The Birth of a New Eden

SPRING/BREAK Art Show NYC, Booth 1111, September 8-13, 2021

Images by Samuel Morgan Photography.

One of the first stories of the Bible is about the Garden of Eden, a paradise full of prosperous plants and wildlife well suited for a comfortable existence. Famously, Eve foolishly listened to the serpent which tricked her into eating an apple from the tree of knowledge, which God had previously forbidden her and Adam from eating. This sin changed the meaning of life going forward for Adam and Eve and for all humanity. What God expected was that Adam and Eve wouldn’t become curious and gain knowledge about the space they were inhabiting. The Garden of Eden veiled the true scope of existence just like today’s political climate has with its 140 character hot takes and rush to opinions, masking the truth behind respective ideologies.

As expected, with curiosity and the acquisition of knowledge, humans are bound to believe in different ideas and engage in disagreements. The United States’s political stances are extremely polarizing with religion and politics becoming intertwined and muddied in recent years with the word of the Bible entering bills, speeches and resulting in prayer before public officials conduct their business. Many people have taken religious ideas out of context to support a political ideology, and any opposition is seen as anti-religious. 

It is clear that we are not living in any facade of Eden as God intended at the time of creation. The Eden that God created is not the best representation of human ideologies, rather it is a sort of paradox; a paradise with a hidden tree of knowledge that inherently destroys paradise. The Birth of a New Eden is an explorative collaboration by artists Anne Muntges and Kate Bae who will design a space as a melodic ode to the Garden of Eden’s deceptive alternate reality. Muntges and Bae will create a framework for a new Eden fully within their creative control; just as they create the structure for this environment, they also exercise the power to break these boundaries by their own hands as opposed to the demand of a higher power or a persuasive elected official preaching misinformation. 

Anne Muntges (b. Denver, Colorado) insists that nothing is real until she has explored an object by means of her pen. Primarily using objects collected from her environment, Muntges must encase an object in her handmade marks in order to wholly understand its body and form within a space. Muntges blends the 2D and 3D, often using graphite and pen, printmaking techniques and the occasional inclusion of paint. Each 3D object is primed in white to create a blank surface for her pen to explore and create a drawn sculpture. Each drawn sculpture, comprised of furniture, plants, rocks and more, must be completely covered in her obsessive markings and then placed within her own imagined environment, completely transforming the object’s meaning and existence within space.

Kate Bae (b. Busan, Korea) explores themes surrounding her Korean background, identity, and peace to create works that are both paintings and sculptures, yet neither at the same time. Bae pours acrylic paint into casts and peels them like skin, rather than painting, forming them into handmade flowers. By doing this, the paint exists only as material. Bae is able to observe her own psychological and physical boundaries as an immigrant and reinterpret her experiences within her work. Her floral works represent nature but also form a system of communication that help Bae make sense of her disconnect and displacement between her home country and the United States, which was forced to be her home at a young age. This sort of internal fracture between her identity and history directly translates to her practice and her own self-awareness within a broken space. She is consistently trying to piece together her identity while navigating an extremely influential environment.

Both Muntges and Bae use their practices to reject the world outside of their safe spaces, finding ritual in building a greater environment than their true reality. This space will include elements of sound in order to physically pierce the body with natural vibrations and to feel the liveliness of their own existence and energies. The Garden of Eden could not properly serve curious Eve and our current political climate does not serve Muntges or Bae. The Birth of a New Eden is an environment that feels familiar in form yet tricks the eye with the particular elements of unnatural material in natural form. This will not be the Eden of God’s intent nor will it be the polarizing, America of misinformation that exists today; it will be a space with manipulated matter and vibrating energy.

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