Ecological Looking: Sustainability & the End(s) of the Earth

Katz Gallery

David Em (American, born 1952), Transjovian Pipeline, 1979, Dye destruction print (Cibachrome) of computer monitor display. Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Gift of David and Michele Em, 2008.8. Courtesy of the artist

Join Jacob Leveton, Art History PhD student and curator of Ecological Looking: Sustainability & the End(s) of the Earth, for an in-gallery conversation that will bring together art historical, scientific, and activist perspectives. Wednesday, October 22 at 5pm.


Ecological Looking: Sustainability & the End(s) of the Earth, curated by Jacob Leveton, a doctoral student in Art History (WCAS ’17), brings together a selection of artworks and photographs representing industry—mining, agriculture, oil extraction and refining—and the various ways the earth’s resources are used as a means to many ends. Combining diverse works of art from Northwestern collections, from 19th century photographs to 20th century prints, with quotes from critical thinkers and writers, it provides an interpretive framework to consider the impact industrial practices have had on the planet.

Although most of the works were not created intentionally as environmental critiques, through the artworks and photographs the exhibition asks viewers to consider and question the broader logic underpinning the domination of nature by humans and machines as seen through the eyes of artists.

The exhibition is drawn from artworks and photographs from the collections of the Block Museum of Art and the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies, Northwestern University Library. Support for exhibitions in the Katz Gallery is provided by Ellen Philips Katz and Howard C. Katz, the Norton S. Walbridge Fund, and contributors to the Annual Fund.