LACE's exhibition of Dustin Shuler's The Rainforest: A Landscape in the Shower will be the first time this remarkable living sculpture has been shown. Rainforest is the culmination of 15 years of work and experimentation by Shuler. It represents a fertile point of departure from his large-scale, static sculptures. Here he leaves the manipulated heavy metal of his past works behind and focuses instead on the creation of an organic system and the shifting relationships between the sculptural environment and its live inhabitants.
In Rainforest, Shuler has created a miniature ecosystem fashioned out of a mass-produced shower and bathtub unit with elaborate water, light and sound systems housed in clear plexi-glass units flanking each side. The turtles, fish, birds, frogs and foliage that populate this microcosm are the "living" component of the sculpture - as they respond to the cycles of light and weather that Shuler has programmed into the environment, they also respond to and interact with each other in ways that the artist can neither predict nor control.
Dustin Shuler's work provokes a thoughtful investigation of our environment and the increasingly blurred distinction between natural and artificial aspects of our urban ecosystems. This exemplary sculpture reflects the artist's passionate interest in living systems and invites the viewer to consider the energy, effort and technologies that are required to sustain "natural" living environments in otherwise inhospitable locales. This pressing global issue has particular relevance in Los Angeles, where technology sustains lush environs and a vast urban population in the midst of an arid desert climate.
The Rainforest: A Landscape In THE Shower