are we here for ourselves alone? - PhMuseum

are we here for ourselves alone?

Christine Atkinson

2018 - Ongoing

The aesthetic of Los Angeles has little to do with the hundreds of plants that create the native ecosystem of the county. We have long favored the imports of colonialism. Both our city tree, the coral tree, and our city flower, the bird of paradise, come from South Africa. We’ve created an urban environment that is totally dependent on imported water and human intervention, which does nothing to connect us to the place in which we live or to support our increasingly failing ecosystem. California ranks number eight on the biodiversity hotspot list, a list that ranks places of great biodiversity— 15% of which must be endemic—that have lost over 70% of the open land.

Moving between sculpture, installation and photography, I use the language of color and the objects and materials of Los Angeles to piece together a sense of place, both Pre-columbian and manufactured. Long dead giant bird of paradise leaves painted in various shades of green epoxy masquerade, as verdant, and ideal, while in contrast the dead looking branches of the encelia californica sit dormant and wait out the summer heat. Wildfire debris from the 2017 La Tuna Canyon fire- encased in epoxy and salt, act as a time capsule of drought, increasing temperature and the misuse of water.

Through my work I reexamine how we inhabit the landscape of Southern California. How did we come to a place of incredible biodiversity and find it wanting? How did we abandon the balance of the ecosystem for the sake of aesthetics? Ultimately asking, are we here for ourselves alone?

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  • “Of Paradise”
    Strelitzia Nicolai leaves, epoxy, green, yellow and black dye, clear plastic inkjet film, wildfire debris, salt, monofilament cord, black c-stands, sand bags
    8’ x 9’ x 6’
    2018

  • "Remnant/La Tuna Canyon"
    epoxy, wildfire debris, inkjet medium
    6.75” x 6.25” x 6.75”, 24"x 72"
    2018

  • “Green of Desire”
    Inkjet Print
    59” x 36”

  • "this is what you fucking wanted"
    Inkjet print and clear plastic film
    15"x 20"
    2020

  • "just paint it green"
    inkjet print and clear plastic film
    15" x 20"
    2020

  • "Of Paradise III (Los Angeles)"
    Part 2 install shot
    Strelitzia Nicolai leaves, epoxy, green, yellow and black dye, clear plastic inkjet film, monofilament cord, black c-stands, sand bags
    size variable
    2020

  • "Of Paradise III (Los Angeles)"
    Part 1 install shot
    Strelitzia Nicolai leaves, epoxy, green, yellow and black dye, clear plastic inkjet film, monofilament cord, black c-stands, sand bags
    size variable
    2020

  • “White Smoke”
    Inkjet Print
    30” x 40”
    2019

  • "Untitled"
    Inkjet Print
    20" x 12"
    2019

  • "are we here for ourselves alone? Encelia californica, host plant to two species of butterfly and moth"
    Inkjet Print
    20" x 26"
    2020

  • are we here for ourselves alone? Encelia californica (fire), host plant to two species of butterfly and moth"
    Inkjet print
    20" x 26"
    2020

  • “Of Paradise II (Los Angeles)
    Strelitzia nicolai leaves, epoxy, green, yellow, black and brown dye, half magenta Lee Cinema Gel
    100"x 156" x 96”
    2019

  • “Green of Desire II”
    Inkjet Print
    27” x 36”
    2019

  • Placerita Canyon
    42” x 24”
    Archival Print
    2019

  • Salvia apiana
    Archival Print
    42” x 63
    2020


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