Julia Anne Goodman: Unearthed

Exhibition Website

Nov 13 2016 - May 7 2017

As part of the Front Window Installation series, Julia Anne Goodman presents a site-specific beet papyrus installation.

Goodman’s installation consists of thin slices of dried beets adhered together by their own sugars. By using information provided by the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, IL, Goodman has depicted San Jose’s rising winter constellations beginning Sunday, November 13, the day of the ICA’s opening reception. The constellations of Orion, Gemini and Taurus are all represented in this complex and vibrant work.

Sliced in one direction, the beets concentric circles echo orbits and celestial rings. Sliced in the other direction, the striations reveal the plant’s vein-like vascular system, collapsing the distance between plant body and human body. Merging agricultural varieties with celestial cartography, Goodman creates ephemeral panels based on the compositions of the winter constellations that initially appear to be stainglass. This uniquely diverse beet harvest, ranging in size, shape and color, mirrors the complexity above us with that below us. 

Letting light shine through materials that grow underground, Goodman explores connections between the celestial and terrestrial. Contextualizing personal cycles of loss and joy within macro and micro cycles of growth and decay, her work utilizes beet papyrus to reflect on ideas of our corporal nature and its connections to cycles in the cosmos and in the fields. Goodman is inspired by geographer and author Yi Fu Tuan’s reflections on the “vertical glance.” He posits that we should shift from the contemporary horizontal glance where we are only aware of the thin layer of the planet we occupy, to the older vertical glance when humans were more in tune with the world above and below them.

Goodman’s work creates opportunities to collaborate across multiple disciplines and practices including working with biodynamic farmers, astronomers and beet-breeders. This project is generously supported with beet donations from Preston Family Farm & Vineyards, Angelic Organics and University of Wisconsin, Madison Horticulture Department. Astronomical research support comes from the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, IL. Thanks also to Ethan Worden for carpentry support.

Exhibition overview from museum website

  • Installation
  • American
  • Contemporary
  • Julia Anne Goodman

Exhibition Venues & Dates