Official Press Release

AXIS MUNDI BRINGS THE WORK OF TWENTY-ONE ARTISTS FROM THE

USA AND CANADA TO THREE LOCATIONS IN DENVER FROM

SEPT. 16 – OCT. 7 AS PART OF DENVER’S BIENNIAL OF THE AMERICAS

New Exhibition Will Be Presented in Denver by PlatteForum and The Temple, in Partnership with Denver Film Society, with Special Kick-Off Event and Film Screening Sept. 14

DENVER – Axis Mundi is a new exhibition presented by PlatteForum and The Temple, in Partnership with Denver Film Society, featuring twenty-one artists from across the US and Canada. This series of events will be part of Denver’s Biennial of the Americas. Through the lens of Ecopsychology, Axis Mundi explores three branches of our relationship to the Earth: Environmental Melancholia, Collective Social Mania and Biophilia. The exhibition will include exhibits at three different locations near downtown Denver – at PlatteForum, The Olympic Building and The Land Library between Sept. 16 and Oct. 7. All programming, including the kick- off event and film screening on Sept. 14, will be free and open to the public.

Environmental Melancholia regards the pathology of being melancholic about the collapse of the environment. Collective Social Mania explores the pathology of being manic and the defense mechanisms that are manifested in society in two ways: mind-numbing, distracting behaviors (watching TV, drinking/drugs, staring at handheld devices, social media, packed work schedules) and as a rationalized, normalized allegiance to materialism and shopping. And finally, biophilia explores science, wonder and beauty, with some artists including living plants and animals into their works. Biophilia is a term coined by Edward Owen Wilson, who argued that because we co-evolved on this planet with all other living organisms, our affinity for other life is rooted in our DNA.

Axis Mundi’s three exhibits include a group show at PlatteForum, a solo warehouse installation of Regan Rosburg’s “Omega” at the Olympic Building and outdoor experiential artworks by Vivian Le Courtois and Eileen Richardson in the East lot of the Land Library Building. Axis Mundi is a part of the Biennial of the Americas in Denver, as well as coinciding with a corresponding conference in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, which is being held on the 60th anniversary of the first

Conference on Science and World Affairs at Pugwash and will feature Axis Mundi artists as presenters.

Prior to the launch of the exhibitions, Axis Mundi will kick off with a special screening of Chris Jordan’s film, Albatross at the Sie Film Center, 2510 E. Colfax Ave., on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7 pm. Filmmaker Chris Jordan will be present for a talk-back discussion following the screening. Attendees must register in advance (free of charge), online at http://www.platteforum.org.

Albatross is a powerful visual journey into the heart of a gut-wrenching environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on Earth, tens of thousands of albatross chicks lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic. Returning to the island over several years, Chris and his filming team witnessed cycles of birth, life, and death of these magnificent creatures as a multi- layered metaphor for our times. Albatross was an Official Selection at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival in May 2017, and the movie trailer was viewed and discussed at the United Nations on World Oceans Day in June 2017.

An opening reception for the Axis Mundi art exhibitions will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, 6 – 9 p.m. at the main exhibition site at The Temple, in PlatteForum’s gallery, 2400 Curtis St. This artist reception will include a brief talk from Axis Mundi curator, Regan Rosburg, on the exhibit and environmental melancholia. Attendees will also have the opportunity to view the additional exhibits in The Land Library (2612 Champa St.) and Olympic Building (2565 Curtis St.) over the course of the evening. Each of the additional exhibition sites are within walking distance of PlatteForum.

An Axis Mundi Temple Talk will be held at PlatteForum, 2400 Curtis St., on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 12:00 pm to 1:30pm. Select Axis Mundi artists and subject matter experts, including Ren Adams (MFA, BFA, UC Berkley Alumni Scholar), Dr. Sean Stewart (Director or Dopamine Collective, BSc biology, DDS, MFA), Vivian Le Courtois (Faculty at DAVA, MFA, BFA, Master Art History) and Suchitra Mattai (MFA, MA, BA, Post-BA Study Pratt Institute), will discuss topics related to their research behind works for Axis Mundi, including environmental melancholia’s relation to shifting baseline syndrome, the manifestation of consumption and mania in today’s society, and more.

