The Friends of the Institute for Contemporary Culture are a group of ROM members with an affinity for the ICC and its activities. The ICC seeks to stimulate “diverse audiences to think creatively, understand and change the world,” and when the FICC committee first came together just under a year ago, we wanted to find new ways to support this intention.
Thinking back on the life experiences, which have had a lasting impact on the way we think and perceive the world, we realized that some of the most powerful moments happened during conversations. There are many ways to access information but real dialogue, where two or more parties are exchanging ideas, challenging and responding to one another, activates people in a way that few other things can.
The potential entry points into these conversations are endless, but art and science are two particularly powerful places to start, especially in the context of the ROM with its dual mandate of World Cultures and Natural History. These themes are intertwined in an exhibition like Elegy: Deborah Samuel, with its hauntingly beautiful images of animal skeletons. Human impact on the environment is one of the great challenges facing the world today but the sheer scope of the situation makes it difficult to know where to begin. Samuel’s photos provide audiences a means by which to consider the life and death of the many other lifeforms that share this planet.
With this in mind and in celebration of the United Nations Day for Biological Diversity on May 22, this year’s theme being Marine Biodiversity, FICC has partnered with the Life in Crisis: Schad Gallery of Biodiversity at the ROM to present Oceans Apart: Let’s Talk about Art, Science and You. Bringing together eight great minds from the realms of photography, design, science and conservation, this event sets the stage for participants to interact with experts and have real, meaningful conversations about the state of our oceans, the diversity of life, the fragility and persistence of nature, and the many intersections of art and science.
Interested? Full details and tickets for this event are available on the ROM website. The evening includes an exhibition viewing of Elegy: Deborah Samuel led by the artist followed by a facilitated discussion with our special guests, drinks and refreshments.
Elegy is co-presented by the Life in Crisis: Schad Gallery of Biodiversity and the Institute for Contemporary Culture, and will be a feature exhibition of the 2012 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.
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Chelsea Omel is Collections & Research Coordinator at the ROM, as well as a member of the FICC committee.