human · NATURE
Curated by Amy Eva Raehse
The exhibition title, human · NATURE, is a play on words. It suggests the connection amidst humans, nature, and human nature.
The term human nature refers to the belief that humans have predictable ways of acting, rationalizing,
or emoting based simply on being human. Of course, aspects of philosophy, art, science, literature,
and theology consider various elements of nature and nurture to debate and challenge these ostensibly
inherent behaviors, their bendability, and their potential limitations on what it means to be human.
For centuries artists have contested norms and ordinary ways of seeing, often contributing, through
works of art, alternative positions for reflection. Artworks themselves are not part of human nature,
rather, they are the artifact of human’s needs for communication and for constructing things, both
intellectually and physically. As such, one could claim the act of making art as part of human nature,
whereas the artwork itself is a symbol of human nature.
One of the tenets of Aristotle’s theories on human nature is that man is a mimetic being.
“From childhood men have an instinct for representation, and in this respect, differs from the other animals that he is
far more imitative and learns his first lessons by representing things. And then there is the enjoyment people always
get from representations …we enjoy looking at likenesses of things …The reason is this: Learning things gives great
pleasure not only to philosophers but also in the same way to all other men… The reason why we enjoy seeing
likenesses is that, as we look, we learn and infer what each is…If we have never happened to see the original, our
pleasure is not due to the representation as such but to the technique or the color …"
-Aristotle. Aristotle in 23 Volumes, Vol. 23, translated by W.H. Fyfe. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University
Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1932.
Human · NATURE is a group exhibition that explores each artist’s relationship to nature, artistic
practice, and the psychology of human nature; exploiting loose references to nature as a form of
complicated armature by which to comment on the complexities of the human condition. The exhibition
will feature 22 works in varied mediums authored by 11 nationally and internationally celebrated artists.