Jenny Kendler’s work often exists between the fields of art and environmental activism. With a strong ecological voice, her sculptures, drawings, videos, and installations articulate urgent concerns without sacrificing the role of aesthetics in communicating through visual languages. For the exhibition Rewilding, Kendler presents a series of sculptures that bear the interventions of her hand in the name of subtle yet poignant protest: familiar porcelain bird figurines are modified and transformed in an attempt to preserve the otherwise endangered species the works refer to. For many this involves the fabrication (and decoration) of “deflector helmets”—speculative prostheses for each bird that further adapts the species’ natural camouflage. Some figurines may find refuge under a veil of wind-fallen lichen, highlighting the importance of different species working together to combat environmental erosion. Muted as they are, these sculptures yet sound the alarm and ask us to further consider the role we all play in preserving the diversity of life on planet Earth.
Jenny Kendler: Rewilding is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Steven L. Bridges, Assistant Curator. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Alan and Rebecca Ross endowed exhibition fund.