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Explorations: Science Sculptures by Christina Lorena Weisner
February 7 – July 28, 2019
We must always begin by asking questions, not by giving answers. Science is the opposite of knowledge. —Physicist Victor Weisskopf
Sculptor Christina Lorena Weisner finds and repurposes objects originally designed and fabricated as scientific instruments in order to explore complex relationships between objects, humans, and the natural environment. While doing so, she draws parallels between the vast and the microscopic, the subjective and the objective, the organic and the technological. Her work invites viewers to consider the deep geological time of water, rocks, and the landscape and to reflect on the more fleeting existence of living beings through objects, technology, and the process of discovery.
The formal attributes of the original instruments—their utilitarian colors and simplified shapes imposed by their intended functions—are as important as maintaining connections with their original uses. Both are incorporated into the new objects they become when Weisner reuses them to make her art. A gathering of seismometers, for example, continues to respond to faint vibrations and distant tremors, but the arrangement of thick glass hemispheres (dictated by the need to withstand tremendous pressures at ocean depths) may now conjure up completely different associations, such as altars, offerings, or musical instruments—the latter underscored whenever the sculpture rings in response to a far-off earthquake.
Scientific objects inevitably refer to the processes of the scientific method. Both art and scientific experimentation are rooted in setting up situations through which one seeks to better understand the nature of reality. The scientific instruments Weisner has worked with are vehicles to reach a better understanding of complex natural phenomena such as tectonic shifts, meteorite strikes, or the flow of rivers. While her process is methodical, her work encourages inquiry that is necessarily inconclusive and open-ended for she is not concerned with reaching concrete conclusions or proposing answers so much as suggesting questions that may generate platforms for cross-disciplinary modes of thinking and possibility.
Christina Lorena Weisner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the College of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Bachelor of Arts in World Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Ceramics from the University of Texas at Austin.