Rachel Schmidt: Daydream Believer
written by Olivia Desjardins, AAC Curatorial and Exhibitions Intern
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in another geological era? Would you go back to roam the earth with dinosaurs? What about exploring an era that was created by the actions and activity of humanity?
AAC Resident Artist Rachel Schmidt explores this idea in her solo exhibition: Daydreams in the Anthropocene.
You can find Rachel’s Daydreams on the Upper Level in the Wyatt Resident Artists Gallery, just follow the melodic sounds drifting down the front stairs. This exhibition, consisting of familiar materials: paper, light, and sound, is an immersive installation that will draw you into a delicate, yet unnerving, future world…
To create her hypnotic sound component, Rachel collaborated with DC-based band and art collective Beauty Pill. The arrangement was composed by band members Chad Clark and Drew Doucette.
Rachel says, “The piece examines the new behaviors and emotions created by animals who live their lives behind glass.” Myths and emotions from these imagined futures in the Anthropocene are core concepts woven throughout Daydreams in the Anthropocene.
This installation touches on the possibility that humanity has actually entered a new geological era, the Anthropocene, one brought about by humanity’s uncontrolled, and arguably invasive, growth. Rachel explains her fascination with the co-evolutionary relationship humans have with animals and the planet.
“I have created an installation that acknowledges and addresses climate change and the growing impacts that urbanization has on the planet,” states Rachel. This idea of human activity negatively affecting the animal kingdom is a key belief she has illustrated throughout her exhibition.
After being a Resident Artist at AAC for more than 5 years, Rachel is leaving to continue her practice in a home studio!
In her time here she has exhibited at Hillyer (DC), Arts in Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Biennial (DC), and Flashpoint (DC), among many more.
Before being inducted to the AAC Resident Artist program, Rachel was selected for our 2010 Spring SOLOS. You may remember Damsels and Daemons, her first solo show as a Resident was back in 2011.
Throughout her years at AAC, Rachel has grown and evolved as an artist, moving through her background in textiles to teaching herself animation and 4D design. She’s equally comfortable with pen and ink as she is with immersive installation construction. We will miss her, but are excited to see what she creates in the future!