The title of the exhibition Parable of the Moths draws inspiration from Octavia Butler’s science fiction novel Parable of the Sower (1993). Set in a not so far future in an environmentally damaged and socially tumultuous Southern California, the young protagonist Lauren Oya Olamina flees from her home to escape ecological and societal collapse. Lauren experiences unspeakable tragedy and loss, mostly due to the violence and desperation of those around her who are struggling to survive off of minimal resources. She soon starts to realize that the ways of her parents and older generations are no longer applicable to present day catastrophe, and begins to develop a new paradigm called Earthseed, which focuses on adaptation, trust, and change as necessities for finding meaning among chaos, community building, and most importantly, survival.
Parable of the Moths presents work by Laura Franzmann, Hugo Laporte, Gitte Maria Möller and Hannah Rose Stewart. Within their work, each of these artists grapple with their material and existential reality. By visually examining shared experience through storytelling, making, and recontextualizing the present, the works on view express, imagine, and hope for a more ecologically and socially sound future.
Moths symbolize tremendous change. Interspersed throughout the exhibition, these winged creatures are in their final metamorphic stage, also known as imaginal stage or imago. Etymologically linked to imagination, their transformative status allegorically alludes to the speculative space that the artists carve out from their collective reality.
“All that you touch you change.
All that you change changes you.
The only lasting truth is change.”
― Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower