Coexistencia (Coexistence)

Donna Conlon

Not on view

Influenced by her academic background in biology, Conlon often focuses on natural habitats and organic systems, which she connects with ongoing debates about environmental sustainability and the ironies and marvels of everyday life. In Coexistencia, a group of rust red leaf cutter ants transports plant fragments in forests surrounding Panama City, where the artist lives. By focusing on ants, which alongside humans have among the most complex social structures, and by painting national flags and peace symbols onto the leaves, she turns an unremarkable occurrence in the wild into a political statement. Made in solidarity with anti–Iraq War protests taking place around the world in 2003, the work takes its title from a quote by the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru: "The only alternative to coexistence is codestruction."

Coexistencia (Coexistence), Donna Conlon (born United States of America 1966), Single-channel digital video, color, sound, 5 min., 26 sec.

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