The Future Looks like Heaven - Part 1
Laura Stein

The Future Looks Like Heaven – Part 1 was conceived as a dystopian love letter to the planet. In it, the artist gazes longingly at natural vistas, in which all of the images have been rotated 90 degrees.  Participants in this world are forced to accept that human intervention has caused the horizon to run vertically, a simple shift in perspective that provokes a strong visceral response towards a new, dystopian reality. The images run from banal to majestic, linked only by recurring spatial beauty and this simple shift, that becomes a subtle yet persistent, nagging reminder of peril. In making this work, the artist experienced the locations first-hand, an important detail, after being cooped up in her NYC apartment during pandemic lockdown. The tight physical confines of space in that prolonged period provoked a longing to use her peripheral vision, to breathe and to feel scale and humanity’s as well as her own place in this broader reality. A reality outside.

The resulting series of landscape photographs are printed on raw linen, some with a light wash of paint, giving the works an aged patina. Some images are frayed, layered and digitally intervened with. Others are cropped and fragmented snippets of the larger works. There are several images of an owl. Is it an oracle, an observer, simply an inhabitant, or an amalgam of them all? As the viewer scans the landscapes, the owl meets her gaze, and in a final, enigmatic and deliberately unfinished piece, turns its back on us.

About the Artist:

Throughout her career, Laura Stein has exhibited both nationally and internationally. She has been in over 80 group exhibitions including Aldrich Museum, the New Museum and RISD Art Museum. She has had 9 solo shows, an interactive installation at PS1 | MoMA, and completed several public projects. Her work is represented in numerous private, museum, and corporate collections including MOCA/LA, Disney, and The Broad.

For more information on Laura and her work visit her website and follow her on Instagram.

About the Performance Artist: 

Carola Dertnig is an Artist who is interested in upturning and overwriting aspects of performance art history through strategies of feminist historical revisionism, including imaginative reconceptualization and performative interventions with existing documentation. Dertnig lives and works in Vienna. Since 2006 she is a Professor for Performative Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She was a participant in the 1997 Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York, and has been teaching as a Guest professor at Cal ARTS in Los Angeles. Dertnig’s work  has appeared in exhibitions like P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Artists Space, New York, Museum of Modern Art  New York and the Secession, and the MUMOK in Vienna. 2006.

For more information on Carola and her work visit her website.



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