Jennifer Rose Sciarrino: from root to lip

22 June 2019 - 10 August 2019
Opening Reception 21 June 2019 7pm


Making kin is perhaps the hardest and most urgent part.[1]

Mercer Union is delighted to present a solo exhibition by Toronto-based artist Jennifer Rose Sciarrino entitled from root to lip opening on Friday 21 June 2019.

from root to lip presents Jennifer Rose Sciarrino’s formal inquiry into the notions of entanglement and techno-organic hybridity that have long been tended to by feminist writers of critical thought and science fiction. In a series of sculptures referencing biotic matter—seeds, spores, cells, pollen, bacteria and yeast—Sciarrino interprets scientific imaging and illustration of such phenomena towards new fictions in blown glass and carved stone.

Posed at the tips of long steel armatures that twist and bend towards one another, these budding figures emerge from a low-lying platform that anchors this environment. Here, Sciarrino figures the dazzling morphology of the less-than-visible biota through shifts of scale and substance, architecting anew the relational space between human and nonhuman actors vital to a living world.

How might artistic practice approach post-anthropocentric imaginings to provide compelling alternatives to those shaped by current rhetoric surrounding the Anthropocene? Beginning with the suggestion that exchange is a promise latent in adjacency, from root to lip advocates for a distributed, entangled future that is grounded in synchronicity and co-becoming.

Installation views: from root to lip, Mercer Union, 2019. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid.

[1] Donna Haraway, “Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin.” Environmental Humanities 1 May 2015; 6 (1): 165.

Jennifer Rose Sciarrino’s sculpture, video, and installation works consider the living world through its entanglements in nature and technology. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Ruffled Follicles and a Tangled Tongue at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge (2019); and But both are sensitive, Projet Pangée, Montréal (2019). Her work has been included in exhibitions at venues including Art Museum, Toronto (2016); Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto, Mississauga (2015); Jackman Humanities Institute, Toronto (2015); Oakville Galleries (2015); Bâtiment d’art Contemporain, Genèva (2014); Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina (2014); and The Power Plant, Toronto (2011, 2013), among others. Sciarrino lives and works in Toronto, and is represented there by Daniel Faria Gallery.

Jennifer Rose Sciarrino would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country. Works in the exhibition have been produced with the support of the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

Image: Jennifer Rose Sciarrino, Ruffled Follicles and a Tangled Tongue (2019). Installation view: Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge. Courtesy the artist.