ARTWORK + > Other of Pearl

Detail of Other of Pearl (The Medusa Rondanini II)
Nacre sculptures sustainably grown in rainbow-lipped pearl oysters (Pteria sterna), biomedical nylon and biopolymer 3D prints, glass, patinated steel, and 3D printed vitrines with ‘water drop’ bases from upcycled water bottles
2024
Detail from Other of Pearl (The Hero Meleager)
Nacre sculptures sustainably grown in rainbow-lipped pearl oysters (Pteria sterna), biomedical nylon and biopolymer 3D prints, glass, patinated steel, and 3D printed vitrines with ‘water drop’ bases from upcycled water bottles
2024
Detail from Other of Pearl (The Medusa Rondanini)
Nacre sculptures sustainably grown in rainbow-lipped pearl oysters (Pteria sterna), biomedical nylon and biopolymer 3D prints
2024
Detail from Other of Pearl (The Artemesion Bronze)
Nacre sculptures sustainably grown in rainbow-lipped pearl oysters (Pteria sterna), biomedical nylon and biopolymer 3D prints
2024
Detail from Other of Pearl (Crouching Venus)
Nacre sculptures sustainably grown in rainbow-lipped pearl oysters (Pteria sterna), biomedical nylon and biopolymer 3D prints
2024
Detail from Other of Pearl (Alexander as Helios)
Nacre sculptures sustainably grown in rainbow-lipped pearl oysters (Pteria sterna), biomedical nylon and biopolymer 3D prints
2024
Detail from Other of Pearl (Bust of Demeter)
Nacre sculptures sustainably grown in rainbow-lipped pearl oysters (Pteria sterna), biomedical nylon and biopolymer 3D prints
2024
Detail from Other of Pearl (Bust of Demeter II)
Nacre sculptures sustainably grown in rainbow-lipped pearl oysters (Pteria sterna), biomedical nylon and biopolymer 3D prints
2024
Body Burden
Sea salt, New York sea water, human tears, antique hand-dyed silk velvet, patinated steel
2024
Body Burden
Sea salt, New York sea water, human tears, antique hand-dyed silk velvet, patinated steel
2024
Humpback Instrument (Deep Cuts)
Handblown opaline glass, patinated steel, New York seawater, audio equipment, humpback whale song Previously unreleased humpback whale recordings by Roger and Katy Payne provided by David Gruber and Project CETI
2024
Humpback Instrument (Deep Cuts)
Handblown opaline glass, patinated steel, New York seawater, audio equipment, humpback whale song Previously unreleased humpback whale recordings by Roger and Katy Payne provided by David Gruber and Project CETI
2024
Whale Bells
Handblown ombré glass, Miocene-era fossilized whale ear bone (tympanic bullae), acoustically-tuned cast rubber ear bones, hand-dyed organic cotton rope, patinated brass, faux-finished steel pipe using Behr paint in S350-1 “Climate Change” white, salvaged
2024
Mother, of Pearl (Nervous Sytem)
Freshwater pearls, beading wire, thread, fabric mesh, patinated steel
2024
Mother, of Pearl (Nervous Sytem)
Freshwater pearls, beading wire, thread, fabric mesh, patinated steel
2024
Sperm Whale Instrument (Part I)
Handblown opaline glass representing the spermaceti organ, junk, blowhole and phonic lips, patinated steel, New York seawater, antique whale oils (originally used in clocks, watches, sewing machines, automobile transmissions, bicycles, typewriters, cosmet
2024
Seashell Resonance (Objects for Contemplation),
Oyster shells (Crassostrea virginica), 3D printed biopolymer ears, antique ‘giant’ oyster shells, reclaimed packing materials, clay, plaster, papier-mâché, steel mesh, freshwater pearls
Dimensions variable
2024
Seashell Resonance (Objects for Contemplation),
Oyster shells (Crassostrea virginica), 3D printed biopolymer ears, antique ‘giant’ oyster shells, reclaimed packing materials, clay, plaster, papier-mâché, steel mesh, freshwater pearls
Dimensions variable
2024

In Other of Pearl, Jenny Kendler tells the story of the extractive histories that form the origin stories of the climate and ecological crisis, while considering the oyster and whale as central players in an ecological entanglement between human and nonhuman beings, waterways and flows of capital.

Focusing on our relationships with these two very different beings, Kendler illuminates the ways in which capitalist systems are often founded upon the bodies of others. The artist confronts contemporary environmental issues—climate change, ocean noise, chemical pollution, biodiversity loss and sea level rise— while pointing towards the cultural structures that have allowed these catastrophes to occur.

Kendler’s first solo exhibition in New York City, Other of Pearl transforms the cavernous magazine of historic Fort Jay into a space for slow exploration, suggesting a journey below sea level.

Here you will encounter seven intimate, delicate works, including a handblown glass instrument where you can sing in the voice of a whale and pearl sculptures grown inside oysters. At the conclusion of the exhibition, the pearl sculptures will be auctioned to raise funds to help create a new oyster reef – redistributing resources in a gesture of ecological restoration – in partnership with the Billion Oyster Project.

By offering this proposition of a more intimate, and bodily relationship with the natural world, the exhibition proposes a new way to envision who matters and who we build the future for—inviting us to imagine a restored practice of reciprocity between human and non-humans.

Other of Pearl is presented in partnership by Governors Island Arts and NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council).

Exhibition contributors include David Gruber and Project CETI and Billion Oyster Project as well as artist Andrew Bearnot, Kendler's collaborator on Whale Bells.

For all those who helped to produce this complex and ambitious exhibition—three years in the making—my deep thanks to: Elizabeth Corr, the Governors Island team (Lauren Haynes, Juan-Pablo Siles, Clare Newman, Sarah Krautheim, Martina Camarda, Nicole Fogarty, Meredith Johnson, Shane Brennan and our wonderful docents), Powerhouse Arts (Jeremy Gender, Daniel Quinn, Brittni Collins, Cuba Cubicle, Luther Davis, Eric Shiner—and more for public art fabrication, print-making & install), Alex Inglizian and Experimental Sound Studio (sound engineering), Happy Returns (Tom Burtonwood & Cody Normal for eco-friendly 3D printing), and Firebird Community Arts (Pearl Dick & Bre'Annah Stampley for glassblowing assistance) and Andrew Bearnot (lead glass artist).

Endless gratitude to Enrique Arizmendi of Perlas Del Mar De Cortez sustainable pearl farm, who was willing to try the impossible.

Works are shown here as they would be viewed, circling from left to right, in the exhibition's central and six adjoining rooms.