The Apocalypse Project: Urban Harvest

Saturday, September 17, 2016, 6 pm

September 17 to October 14, 2016

1335Mabini presents The Apocalypse Project: Urban Harvest, a solo exhibition by Catherine Sarah Young from 17 September to 14 October 2016.

The Apocalypse Project: Urban Harvest is the latest body of work from Catherine Sarah Young’s The Apocalypse Project, an interdisciplinary platform that explores climate change and our environmental futures, which she began in 2013 during an art science residency at the Singapore-ETH Zurich Future Cities Laboratory. The project has since traveled to Manila, Seoul, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Medellin.

The exhibition imparts a new visual dialect for Young’s Apocalypse Project - one very much distinct from the informative tendencies by those that preceded it.  The Apocalypse Project as a whole is aimed at building awareness towards the global ecological crisis; it is only natural that meanings are conveyed through processes, interaction and explanations, especially when the presented in platforms such as Science museums.  The Apocalypse Project: Urban Harvest, in a contemporary art context where aesthetics takes priority over oral or written articulation, condenses countless hours of research, experimentation, and collected perspectives into a series of objects where the capacity to build awareness becomes an indirect quality of the work.  As such, greater openness to interpretations of motive and consequence enhances the ability of the artworks to inspire positive action, which is ultimately one of the valuable consequences of awareness.

In The Apocalypse Project: Urban Harvest, there are various forms including photographs, sculptures as well as soap and olfactory artworks crafted from unique saponification and distillation processes developed by the artist.

The black and white photo Earth Days recreates an iconic photograph of the first Earth Day held on April 22, 1970 in New York City, suggesting that an environmental consciousness is still needed as mankind struggles to adapt in the Anthropocene. Climate Change Couture, an ongoing series where the artist collaborates with researchers and local communities to design city-specific garments that its inhabitants might wear in possible scenarios under climate change, is also exhibited.

The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store, another ongoing series, explores the scents we could lose as the planet heats up due to climate change. T.E.M.P.S. Colombia (temps is French for time) includes a collection of eight scents that inspired the artist during her stay in Colombia. These are distilled by the artist directly from their sources or mixed from her collection of essential oils.

The Sewer Soaperie documents the artist’s research into oil and grease, specifically used cooking oil and its journey into the sewer systems of cities and how it congeals in the pipes, contributing to and worsening urban flooding as storms become stronger. Young first examined the situation of sewers and nearby river in Medellin, and then continued the project in Manila, collecting raw sewage and used cooking oil from nearby restaurants, and turning them into usable soaps.

In the three years of working on The Apocalypse Project, the artist has collaborated and communed with researchers, industries, chefs, think-tanks, museums, and local communities to produce these interactive projects that combine art and science while addressing cultural and environmental concerns through artistic expression. Public participation is also critical in her work, and she is specifically interested in children’s reactions to these projects, as they will inherit the brunt of climate change. Urban Harvest refers to the collection of raw material, memories, stories, and conversations that will arise from a planetary shift that affects us all. The intention of the project as a whole is to generate inclusive dialogue about climate change, to inspire personal stories with the environment, and to allow people to participate in these conversations of what desirable futures are about the planet that we are collectively shaping.