NIGON.CHICAGOOpening Saturday, November 9th featuring the work of 4 of South Florida’s most groundbreaking visual artists: Samantha Salzinger, Margi Nothard, Andrew Nigon & Jillian Mayer.

50 limited edition “apocalypse kits” will be available to reserve at the opening reception containing survival tools designed by each of the 4 artists in the exhibition as well as tickets to attend the VIP unveiling of Margi Nothard’s Groundwater project at a secret date and time. The exhibition will close at the end of the calendar year and culminate with the opening of the completed Groundwater project on the bank of the museum’s retention pond to the general public.


We are all still here, until we are not. Science has yet to yield the option of agelessness and supercollisions may not decode infinity before the earth continues upon its trajectory without us. This fact can either cripple or elicit the kind of creative responses collected to form Counting Backwards: reactions to inevitable, fundamental shifts in the world by four of South Florida’s most pioneering contemporary artists.

While we wonder if the future ever came our days are being numbered by the accelerating subversion of human communication, geopolitical relationships and climate stability. In response, Samantha Salzinger, Margi Nothard, Andrew Nigon and Jillian Mayer offer bold visions of post-humanity, escape plans and consolation prizes for making it this far that are simultaneously saccharine and haunting. Interactive environments, sculptural installations and towering images transform the funhouse corridors and modern interiors of the Young At Art Museum into an enveloping experience activated by the public within.

4. Samatha Salzinger

The intricate constructions within Samantha Salzinger’s large-scale dioramas are photographed in such as way as to simultaneously mimic a vision of true nature and present an entirely fabricated reproduction. Each vignette is pieced together with man-made materials and a handful of natural elements to create the illusion of an actual landscape that could have been witnessed pre and/or post-humanity. Devoid of mankind, they conjure and question our innate desire to control and predict nature during a time when the realization that this is an impossible feat is becoming painfully clear all around us.

3. Margi Glavovic Nothard

Visual artist and Environmental and Architectural design innovator Margi Nothard offers a unique perspective of the Young At Art Museum as its designer and one of the leading forces behind its structure and construction. In her ambitious, site-specific new work Groundwater_ Latent Systems Nothard will invite the public to focus on of the most noticeable yet misunderstood features of the Museum’s grounds. Thousands traveling past daily are separated from the building by a retention pond, quietly rising with rainfall and lowering in its absence, which could easily pass as a simple visual enhancement to landscape. To change our relationship to and understanding of the relevance of this body of water to the museum, the community and the surrounding ecosystem, temporary observation platforms will be built on the water’s edge to invite viewers to contemplate systems that we generally ignore until our impact is irreversible. During this period actual data recordings will be collected from observers on the state of the pond and ground water issues, presented via audio to those present in the space until the show’s closing when the structure will be dismantled and recycled.

2. Andrew Nigon

Each sagging, deflated balloon and inedible handful of cotton candy within Andrew Nigon’s ominous installations offers a set of opposing propositions: reflect on the end of a time of naïve celebration and a false sense of comfort or attempt to keep the party while the ship gradually sinks deeper. Celebratory items are cast to highlight their absence and hung in a weighted and despondent manner as if the festivities themselves began to get existential and introspective. In the silence around these sculptures Nigon captures the moment the buzz begins to fade and the sunrise pours over garbage on the dance floor illuminating the reality that we willingly forgot until finally facing the aftermath.

1. Jillian Mayer

Jillian Mayer steeps her artistic practice in the verisimilitude of a generation that came of age in the 1980s. Within her drawings, photography, video, online experiences, installations and performances scenarios of apathy, dysfunction, and disillusionment are created in response to the digitization of human experience. Indoctrinated into expectations of upward mobility, instant gratification, and the succinct finesse of a television sitcom and web experience, Mayer critiques the dissonance between her childhood optimism and the state of contemporary culture with an erudite playfulness. Counting Backwards collects her most recent series of objects and tangential installations emerging from her full-length, Sundance recognized film #PostModem present the public with interactive spaces, telephone hotlines, music videos and kinetic sculptures that present very real possibility of a disconnected, computerized society through the lens of tongue-in-cheek internet meme humor, fusing serious social commentary with comedy until the two are inseparable.

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