Environmental Artist Opens Multimedia Art Installation, UNSEEN at Burchfield Penney Arts Center

New York artist, Chantal Calato's hypnotic audio and visual installation, UNSEEN examines the mutilation of our environment and, in turn, ourselves.

BUFFALO, N.Y. - August 4, 2020 - (Newswire.com)

New York environmental artist Chantal Calato opens her moving and hypnotic multimedia installation entitled UNSEEN at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY, on Aug. 14, 2020. The exhibition will run from Aug. 14, 2020, through Nov. 29, 2020.

UNSEEN is a spoken-word symphony that focuses on the sights and smells that people experienced while living on this toxic land. The 18 voices share the physical and emotional burden of their environment in audio canon. Each voice describes how they were affected by toxins inside their own homes. The stories reveal a haunting similarity in their experiences: the degradation of their relationship with their home and their surrounding environment. 

Calato interviewed 18 residents from different contaminated areas of Niagara County.

"I wanted to fill the space at the Burchfield Penney Art Center with a soundscape of their interwoven voices and dark personal stories," said Calato. "These voices are the heart of UNSEEN."

The installation is centered around a typical 1920s bungalow house in the middle of a vast, dimly lit space in the Project Space at the Burchfield. The house comes into focus by a glow of light. Upon close inspection, you will notice the house is made entirely of soil.

"This house is a home. It's where people live their lives—eating, playing, talking, watching TV, and gardening. A home is the one place where everyone should feel safe and in control. A home is also an investment, and the last place you would expect to poison your family," said Calato.

Through UNSEEN, Calato takes the viewer behind the beauty of what the world sees when they think of Niagara Falls and into the stories of those who live in the shadow of this region's interminable industrial history.

"This installation is deeply personal for me. My brother Joe was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. He lives on a block in Niagara Falls that sits at the edge of Love Canal in a neighborhood with house after house of families dealing with life-threatening cancers and diseases," said Calato. "More than 40 years after toxic waste from Love Canal destroyed this neighborhood, people are still suffering from the chemicals of Niagara's continued industrial legacy."

UNSEEN is funded by the Global Warming Art Project grant from Ben Perrone and the 'Environment Maze' project donors, administered by Arts Services Initiative of Western New York. Special thanks for the technical support of Microsoft and the MS Surface Studio Pro, used to process the audio for UNSEEN.

Following Burchfield's Covid-19 procedures, attendees are required to wear a mask while inside the museum. The museum will be open to the general public 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., with early entry hours from 10- 11 am reserved for seniors, first responders and members.

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Original Source: Environmental Artist Opens Multimedia Art Installation, UNSEEN at Burchfield Penney Arts Center
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