The Corsicana art space Anteroom and Dallas’ Sweet Pass Sculpture Park are co-hosting The Staff of Asclepias through August 1. Artist Erik DeLuca’s social and environmental exhibition serves as part of his stay at 100W, the Corsicana artist & writer residency. From Rhode Island, DeLuca is fascinated by Texas’ state insect, the monarch butterfly. Collaborating with the Corsicana community, SMU’s Pollock Gallery, publishing initiative and space RISO BAR, Anteroom and Sweet Pass, DeLuca created way stations for the butterflies’ migration north from Mexico.
The exhibition is composed of milkweed plants (the monarch caterpillar’s exclusive food), as well as a rendition of the song Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof playing at dusk and dawn. The exhibition at Sweet Pass Sculpture Park includes some 300 of the plants raised by the artist, which he invited people to plant at the park in early June in accordance with social distancing measures. The milkweed garden is accompanied by a time-based light and sound installation that plays daily at sunrise and sunset. The exhibition includes the same rendition of the song at Anteroom and a 100-plus-foot horizontal white LED light sculpture suspended above the ground invoking the staff of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. The north-south line of the light sculpture gestures toward the monarchs’ migratory path from Mexico to Canada. The window gallery at Anteroom hosts the plants lit by a magenta grow light, and viewers are encouraged to view the work from a safe distance or by appointment.
The Staff of Asclepias is ambitious in both scale and impact. It engages with questions of migration and the powerful indirect interactions that can control entire ecosystems. DeLuca’s endeavor to place nature’s patterns at the center of his work offers a new possibility of solidarity, as he dedicates his practice to the service and understanding of vital non-human networks.”
Anteroom is located at 411 N. Beaton Street in Corsicana (75110). The exhibit is on view through the front window. For updates, visit Anteroom’s website.