Curated by 2019-2020 Kenan Graduate Arts Fellow Cassandra Klos

We have entered the era of the Anthropocene: a geological age denoted by human engagement with the environment becoming the dominant force behind geological, oceanic, and atmospheric change. As the ramifications of our treatment of the planet become ever more visible, many are reckoning with the spectre of drastic changes to life as we currently live it. As wider climactic variation grows more severe and unpredictable, humans will need to hone diverse techniques for persisting in such harsh environments. As a species, we seem to have three options to deal with such consequences – continue our current path without intervention, learn to adapt our use of natural resources and our relationship with the planet, or leave Earth behind for good.

From communities living in the Arctic tundra, to Mars simulation sites, to Afrofuturist utopias, artists have begun to document and envision humans as they live in the variety of technological and sustainable environments that exist far from our comfortable norms here at Duke University. Each artist featured in “Existence on the Periphery” examines a different direction in our Anthropocene narrative, leading us to contend with the diverse mechanisms for which humans already exist within the severity of climate change.

Exhibiting Artists

On display in the Keohane-Kenan Gallery
February 17th-March 29th, 2020
David Alabo
Janet Biggs
Allison Cekala
Acacia Johnson
Cassandra Klos

Film Screening
Rubenstein Art Center
February 24th, 2020 6-9pm
Shorts by Allison Cekala and Janet Biggs
Feature: Behemoth (directed by Zhao Liang, 2015, 95 mins)

Opening panel & Reception
February 20, 2020
Ahmadieh Family Conference Room
West Duke Building