The human lens through which we experience the world is an inescapable circumstance. It compels one to see the world in relation to the self. Though our bodies are animal in nature, we perceive our minds as not, resulting in an irresolvable conflict that epitomizes the human condition. Scientific inquiry of our physical substance shows we don’t completely understand the human body. New research on microbes found in the human body reveals that humanity depends on a rich biodiversity of other living organisms.
We are currently living in a geological age referred to as the anthropocene. In this new age humans are potentially having more effect on the earth than ever before, relative to natural forces. Biodiversity is crashing at an alarming rate and we are left to figure out which species are important to preserve. We are gardening the wilderness, deciding how much to leave, where to leave it, and for what reason.
The work I make is a memento mori – a reminder of mortality – yet it serves as an expression of universal connectivity. In my art I want to lead the viewer to a place where the reflection of self can have a terrifying beauty and an ethereal sensation, a place where the familiar becomes unfamiliar, a place where we ponder the beauty of the world and recognize our inseparable connection to it.
— Elaine Quave