Nothing says anthropocentric like a good old-fashioned portrait. Isolated, regally upright, and centered among objects chosen to enhance its prestige, classical portraiture celebrates men and women as the measures of all things. In JuxtaPOSE, the group exhibit currently on view at The Arts Fund, curator Ashley Woods Hollister has gathered works by four artists — Connie Connally, Sommer Roman, Lindsey Ross, and Leslie Lewis Sigler — into a provocative examination of what portraiture might become in an expanded field extending beyond the limits of unaided human perception.
For millennia, human understanding has been confined to our species umwelt, meaning the world as it is experienced by a particular organism, in this case that of Homo sapiens. As we learn more about how other species perceive the world — and in particular how they depend for evolutionary survival on senses we lack, such as a bat’s sonar hearing or a migratory bird’s internal magnetic compass — our knowledge of the world is revealed to be what it has been all along: a small sliver of the fabric of physical reality as a whole.