A global, interdisciplinary collective of artists, architects and researchers is collaborating with local students and others and presents its findings in the exhibition sub-merging: a wetland project, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art through Dec. 3.
Known as spurse, the group was invited to the IMA to use the future IMA Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park as the source for its project. Spurse members took on the roles of nonconventional researchers, collaborating with local students and scientists to experiment with and document the ecosystems of the museum, its grounds and visitors. Their investigations are presented in maps of insect colonies on the museum walls, microscopy of bacteria found on site and self-guided tours of the human body. In addition, spurse is working with local volunteers to create experimental gardens on the IMA grounds that relate to the site’s history and ecology. Much of this work will be incorporated into spurse’s laboratory, The Center for the Study of the Collective, housed on the third-floor balcony of the museum.
Visitors will be able to experience spurse’s work as it unfolds, as research sited in the laboratory, as downloadable audio guides and as alternative label texts in many museum galleries. The spurse Center for the Study of the Collective lab will be used by collaborators over the course of the exhibition. Visitors can see the spurse gardens in the Art & Nature Park area, including the Garden of Historical Surrender (planted by volunteers), the Aleph Garden (of fungi) and the Entropy Garden “in Memoriam of R. Smithson,” a found embankment that resembles earthworks in Smithson’s artistic tradition.
Rebecca Uchill, assistant curator of contemporary art, will lead a curator’s choice tour of the exhibition and gardens at 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 2. Other programs in conjunction with the exhibition will continue throughout the summer and fall. For information call 317-923-1331 or visit www.ima-art.org.