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The Persistence of the Unsorted

April 26, 2018 @ 9:00 am - October 31, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

An exhibition of new work by Garfield Park Conservatory’s Artist in Residence, Claire Pentecost. On view April 26 – October 31, 2018.

Every plant in the Garfield Park Conservatory has been sorted and named, taking its place in the great taxonomic order, a system begun in the 18th century by Carl Linnaeus. And yet we are told that there are countless inhabitants of the forest, the desert, the wetlands, that have never been classified, some of whom will be extinct before we have a chance to discover them. And what of the heterogeneous spirits attached to these places? Defying classification, they persist in the wake of disruption, following the representatives of their homes: the plants. The plants here constitute a collection of far-flung places. We wonder if a conservatory can receive wandering place-spirits severed from their homes.

The Persistence of the Unsorted explores the context that the plants in a conservatory leave behind when removed from their native landscape. From the micro scale of soil particles to the more visible cohabitants like insects, animals, and other plants, along with the layers of culture and history— Claire posits that the unique spirit of a plant’s native home is disrupted when removed from these contributors. In acknowledgement, a cast of the plants’ displaced spirits is carried through the man-made landscape of the conservatory’s Palm House in a 16’ canoe suspended over the reflecting pool.

Claire Pentecost is the Garfield Park Conservatory’s 2017- 2018 Artist in Residence. The Garfield Park Conservatory’s Artist in Residence program is presented by the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance with funding from The Albert Pick Jr. Fund and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events and the Illinois Arts Council. Learn more about the Artist in Residence program HERE.


Please join us for upcoming programs during The Persistence of the Unsorted:

April 26, 2018 – October 31, 2018: The Persistence of the Unsorted, an exhibition of new work by Artist in Residence Claire Pentecost is on view in the Palm House at the Garfield Park Conservatory.

Thursday April 26, 2018: The Persistence of the Unsorted opens to the public on Thursday April 26, 2018, and will be celebrated that evening (6pm – 11pm) at Protect This Land, an event presented by the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, Land and Sea and the National Resources Defense Council. More information and tickets available for purchase HERE.

Saturday April 28, 2018, 12pm – 2pm: Being Together in Place, a free and public discussion of the agency of place. Presented by Claire Pentecost and guests  Jay Johnson and Soren Larsen. Learn more and register HERE.



April 26, 2018 @ 9:00 am
October 31, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
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300 North Central Park Avenue
Chicago, IL 60624 United States
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