On Tuesday August 25, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. Joseph Gallivan interviews Malia PRONOUNCED LIKE MARIA] Jensen about her show Eremocene [PRONOUNCED AIR-MO-SEEN] which is at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery through September 26, 2020. Jensen talks about carving salt licks into human forms and spreading them across Oregon where they were changed by animals and the weather. She also discusses the videos she captured of the wildlife, converting the salt sculptures into kiln-fired glass objects, and how the coming loneliness of the Eremocene period relates to the “lonely together” feeling of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Eremocene is on view at Elizabeth Leach Gallery through September 26. It is the culmination of Jensen’s “Nearer Nature: Worth Your Salt” project.
Jensen is currently working on a collaborative drawing project called Exquisite Scrolls which she calls “a love-raising project disguised as a fundraiser” for her alma mater PNCA.
She recently partnered with the Portland Art Museum to make the 6-hour, animal surveillance-based video Worth Your Salt available streaming 24/7 until November 7. See the museum’s "current exhibition" page.
“The sensual satisfaction of making everything is part of what drives me, and I’m not against some measures of seduction [...] My aim is to make connections and exchanges of ideas and feeling.”
— MALIA JENSEN, INTERVIEW EXCERPT WITH RACHEL ROSENFIELD LAFO, SCULPTURE MAGAZINE, JULY/AUGUST 2019
FROM THE PRESS RELEASE
Malia Jensen’s multimedia art practice focuses on natural cycles, the human form and connections with nature. Her works are often visual metaphors that encourage multiple readings from the viewer. The title Eremocene references philosopher and biologist E.O. Wilson’s theory about humankind’s impending “Age of Loneliness” after the rapid decline of the planet’s biodiversity, and Jensen’s related themes of erasure and transformation in this body of work.
This exhibition is the culmination of Jensen’s Nearer Nature: Worth Your Salt project 2019-20, in which carved salt-lick sculptures representing parts of the human form, were situated next to motion-activated cameras throughout Oregon’s wilderness. Video footage captured elk, bobcat, fox, birds, coyotes, mice and raccoons engaging with the salt forms or being in their proximity. Jensen created a video artwork from thousands of sequential 30-second clips of animal activity and the surrounding landscape. The six-hour video of continually rotating surveillance footage highlights mesmerizing sequences of wildlife interactions and encourages us to consider our place in the natural world.
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Joseph Gallivan has been a reporter since 1990. He has covered music for the London Independent, Technology for the New York Post, and arts and culture for the Portland Tribune, where he is currently the Business Reporter. He is the author of two novels, "Oi, Ref!" and "England All Over" which are available on Amazon.com
This show was recorded by Zoom in Portland on August 23, 2020. Malia Jensen was in her home studio in Portland.