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ExhibitionCity of Nature

Sep 7, 2021–Sep 1, 2022

Kota Ezawa’s animated “video collage” City of Nature (2010) will be on view for the entire 2021-2022 academic year in the Chazen’s Mayer Gallery in the Elvehjem building. The artist writes that this six-minute-long artwork “is an alternative to the mainstream nature film” and is intended to draw the viewer’s attention to the unnatural way that popular culture aestheticizes the natural world. It incorporates seventy scenes of nature from twenty diverse mainstream films and TV shows where nature plays a seminal role or where flora and fauna could be considered primary characters. Included are Late Spring, Rambo: First Blood, Brokeback Mountain, Lord of the Flies, Days of Heaven, Deliverance, Twin Peaks, Der Berg Ruft, Fitzcarraldo, and Swept Away. Together, they form “an abstract narrative where one natural element leads to the next.”

The film demonstrates the style Ezawa employs in his animations and light-box installation, wherein he recreates scenes and images drawn from mainstream media and the history of art by hand, using computer-assisted digital drawing and animation tools.

Kota Ezawa (American, b. Germany 1969), City of Nature (detail), 2010, digital video, 3:55 minutes, courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE Gallery, New York


Featured Works

Kota Ezawa was born in Germany in 1969 and received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from Stanford University. His work has been included in the Whitney Biennial (2019, 2006) and in solo exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, Ohio), St. Louis Art Museum, and Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford, Connecticut) among others. City of Nature was originally commissioned by Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Mad. Sq. Art.

Artist Info

Kota Ezawa
b. 1969, American, b. Germany


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