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Humans are symbolic of the natural elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space. Symbolic consciousness is a term used to conceptualize how certain ideas can be turned into symbols to help us make sense of the world around us. As the document “Laudato Si” indicates, humans “are dust of the Earth; our very bodies are made up of her elements.” This suggests that the elements of nature are symbols for ourselves, our soul, and our humanity. Therefore, within the 18th Street theme of “Our Shared Home,” it is important to connect the elements of earth and nature with humanity. Together, we exist as one; we are the elements and we live in symbiosis with the elements. This exhibition connects how humans express the elements, and therefore symbolically express themselves, through art. “Our Shared Home” is observed as both humanity and the universe through this point of view. In representing the elements via art, we can connect with our world and our true selves. 

This exhibition was curated by 2021 Curatorial Intern Emma Skinner.


Rebecca Setareh
Elham Sagharchi
Joan Wulf
Luciana Abait
Susan Kleinberg
Sabine Pearlman

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