The Axis Mundi exhibition will remain free and open to the public through Saturday, Oct. 7. PlatteForum gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday Noon-6pm and Saturdays 1-6pm.
Please visit the Axis Mundi blog for information on how to visit the Olympic Building and the Land Library and for their hours of operation.

Axis Mundi includes work from the following artists: Ren Adams (Albuquerque, NM), Pedro Barrios (Denver, CO), Erika Blumenfeld (Houston, TX), Sebastian Cocioba (New York, NY), Carrie Crane (Boston, MA), Rebecca DiDomenico (Boulder, CO), Susan Hopp (Savannah, GA), Chris Jordan (Seattle, WA), Vivian LeCourtois (Denver, CO), Suchitra Mattai (Denver, CO), Jaime Molina (Denver, CO), Lauri Lynnxe Murphy (Denver, CO), Lewis Neeff (Denver, CO), Kelly Norman (Montreal, Quebec), Lori Owicz (Denver, CO), Ron Pollard (Denver, CO), Tara Rhoda

(New York, NY), Eileen Richardson (Denver, CO), Regan Rosburg (Denver, CO), Darya Warner (New York, NY) and Andrew Yang (Chicago, IL).

Axis Mundi is part of an ongoing collaboration between PlatteForum and The Temple, made possible in part, by a generous grant from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation.

About PlatteForum

Founded in 2002, PlatteForum is an innovative arts education and youth development organization serving close to 4,000 inner-city, underserved youth, their families, and the general public. PlatteForum provides in-depth, curriculum-based arts education experiences that meet state educational standards and allow for longer-term mentoring relationships between youth and professional artists who work in residency at PlatteForum. These artist residencies offer time, space, and resources for professional artists to create new work and shape an experience where young people can learn through practice, expanding their sense of what is possible.

This award-winning nonprofit organization provides a nurturing space where creativity and artistic excellence are highly valued and where artists and youth work together to model the creative process, emphasizing the connections between their artistic passion, significant life experiences, and public issues. The overall experience transforms the lives of the youth, the artists and the community.

About The Temple

The Temple is a social venture established to preserve and revive an important landmark, while providing affordable art studios and workshop facilities, community non-profit space and creative business suites. A towering presence in Denver since 1882, The Temple was designed by prominent Denver architects W.J. and Frank Edbrooke (Tabor Grand Opera House, Brown Palace Hotel and Oxford Hotel among many other masterpieces). Early on, it was home to Denver’s Temple Emanuel, and The United Way was conceived of within its walls.

As the demographics of the city shifted, The Temple was purchased by Golden Bell Press. It was then used as underground DIY artist and music space until falling into disrepair. Current owner Adam Gordon purchased the Temple in 2014, and has revived it into the flourishing artist community it is today. For more information, visit http://www.thetempledenver.org.

About Denver Film Society

Founded in 1978, the Denver Film Society (DFS) is a membership-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit cultural institution that produces film events throughout the year, including the award-winning Denver Film Festival and the popular, summertime series Film on the Rocks. With a vision to cultivate community and transform lives through film, the Film Society provides opportunities for diverse audiences to discover film through creative, thought-provoking experiences.

The permanent home of the Denver Film Society, the Sie Film Center, is Denver’s only year- round cinematheque, presenting a weekly-changing calendar of first-run exclusives and

arthouse revivals both domestic and foreign, narrative and documentary – more than 600 per year, all shown in their original language and format. DFS’s one-of-a-kind programs annually reach more than 200,000 film lovers and film lovers-in-training.

About Biennial of the Americas

Celebrate the culture and arts of the Americas. The Biennial of the Americas returns for its week-long festival September 12 – 16. The event brings leaders from across the Western Hemisphere to present and interact with the public on topics involving our cultural and economic ties with the Americas.

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