Suzanne Anker: While Darkness Sleeps
McKinney Avenue Contemporary (the MAC)
3120 McKinney Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75204

January 11 – March 1, 2014
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 11, 2014, 6 – 8 PM
Artist’s Talk: Saturday, January 11, 2014, 4:30 – 5:30 PM
The MAC is open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 AM – 9 PM


From microscopes to video animations to time-lapse photography to rapid prototyped sculpture, While Darkness Sleeps, is an ode to nature’s delicacy and decay. While high technology tools extend our vision to access sites yet unknown, at the same time such intrusions can be dire.

While Darkness Sleeps brings together underwater motifs of animals that look like flowers, “vanitas” in Petrie dishes inspired by art history, porcelain sponge sculptures that appear as coral or meteorites, and high tech 3-D extruded sculptures which reference tiny wondrous landscapes.

Continuing to work at the nexus of art and the biological sciences, this exhibition brings into focus visions of a “future/natural” in which life’s ebb and flow, always in flux, combine with its synthetic other. In Anker’s work nothing is what it appears to be, yet visual representations abound. Although there are many references to the “still life” as a genre in visual art, the moving images address the fact that life is not still.

Working with images garnered from marine research centers such as Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts and MOTE Marine Laboratory, on Summerland Key in Florida, the viewer becomes aware of the intricacies of nature and the need to preserve it. Other images are derived from the Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico’s research facility in which samples are collected in the wild and housed in drawers and cabinets for further study.

Several other specimens present themselves as images through glass. Such dioramas incorporate changes in the viewer’s perception based on reflected and faceted light. Like a permanent zone for the once-living, these creatures are suspended in time, located at the National Museum’s Natural Science and History Collections in Prague, the Czech Republic.

Not intended to be a scientific study of nature as data, these images and objects talk at once to a scientific imaginary fused with cultural necessity. How we perceive the natural world is tantamount to discovery. How we re-imagine the living world as an interconnected network fuses what was once science fiction to the real.

The McKinney Avenue Contemporary is a nonprofit organization that stands as a Dallas advocate for creative freedom offering the opportunity for experimentation and presentation of art in all disciplines. It supports the emerging and established artist’s role in society by providing a forum for critical dialogue with their audiences. This relationship is cultivated through education and innovative programming.

While Darkness Sleeps is sponsored in part by Deborah Colton Gallery