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River Rail Colby Issue
River Rail

Works in the Exhibition

Featuring Lauren Bon, Katherine Bradford, David Brooks, Mel Chin, Mark Dion, Justin Brice Guariglia, Maya Lin, Alexis Rockman, Clifford Ross, Allyson Vieira, and Meg Webster.

Occupy Colby is part of the ongoing exhibit Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale That Society Has the Capacity to Destroy, initiated in 2017 at Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, and featuring artists whose works invoke contemporary political and social issues such as human rights and equality, immigration, foreign relations, and the environment. This second iteration at the Colby Museum focuses solely on environmental issues and climate change—perhaps the most alarming concern of our current condition—especially after the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, which within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) was created to mediate greenhouse gas emissions that have a direct effect on global warming. The aim of this exhibit is to amplify the urgency of artists’ visions. By working through various media, materials, and scales, they offer direct and indirect responses to their manmade and natural surroundings; how both must co-exist with heightened awareness of the fragility of our planet earth.

An integral part of the motivation of Rail Curatorial Projects is to create productive dialogues and collaboration between artists, institutions, and communities alike. Teachers and students from different disciplines at Colby College came together with the Brooklyn Rail to produce public programming, including panel discussions and other conversations and performances, that we present here in this special issue of the River Rail.

In conjunction with this exhibition, Phong Bui and Francesca Pietropaolo have curated an official Collateral Event for the 2019 Venice Biennale with a similar focus on climate change and global warming, Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale That Society Has the Capacity to Destroy: Mare Nostrum at the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Penitenti, on view through November 24, 2019.

Curated by Phong Bui





Works in the Exhibition


Lauren Bon, Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale That Society Has the Capacity to Destroy, 2019. Glass neon, metal brackets. 41 x 97 x 2 ½ in. Courtesy the artist and Metabolic Studio, Los Angeles.

Lauren Bon, Honey Chandelier, 2007. Honey acquired from war-torn countries around the world (2001–7). Collected jars, wire, burlap, hessian, light bulbs. 60 × 48 × 40 in. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Joshua White.

Lauren Bon, Honey Helmet, 2018. Soldier’s helmet and beehive in artist’s vitrine. 32 × 19 × 19 ¼ in. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Joshua White.

Katherine Bradford, Sargasso, 2012. Oil on canvas. 56 x 66 x 2 in. Collection of Beth Lee and Adam Lloyd Beckerman. Courtesy the artist.

David Brooks, Imbroglios (a phylogenetic tree, from Homo sapiens to Megalops atlanticus), 2012. Fiberglass gelcoat, MDF, pencil, hardware. 60 x 144 x 252 in. Courtesy the artist.


Mel Chin, L’Arctique est Paris, 2016. Video, 6 min., 36 sec. Courtesy the artist and Helen K. Nagge.

Mel Chin, Bird is the Word, North Carolina Variation, 2019. Webster’s Third International Dictionary, beeswax, wood. 11 ¼ x 7 ¼ x 5 ½ in. Courtesy the artist and Helen K. Nagge. Photo: John Lucas.

Mark Dion, After Den, 2012/2017. Diorama model of existing public installation, mixed media. 49 × 61 × 57 in. Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York/Los Angeles.

Justin Brice Guariglia, We Are the Asteroid I, 2018. Text, sandblasted solarpowered LED message board, gilded with 23.75 K rosenoble gold. 186 x 138 x 159 in. Courtesy the artist.

Justin Brice Guariglia, BAKED ALASKA, 2018. UV acrylic inkjet print, six high-density polystyrene panels, epoxy, hand-carved text, polystyrene chips. 96 x 192 x 1 ¾ in. Anchorage Museum Collection. Photo: Luc Demers.

Maya Lin, Interrupted River: Penobscot, 2019. Glass marbles, adhesive. 288 x 264 x 58 in. Courtesy the artist. Rendering of Interrupted River: Penobscot

Alexis Rockman, Disney World I, 2005. Oil on wood. 72 x 84 in. Collection of Beth Rudin DeWoody. © 2019 Alexis Rockman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York.

Alexis Rockman, East 82nd Street, 2007. Oil on wood. 80 x 68 in. Collection of Timothy A. Pappas, courtesy of Hamilton Arts, Inc. © 2019 Alexis Rockman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York.

Clifford Ross, Hurricane LXVII, 2013. Archival pigment print. 59 x 112 5/8 in. Courtesy the artist and RYAN LEE gallery.

Allyson Vieira, Happy Home Town, Happy Home Land, 2018. Styrofoam, plastic bags, resin. 64 x 46 ½ x 8 ½ in. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Genevieve Hanson.

Allyson Vieira, Get Shot, Got Shot, Give Shot, 2018. Styrofoam, plastic bags, resin. 63 ½ x 47 ½ x 7 ¼ in. Courtesy the artist.

Allyson Vieira, <em>Orange to Green</em>, 2018. Styrofoam, plastic bags, spray paint, high-visibility vest, resin. 64 x 47 ½ x 5 ¾ in. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Genevieve Hanson.
Allyson Vieira, Orange to Green, 2018. Styrofoam, plastic bags, spray paint, high-visibility vest, resin. 64 x 47 ½ x 5 ¾ in. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Genevieve Hanson.

Allyson Vieira, Domestic Waste, 2018. Styrofoam, plastic bags, resin. 41 ½ x 66 ¼ x 5 ¾ in. Courtesy the artist.

Meg Webster, Mother Mound Salt, 2016. Salt. Approx. 42 × 114 in. diameter © Meg Webster. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert.

Meg Webster, Polished Stainless Steel for Reflecting Outstretched Arms, 2012. Mirror-polished stainless steel. 72 × 53 in. © Meg Webster. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert.

Meg Webster, Bear, 2008. Electronic images of polar bears gathered from the Internet. 7 3/8 × 9 ¼ × 1 3/8 in. Edition of 3, 2 APs. © Meg Webster. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

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