H20

October 6 through December 5, 2002

The exhibition H20 focuses on water and the human body -- water contained in our bodies and water that contains our bodies, actual ponds and rivers, as well as bodies of water that populate our dreams, reveries and imaginations. Water is the natural element of artistic contemplation. In this exhibition, artists working in various media explore our deeply ambivalent attitudes toward the element which is both the major component of our bodies and the site of our origins. The act of drinking a glass of water is offered as an example of the simplest, most naturally life-affirming thing for a human being to do. But water is not only a substance that is drunk, it is a substance which drinks: the surface of water is a metaphor for reflection, inspiration, contemplation - a window on to the soul, or conversely a pool of narcissistic self-absorption deep enough to drown in. It is a medium of purification, restoration, relaxation, and recreation. Water is the archetype of the unconscious, the eternal fantasy/memory displacement of dreams, the ocean voyage or the discovery of the hidden spring, the matrix of rebirth and renewal. But, the changeability of water can be terrifying, overwhelming; it can threaten engulfment or contamination. Water shortage and pollution are our most pressing contemporary ecological concerns.