Alison Hiltner: It Is Yesterday

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Minneapolis, February 21, 2017—In a new exhibition from the Minnesota Artist Exhibition Program (MAEP) at Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), artist Alison Hiltner examines humans’ role in climate change. “It Is Yesterday” is Hiltner’s first solo exhibition at a major art museum and is on view March 16 through June 25, 2017. Her immersive installation is a sculptural landscape featuring 56 large-scale clear sacks filled with algae that are connected to aeration pumps that are controlled by sensors. This interactive exhibition illustrates the exchange between humans and the environment.

By breathing into the sensor, visitors exhale carbon dioxide that then causes the algae to grow and thus release more oxygen into the air. An additional sensor will monitor aggregate CO2 levels that accumulate in the space creating a baseline for the aeration pumps allowing the sacks to “inhale” and “exhale.”

A video projection in the first gallery will visualize the rise and fall of the audience to algae exchange as depicted by the rise and fall of the bubbles filmed from one of the cultivation tanks. The central concept throughout Hiltner’s work is a fascination with how science fiction influences one’s current understanding of scientific research, and how that filter of understanding will affect technological advancement in the future. Part experiment and part environment, “It Is Yesterday” entwines sci-fi, popular culture, and scientific inquiry to provide the visitor with an intimate look at their direct effect on the environment and ultimately climate change.

Related Events

Free public events include an opening reception on Thursday, March 16, at 6 p.m., and an artist talk on Thursday, May 18, at 7 p.m. Both events will be held in Mia’s U.S. Bank Gallery.

About Alison Hiltner

Hiltner is a visual artist and Associate Director of Soo Visual Arts Center who currently lives and works in Minneapolis, MN. She received a BFA from the University of Kansas and a MFA from the University of Minnesota. Hiltner’s credits include solo exhibitions at Spike Gallery in New York, the Museum of Surgical Sciences in Chicago, Heineman Myers Contemporary Art in Washington DC, Harcourt House Arts Centre in Edmonton and Concordia University. She was an artist in residence at Sculpture Space and recently the Soap Factory, has received three Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants, two MRAC/McKnight Foundation Next Step Grants, the Jerome Foundation Fellowship in 2011/12 and an Artists on the Verge Northern Foundation fellowship in 2013/14. Hiltner has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions on the east coast and in the Midwest including the Evanston Art Center in Chicago, Minnesota Museum of American Art, and Perlman Museum at Carlton College. She has an upcoming exhibition at Telemark Art Center in Skein, Norway opening in May of 2017.

About Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program

Founded in 1975, the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) is a curatorial program of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, dedicated to exhibiting and supporting artists living and working in Minnesota. MAEP is now located in Mia’s U.S. Bank Gallery.