Atop a pleather stool cushion, a round painting of leucaena leucocephala, the first tree species to be deployed en mass to combat climate change, is stickered with certified receipts of the voluntary carbon offsets purchased by Assiff to cover his footprint in creating the show.
On the second floor of the gallery, a sculptural collaboration with artist Chelsea Culprit is a purposeful moment of departure from the more elusive metaphorical and schematic depictions below. US Secretary of State and former CEO of ExxonMobil, “Rex” sits with a copy of PopeFrancis’ Encyclical on Climate Change published in 2015.
Here the artists make sure nothing is left to interpretation as to who sits atop the distorted informational order and warped natural world the viewer encounters in the gallery below. Ozone Flowers is the second installment of the painter’s inquiry into post-industrial ecology. In the first, Remediation Flowers at First Continent in Baltimore, Maryland, Assiff depicted nature as a filtering, remediating tool –an industrial instrument within the larger postindustrial matrix. Along with lead abatement wall works and a bioremediation project in the ventilation system of the gallery, Assiff painted pictures of ‘Hyperaccumulators’, plant life used to suck metals and toxins from soil no longer viable due to manufacturing. Assiff asks the viewer if art can be a redemptive process, and the gallery a regenerative space.