After ROA placed one of our favorite street pieces of the year (do we rank things like this now?) in Chicago, the Belgian artist, although we assume he hasn't seen his own bed in years, is back in San Francisco for an installation and exhibition at 941 Geary. Dominant Species is his latest body of work created directly after his road trip from the East to the West of America.
Here is a little background on the exhibition:
Driving through the states he experienced and observed a diversity of habitats and species, including the American eagle, the historic symbol of imperialism. Even the icon of the American country is endangered by nature’s most combative intruder: humans. “Dominant Species” refers to humanity aside the history of the States, from the Spanish conquest that consequentially, and brutally, changed the native life up to the contemporary human invasion of the landscape. Travelling throughout the tragically magical landscape of Northern Arizona, ROA was fascinated by the illustrative examples of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, seen in the paradox of the harmony of the Navajo with Mother Earth alongside the chaos of commercial feed lots, bear hunting, and landfills.
ROA’s site-specific process gives his art the ability to conform to the dimensions of a space and grow from within it, and 941 Geary will be entirely used by the artist to create his installation. “Dominant Species” will be constructed from found objects and salvaged materials, with the large-scale installation guided by a dystopian narrative and ideas of how civilization can run down the land it grew from. Aging wood, rusting metal and skeletal remains come together to remind us of the interrelated workings of our manmade cities and the natural world, with ROA’s mastery of anatomical form and beautiful renderings making these discarded objects something to value anew.
September 15—November 3, 2012