Animal Land is a visual metaphor for wildlife in the Anthropocene era, an unfolding narrative that wavers between displacement, reintroduction and loss.
Collaborators Lauren Strohacker and Kendra Sollars re-imagine traditional wildlife encounters in a contemporary format – through technology in an urban space with human inhabitants. Indoor and outdoor video projections generate synthetic animals, native to each geographical location, that are completely decontextualized. Void of natural environment, sound, and color, they are activated and influenced by the built environment and human interaction. Both real and imaginary interactions with animals influence human perceptions
of cohabitation vs. conflict, a dichotomy that ultimately determines the fate of native species in the wake of human expansion.
Strohacker and Sollars are responding to the current and rapid loss of biodiversity and investigating a future where genuine interactions between humans and non-human animals may not exist.
Lauren Strohacker & Kendra Sollars
Lauren Strohacker and Kendra Sollars are both Arizona-based artists. Strohacker, born in Ohio, examines the ever-growing conflict between humans and animals as our manufactured environments (physical and economical) expand into natural habitats. Strohacker’s cross-medium,
multi-disciplinary practice routinely consults and collaborates with both local and national wildlife conservation organizations. Conceptually, she emphasizes wildlife and biodiversity within the larger contexts of ecology, conservation, and politics. She received a BFA from The Ohio State University and an MFA from Arizona State University. Sollars, an Arizona native, draws on her experience as a National Championship winning collegiate synchronized swimmer, coach and choreographer, and artist/athlete in the production of Cirque du Soleil’s O. Sollars received a BA in Art from The Ohio State University and explores narrative through video, photography, performance, and installation.
The artists’ collaborative project Animal Land was awarded a 2014 Contemporary Forum Emerging Artist Grant by the Phoenix Art Museum and a 2015 Artist Research & Development Grant by the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Animal Land has been exhibited at the Mesa Arts Center as part of IN FLUX cycle 5, Phoenix Art Museum’s Emerging Artist Exhibition and at the Tucson Art Museum as part of the 2015 Arizona Biennial. Strohacker and Sollars presented Animal Land as part of the prestigious Iris Nights lecture series at the Annenberg Space for Photography in 2016. Animal Land debuted it’s most expansive public installation to date at the University of California Los Angeles in conjunction with the Earth Now: Earth 2050 symposium (2016) and the launch of UCLA’s Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS). Animal Land has been published nationally, most notably by LENS Magazine (2016), and the Los Angeles Times (2016).
“Strohacker and Sollars’s collaboration is meant to confront in any number of registers, be they aesthetic, socio-political, environmental, etc. The Animal Land Project makes Strohacker and Sollars two of our best pictorial historians of animal presence as well as the present contradictions of our mutually shared life-world.” Grant Vetter, Galleries Director, Arizona State University