Date of Award


Document Type

MA Project - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Project Type

MA Project - Curatorial Proposal

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Contemporary Art

First Advisor

Melanie Marino


The exhibition “Poem of the Earth” investigates the themes of time and cycle, transformation and renewal, human and nature. Acting as a place for contemplation and reflection, it aspires to pause visitors in their daily rush and ground them in the present, at least for a fleeting moment, to appreciate the beauty of the “here and now”.

The title comes from the poem “The Voice of the Rain” written by Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass (1891–92), in which the rain, “Poém of Earth”, describes how it rises as vapor out of the land and sea, and up to the sky, where it changes form and becomes cloud, before returning to the earth as rain again, to revive the soil, and give life to seeds. Referring to the rhythmic and harmonious cycles of water, nature, and life in general, it also expresses the interconnection between all elements on Earth.

“Poem of the Earth” features the work of local artists Furen Dai, Lena Miskulin, Steven Siegel, Alan Sonfist, and Erin Turner, and offers an intergenerational dialogue between early and recent works and perspectives. The artworks, embracing an ecocentric approach and exploring the notion of cycle, are referred to as ecopoetic, calling for a return to nature, and an appreciation of the intertwinement of human and non-human actors.

Also adopting an ecopoetic stance, through the notion of cycle and an awareness of our interrelationship with nature, the exhibition commits to environmental sustainability and takes on the challenge to reduce its ecological impact. Thought as a mini ecosystem, it is conceived to be sustainable, with a reduced footprint, and minimum pollution and waste. Dedicated to a better stewardship, it contributes to the conversation about the environmental responsibility of the art world.

The exhibit is scheduled to take place for minimum one week during the first semester of 2019 in New York. The opening reception has been envisioned to be eco-friendly with green and locally-sourced products. Regular tours and artist talks have been planned, and the exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with essays.