New York-based Swiss artist Katja Loher creates video works that eloquently articulate the importance of the individual in contributing to the success of the whole.
In Why Did the Bees Leave? Loher specifically examines the vital role of bees in perpetuating global survival, addressing the concern over colony collapse both literally and as a metaphor for the human condition.
Loher takes a non-traditional approach to presenting her videos, projecting them through glass or liquid or onto large balloons, resulting in sculptural works that the artist refers to as Bubbles, Miniverses, and Videoplanets.
Why did the Bees Leave? begins by posing a question in what Loher calls “Video-alphabet,” which is a choreographed message conveyed in film through human figures captured in specific poses. Each piece is an intricately orchestrated and carefully manipulated performance, giving the visitor a bird’s-eye-view into a microcosm critical to the perpetuation of human existence.
Loher’s body of work gives special recognition to the synchronized movements of the honeybee and other natural processes that support life as we know it. As stated on the artist’s website, “The honeybee, a creature perfectly engineered to perform its task with a body designed to trap pollen and a work ethic that leaves no petal unturned, is disappearing in high numbers.”
Loher elaborates on this concern in another video work,Orchestrated Incidence | Being:
There is no fall when the leaves stick to the trees.
There is no winter when the wind stops to breathe.
There is no spring when the bees leave the flowers.
There is no summer when there is no spring.
Why Did the Bees Leave? has gained a global audience through Loher’s installations in Milan, Prague, Houston, Tel Aviv, and an upcoming solo exhibition in São Paulo’s MUBE (Museu Brasileiro da Escultura) opening in November 2011.
This exhibition is the Fine Arts Center’s contribution to the city-wide project, CrossPollination.