Lauren Strohacker

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Lauren Strohacker is an eco-political artist whose work emphasizes the non-human in an increasingly human-centric world. She received a grant for “Ground Work,” a free, after-dark outdoor public projection event designed for the grounds of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), located in North Carolina. There will be eight life-sized video projections of red wolves scattered throughout the grounds: a visual echo of the red wolves making their last stand just 300 miles due east of the museum. She writes:

Humans need to remember the red wolf and the Artworld needs to prioritize activism over profit. “Ground Work” is a catalyst for recall of the red wolf and exemplifies art as a conduit between human and animal community. Shifting Baseline Syndrome is the communal process of forgetting natural systems over time, normalizing the ongoing degradation of those systems. We (particularly non-indigenous western settlers) need to collectively remember the landscapes and animals devastated by colonial capitalism and western expansion in order to properly restore pre-colonial habitats and populations.

Since her grant award, Lauren has completed her installation “Old Red, I Know Where Thou Dwellest.” The installation was exhibited at SECCA in North Carolina from October 21, 2022, through August 27, 2023. The installation consisted of three components: the multi-sensory experience “Leukos Lukos,” the outdoor installation “Ground Work,” and the projections “Such Music as I Have Never Heard.” These three parts of Lauren’s installation were all enfolded in a discussion about the endangered species of red wolves. The installations aimed to connect people to the species and develop an empathetic lens to help us consider our own hand in their extinction and our proximity to them.