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Figuring the Anthroscene


Tue 14 May 2019, 12:00pm–5:00pm
Wed 15 May 2019, 12:00pm–5:00pm
Thu 16 May 2019, 12:00pm–5:00pm
Fri 17 May 2019, 12:00pm–5:00pm
Sat 18 May 2019, 11:00am–3:00pm

Where: Black Asterisk, 10 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


Listed by: MrBroughton

"When humans look back, the Anthropocene will probably represent one of the six biggest extinction in our planet's history." - Environmental scientist Will Steffen

'Figuring the Anthroscene' is Catherine Manchester’s new exhibition at the Asterisk. The title and works themselves refer to the geological time period that has seen humans altering the landscape and climate. Following Leon van den Eijkel’s joyful exhibition 'Listening to the Future', Black Asterisk is offering an exhibition which looks at the future in a more sobering angle.

The term Anthroscene is a more user-friendly version of the term Anthropocene denotes the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment. Some geologists argue that this epoch began with the Industrial revolution, while others believe that there is no clear-cut evidence to back the claim of a new epoch.

Similarly, some scientific researchers claim that permanent damage has been done, while environmentalists believe there is a chance to establish a sustainable civilisation and cede some of our territory back to other species. Manchester’ works have a soft, mysteriousness to them as though matching the confusion in the scientific debate.

Manchester supposes, perhaps we got into such trouble by our innate tendency of human psychology to see things in our own image or anthropomorphism. Humans have been shapers, thinkers, dreamers, disrupters, dwellers, occupiers and visitors.

Her work 'Honeymoon Stranding' refers to humans comparatively late arrival in geographic terms. She believes this is humans ‘honeymoon’ stage of life, which does not bode well for the rest of the relationship!

While figures populate the paintings, prehistoric lizards also make their presence known, such as in 'Homeworld/ Fire and Water', a title inspired by George Griffiths science fiction work which seeks to shine light on the miraculous beginnings of life.

‘Substantial interdisciplinary evidence suggests that the planet is being dramatically sculpted by our species, and that much of the damage done is already irreversible.’ The global rate of extinction has accelerated at an undeniable rate, and biodiversity is reduced everywhere that humans travel.

The exhibition follows from her earlier series 'Model Habitats' which was about intervention and human designs on the environment.

“It’s not possible to reverse the damage we’ve done… We are undoubtedly exterminating species at a speed which has never been known before.”- David Attenborough.

Join us on Saturday 27 April at 2pm-4pm for an opening event of Figuring the Anthroscene, as well as The Medium- a solo show by Kate Rampling, In the Blue- a solo show by Max Thomson, and a mini show of our exhibit at the Auckland Art Fair!

'It's Them Or Us' (detail), Catherine Manchester, 2016. Oil on canvas. 1220 x 760 mm

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