Dystopian Landscapes – new work by Professor Berel Lutsky at Gallery 2622

The work in this show—Dystopian Landscapes—was conceived and executed before the pandemic by UW-Green Bay Prof. Berel Lutsky (Art) at Gallery 2622—and was supposed to have been shown this April.

“The world has changed considerably since then, only making the title of the show that much more relevant. I am pleased to be re-opening John Korom’s Gallery 2622 and bringing back the possibility of seeing art in person vs. just on the screen. Making this possible will require a few departures from the ‘usual’. You are invited to come to Gallery 2622, at 2622 N. Wauwatosa Ave. on August 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. for a socially distant opening reception for Dystopian Landscapes.”

Necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s health will be taken and is as follows: Masks will be required to be worn by everyone. If you do not have one, one will be provided. Hand sanitizer will also be available. The outside area in front of the gallery will be used for socially distant gathering. There will be a few chairs but you may want to bring your own. Hospitality will be provided in unopened single serve containers for snacks and drinks. The number of people in the gallery will be limited to ten at a time.

To help facilitate this we are asking people to rsvp to lutskyb@uwgb.edu >subject line: Aug, 7, with a preferred time slot between 6 to 9 p.m. Times will be assigned with the goal of limiting the number of people present at any one time to twenty or so. We thank you in advance for your cooperation. If you cannot attend the opening, want to spend more time with the work, or bring someone else to see the show, Gallery 2622 is open by appointment. Please call either 414-339-5159, or 414-257-2622 to set one up.

“Most dystopian literature is based on what occurs after a catastrophic event, global war, pandemic, invasion by alien life etc. destroys society as we know it. In truth it will most likely be a more gradual, but no less awful process that will likely have the same result. Artist/Philosopher Adrian Pipers’s 2018/2019 retrospective exhibit was shaped by various iterations of the statement: “ Everything will be taken away….”.

“In her dual roles as artist and philosopher Piper uses this statement, which first appeared in her work in 2003 and is distilled from a passage by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, ‘Once you have taken everything away from a man he is no longer in your power. He is free,’ as a centering mantra.

It has appeared repeatedly mostly as ephemera, on outdoor installations, written in marker on people’s foreheads, in the gallery as photographs documenting the ephemeral instances, and poignantly repeated on large chalkboards as if written by a schoolchild who has misbehaved. A challenge, a warning, a comfort…. ? We are left to ourselves to choose, and realize upon careful consideration, that it may be all three, and more, all at once. The only certainty is that there will be change, and we should not be surprised. Much of my work for the past 30 years has been landscape based. Unlike traditional landscape it has rarely been about a place, history, or celebration of natural beauty. The images offer no escape to the pastoral, nor an idealized version of displaced nature. Instead they offer landscapes of possibilities, not all of them good ones. Unaddressed, climate change is inevitable, and if left to run its course the social order will collapse. ‘Everything will be taken away…..’. If we do wake-up in time, taking the necessary steps will also require drastic changes to how we choose to live on this earth. Everything will be taken away… however in this case to enable something new.”