Stemming the Tide

Jessica Straus’s gallery-sized installation, “Stemming the Tide” offers a poetic retort to the notion that “man shall have dominion over the earth”. A large-scaled map, detailing the coastal corridor running from the North Pole through Greenland and on down to Cape Cod, flows from the ceiling and pours across the gallery floor. A large school of carved “ghost” cod appear to be pulling this swath of the planet forward implying that the day will come again when they hold sway over the ocean. The only hint of human presence are the hand knotted fisherman’s nets framing the perimeter of the gallery and veiling photographic images of floating maps. There is a plea here for reconciliation with the planet and rethinking what stewardship of the land and sea might look like as we come closer and closer to painting ourselves out of the picture.