delight, Egan presents a conundrum: with the exploitation and loss of natural resources and the expansion of urbanized land, will we still have a natural world in our future? Is the experience of spotting wild flowers and other flora while walking through a forest or meadow one of the past? Will our future interactions with nature exist only as digital projections? These are questions posed by Egan as she presents the viewer with the splendor of nature as seen through a high definition digital lens.
Egan holds an M.F.A. from Maryland Institute College of Art, and is a founding member of the New Orleans-based visual arts collective Antenna Gallery. Her work has been reviewed in Sculpture Magazine, Artforum, Oxford American, PelicanBomb.com, and the New Orleans' Gambit, and collected by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, among others.
On September 19, the public is cordially invited to a free reception at the Meadows from 5-7 p.m., with food and drink provided by the Friends of the Meadows Museum. At 6:30 p.m., Egan will give a gallery talk about her work.
This exhibition was curated by Lee Gray and organized by the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, Lafayette, Louisiana.
About the Meadows Museum of Art
The Meadows Museum of Art is located on the campus of Centenary College of Louisiana at 2911 Centenary Boulevard in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Museum is free and open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-4 p.m. For more information or to schedule fieldtrips, call the Museum at 318.869.5040 or visit the Museum's webpage.