September 22, 2023

Aidan Koch, Abbey Meaker

“Sometimes I get electrified when I see animals. I’m now hearing the ancestral cry within me: I no longer seem to know who is the creature, the animal or me.”

Clarice Lispector, Água Viva

LEILA GREICHE will honor the cyclical nature of life on the autumnal equinox, September 22, 2023, in Topanga, California. Upon nightfall, filmic artworks by Aidan Koch and Abbey Meaker will illuminate.

Paving the Pacific, 2023 by Aidan Koch depicts a coyote walking from the creosote scrubland of California’s high desert, through San Gorgonio Pass and the rapidly developing valleys of the Inland Empire, to the city of Los Angeles and the mouth of the LA River at the Pacific Ocean. From sunrise to sunset, the coyote, hand-drawn and animated in soft pastel, moves through an ever-changing landscape where windfarms become mountains and freeways become streams. Along the way, spinning turbines and an original score by Caroline Partamian draw us into a trance, mimicking the unconscious way we humans have habituated to city life. As we witness the coyote’s passage through beauty and chaos, we’re reminded that we too once made this pilgrimage.

Water light passing, 2023 by Abbey Meaker considers the landscape enveloped by a summer flood in Vermont. In the artist’s words: “The earth was saturated; the rivers spilled out into nearby floodplains, rushed farther to farmland, subsuming crops, pulling debris into towns and homes. What psychic marks are left after this kind of trauma to the land? What can be felt in the before and after? Rain-soaked and verdant, the film weaves summer storms with dry winter floodplains, river rocks and the unfurling of hopeful summer ferns now flattened under the weight of the water.” Soft observations of ecosystems in a process of renewal are captured on Super 8 mm film and animated by the light that comes after rain.

These two films address effects of climate change on bi-coastal ecosystems. Each artist’s home is an evolving landscape where we journey alongside the coyote, frog, and fluttering butterfly. Here, we recall our animal beginnings. Nature holds an ancestral intelligence, but its resilience may be diminished by the conditions of our human existence. Visions in pastel and film show Earth is speaking to us: crying raindrops and exhaling exhaust. Will we listen? Will we find ways to help her heal?

Limited edition incense paper featuring film stills will be available after September 22, 2023 in collaboration with Hadley Hill Bindery. In support of these ecosystems, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Mojave Desert Land Trust and New Farms for New Americans, organizations selected by the artists.

For further details, please email, or DM @leilagreichellc.

AIDAN KOCH lives and works in Landers, California, on unceded, ancestral Serrano land with three dogs, two doves, and one other human. She explores complex interbeing between humans, our non-human cohabitators, and the land. Aidan shares empathic narratives through drawings and sculptures, has published six graphic novels, exhibited internationally, and founded the Institute for Interspecies Art and Relations in 2017.

ABBEY MEAKER is a Vermont-based artist, writer, and curator. She makes photographs and films that explore uncanny qualities of nature and place and whether one’s interiority—tinged with the mysterious and mournful experience of time passing, of remembering and forgetting—informs the feeling there. Does this sense have an aesthetic? Is it absorbed by photographic emulsion, becoming part of its materiality? The particular qualities of a space, its dust, history, and atmosphere are forever bound to film grain. Together they become an artifact, a trace, a ghost of an experience of time and a witness to the exposed sunlight that ‘happened’ before. When energy, light, and matter come together, these invisible phenomena can be seen.

“A photograph can record atmospheres on the surface of things, capture the spirit of interior and exterior spaces, whether religious or secular, suggest spiritual worlds, and reveal human desire to make contact with those worlds.”

Ben Jacks, Photographs and Spiritual Atmospheres

Abbey Meaker "Water light passing" Incense Papers