take me to the apple breeder
August 9 - 31, 2012
Thursday, August 9th, 5-7pm
Jack Hanley Gallery is pleased to present selections from take me to the apple breeder, a three-part project steeped in plant genetics. Edible fruits are not born of nature, but are cultural objects carefully preserved through grafting. Isolated from natural selection, their finely-tuned genetics geared to our consumption have created an Achilles’ heel in terms of their own survival.
Resulting from visits to Cornell University’s agricultural research stations, the show reflects both the desire of Cornell’s apple curator Philip Forsline who has traveled the world to rescue fast-disappearing varieties, and the work of Dr. Susan Brown, one of only three apple breeders in the country inventing new apples for mass production.
Rath’s porcelain sculptures allude to the odd forms and luminescent hues of little-known and endangered varieties, while large-scale photographic portraits document newly manufactured hybrid trees. These artifacts are designed to investigate diversity at a molecular level and human intervention in the natural world.
Jessica Rath received the Center for Cultural Innovation’s Investing in Artist grant for her work, take me to the apple breeder, and was visiting artist faculty at California Institute of the Arts in 2011 and 2012. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.