Altering Nature
Pictures of a Changing Environment

Tracey Morgan Gallery

Curated by Diana C. Stoll

Altering Nature: Pictures of a Changing Environment is a visual story about humans’ evolving relationship to the environment, told through the eyes of nine photographers. 

Emmet Gowin’s taxonomic project Mariposas Nocturnas considers the seemingly infinite variety and beauty of insects, while his son Elijah Gowin records the abstracted trajectories of soaring fireflies—both Gowins are examining the threat posed by deforestation and development. Christina Seely offers gemlike daguerreotypes of vanishing species. Dornith Doherty photographs the ghostly shapes of coyotes visiting her suburban backyard, and looks at seedbanks all over the world, suggesting a future in which parts of nature survive only in the form of archive. An alternate dystopia is proposed by Marcus DeSieno: the possibility that our visual understanding of the environment will one day be drawn entirely through the lens of the surveillance camera. Victoria Sambunaris explores the workings of industry by seafaring vessels, while the “apocalyptic sublime” is investigated in Paolo Pellegrin’s painterly panoramas of terrains ravaged by coal mining, and in David Maisel’s aerial explorations of toxic landscapes. In a metaphysical plot twist, Ron Tarver’s photographs of majestic planetary orbs are revealed to be microscopic grains of sand. 

The works in this exhibition cover a range of techniques and media—from daguerreotypes to camera-trap video, cameraless imagery, and lenticular prints. Together, the images in Altering Nature offer a disquieting and urgent message about humans’ role in the past, present, and future of the environment. 

Tracey Morgan Gallery
188 Coxe Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

November 7–December 22, 2018
RECEPTION Saturday, November 10, 4:30–6:30pm