• June 26, 2022
 ‘Ethics, Excess, Extinction’ Exhibition Opens Friday at El Paso Museum of Art

Nick Brandt (English, b. 1964) Line of Rangers with Tusks of Killed Elephants, Amboseli, 2011 Archival pigment print Courtesy of Art Works for Change for the Ethics, Excess and Extinction exhibition

‘Ethics, Excess, Extinction’ Exhibition Opens Friday at El Paso Museum of Art

A new exhibit at the El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) explores the reality of endangered animals via contemporary art.

The exhibition Ethics, Excess, Extinction, explores ways humans affect the animal world through themes ranging from poaching to pollution to consumerism, opens Friday, January 26.

“Notably, while Ethics approaches a sensitive issue, together the artworks in the exhibition weave a visually compelling tapestry encouraging us to rethink and engage with the problem in new ways,” said El Paso Museum of Art Senior Curator Dr. Patrick Shaw Cable.

EPMA officials add, “At a time when science teaches us more than ever about the interconnectedness of the global environment, these artists remind residents of our intimate connections with animals, as well as our complicity in their suffering.”

The international array of artists includes several Americans such as Kiki Smith, Chris Jordan, and Esther Traugot, who variously used poetry, pathos, and sometimes the grotesque to evoke the plight of threatened species.

The EPMA will enrich the Ethics, Excess, Extinction exhibition through several educational programs and available merchandise in the museum store. The store will offer a book featuring the work of major artist Kiki Smith, earth-friendly solar lights by Solight Designs, and postcards.

On February 1, the EPMA will host an Educator Evening inviting teachers to enhance their curriculum through workshops and tours of the exhibition.

The EPMA’s special Family Day on April 14 will spotlight art by animals from the El Paso Zoo, created in conjunction with the Zoo’s Animal Enrichment Program.

Ethics, Excess, Extinction was organized by Art Works for Change and curated by Randy Jayne Rosenberg. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The exhibit runs through May.

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1 Comment

  • When we think about animals threatened by extinction, what we’re really thinking about is how those animals benefit us. On the other hand, when we show concern about cruel and unnecessary loss of animal life, whether for food, clothing, or luxurious appurtenances, irrespective of whether those animals are members of an endangered species, then we are operating on a much higher ethical plane, showing concern for others and not just for ourselves. This is what the late humanitarian, theologian, and physician Albert Schweitzer had in mind when he coined the term “Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben,” suboptimally translated as “reverence for life.”

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