Anthropocene Outpost: Stories of the Future

Artworks by Zachary Skinner
Rockland Center for the Arts
March 8 – April 19, 2020
Opening Reception:  Sun, March 8 2:00-5:00pm
Free to the Public

Anthropocene Outpost presents depictions of human encounters with a damaged post-industrial landscape. Zachary Skinner exhibits a selection of paintings and sculptures that depict the dystopian point of view of a nomadic lifestyle while roaming an environmentally-ravaged Earth. He documents the fictional journey of a sojourner of this new world who has evolved a more symbiotic connection to the ruined landscape, and the accompanying encounters along the way.

The nomad’s story is humanity’s future story. Its source material is based on current scientific findings about our present-day Earth and the impending threats to our existence from the effects of unbridled Climate Change. Skinner’s work reflects his interest in the increasingly violent weather caused by our warming Climate Change, geoengineering, and the Anthropocene landscape.

Skinner devises a vision of a nomadic survival shelter/meditation hut, with live plants cultivated by imaginative techniques. Solar power is generated through gallery windows. The neo-medieval machine blurs the line between artist, geoengineer, and backyard tinkerer. The purpose of these works is to usefully promote survival, such as reflecting sunlight, capturing solar and wind energy, and collecting water. They also evoke outdoor leisure activities, and the nomadic survivalist lifestyle. The created space contemplates our own interdependence (or lack of) with the land.

Paintings depict scenarios of daily life in a post-damaged landscape, where simplified technologies are used to interact with the elements. In grappling with the relevance of the modern landscape, Skinner’s works flow freely between authenticity and parody, toying with fetishized forms and flatness, contrasting the romantic sublime and the post-apocalyptic, invention and destruction.

Skinner’s paintings are grounded in scientific realities about our present-day environment and impending threats to our existence on Earth. The boundary between our real space and this illusory world is blurred. His primary concerns are the need to confront Climate Change, the polluting of our land, resource wars and the displacement of disenfranchised peoples and whole ecosystems in the name of progress. He confronts these serious ecological issues with humor and playfulness. Using camping as an indirect inspiration, he invokes one of the last cultural rituals to request us to bring only what we need, cultivate  self-reliance, and promote a stewardship of the shared wilderness.

Skinner has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Matteawan Gallery, Beacon, NY; Betty Rymer Gallery, Chicago, IL; and Onondaga Community College Syracuse, NY.  He has also exhibited at the Theo Ganz Studio Gallery, Beacon, NY; Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL; The Great Room, New York University, NY; and Tibet House US Gallery, New York, NY.  He has been awarded residencies at Jentel Artist Residency Program Banner, WY; I-Park Artists Residency, East Haddam, CT; and Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Ithaca, NY.

We invite you to join us for an Artist’s Opening Reception on Sunday, March 8, 2 – 5 p.m.  Anthropocene Outpost  is on view March 8 – April 19.  Opening the same day are exhibits: Perspectives, art focusing on the cultural identity and autobiographical storytelling by and You Are Here, artists visually representing an aspect of their life stories. Free to the general public. For more information contact: Rockland Center for the Arts, 845-358-0877, info@rocklandartcenter.org or visit www.rocklandartcenter.org. Rockland Center for the Arts is located at 27 S Greenbush Rd., West Nyack, NY 10994.  Gallery hours are:  Mon-Fri 10-4; Sat and Sun 1-4pm.