On view through December 14, 2021.
Plain Sight DC and the EU National Institutes of Culture in Washington, DC present A Window to Europe: Through Literature and Art, a series of short exhibitions featuring eleven visual artists from the Washington, DC region who will create work in response to eleven books by European writers, as part of the 2021 Europe Readr project. In these exhibitions, Emily Fussner has created work in response to Italian writer Tiziano Fratus’ book Every Tree is a Poet, and Antonio McAfee has created work in response to Czech writer Marek Šindelka’s book Aberrant.
These exhibitions are presented in partnership with EUNIC DC, the EU Delegation to the United States, the Embassy of Italy in the United States, theItalian Cultural Institute of Washington, and the Czech Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Emily Fussner + Tiziano Fratus: Inspired by Tiziano Fratus’s Every Tree is a Poet—an exploration of the deep human bond with nature, originally published in Italian—Emily Fussner captures and refracts the dappled light of a forest floor through large-scale prints of organic matter punctuated with fragile, transparent sculptures that cast shadows of Fratus’ poetic writing. Fussner channels her playful interest in the ephemeral nature of shadows by carving out of this urban setting an immersive space that, like the ground under a dense canopy of trees, changes from one moment to the next.
Antonio McAfee + Marek Šindelka: Drawing inspiration from Aberrant by Czech author Marek Šindelka, in which a pair of friends import invasive, phytophotodermatitis plants—and suffer fatal consequences—Antonio McAfee’s installation manipulates UV and artificial light to capture and fill the space with his own photographic field of flora. Phytophotodermatitis [Phyto (plant) – photo (light) – dermatitis (inflammation of the skin)] is a phototoxic inflammation caused when fluid from various common plants touches human skin and is then exposed to UV light, which causes rashes, blisters, and burns to form. Silhouettes of these various toxic plants hang in the space; coated in a light-sensitive chemical and exposed to UV light, the panels are created from photographic transfers using a thick and bubbling gel medium that mimics the blisters caused by the toxic plants they reference. Temptingly touchable and bathed in both sunlight and manmade light, the artist asks those who engage with this work to consider the extent to which plants take advantage of human desire for self-propagation.
Plain Sight DC is located at 3218 Georgia Avenue NW.