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Artists Adam Stennett
Adam Stennett (US)

Adam Stennett_Ephedrine 2013_acrylic on paper_76 x 76 cm_30 x 30 in_800.jpg
"Ephedrine" 2013, acrylic on paper, 76 x 76 cm, 30 x 30 in

Adam Stennett’s Survival Paintings were created during his original month long endurance performance Artist Survival Shack in August, 2013. Living and working in a 6.5 x 9.5 foot, self-sufficient, off-the-grid survival shack hidden in a field in Eastern Long Island, NY, Stennett carved out time and space to create these paintings, which depict objects related to survival in and economically and spiritually challenging environment. The supplies, food and water Stennett arrived with were all he had access to, and he did not leave the area for the thirty-one day duration of the performance. The artist's mission was to survive physically and spiritually, and to create a new body of work that would be exhibited along with the Artist Survival Shack itself at the conclusion of the performance.

The Artist Survival Shack and the works produced within are a study in what is really necessary for an artist to live and thrive. At once both serious and absurd, the Artist Survival Shack calls attention to the outsider/outlaw role artists have traditionally been accorded by society. The project draws an implicit and uncomfortable parallel between the activities of the solitary artist pursuing his vision and those of the lone madman plotting havoc. It raises varied themes- ranging from environmentalism, green design, sustainable agriculture, visionary states, and utopia, to paranoia, separatism, surveillance, security, economic collapse, and apocalypse- and holds them all in an uneasy tension.

During his 2016 residency at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, NY, Stennett raised the level of difficulty and explored new materials and challenges with a dead of winter version called The Arctic Artist Survival Shack. The Arctic Artist Survival Shack served as a proving ground for alternative systems of physical survival, spiritual survival and creative expansion. Stennett lived and worked in the 10'x10' self-designed shack outdoors at Pioneer Works during the (historically coldest) month of February. Systems implemented included solar, wind power, water collection, water filtration, vermiculture composting of waste and dumpster foraging. The supplies, food and water Stennett arrived with were all he had access to. He did not enter any buildings or spend any money during the month. His mission was to survive physically and spiritually, and to create. Stennett also offered outdoor Sunday workshops demonstrating and teaching some of these systems for survival as a part of School of Apocalypse (founded in 2015 by Stennett, Catherine Despont, Tal Beery and Eugenia Manwelyan). February 2016 included the coldest Valentine’s Day on record in Brooklyn with a low of 1 degree Fahrenheit and 15 below zero with windchill.

This month long endurance performance was paired with an exhibition of five of Stennett’s Survival Paintings inside the Pioneer Works exhibition space, which included Emergency Drinking Water Spill (2013), and Ephedrine (2013).

Available works Information