Humane ecology image


b. 1984, Lexington, KY; raised in Florida; lives and works in New York

Allison Janae Hamilton, Untitled (White Ouroboros), 2023, ASA filament, paint, resin. Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York / Aspen. Photo: Tucker Bair

Frozen in the act of consuming themselves, Allison Janae Hamilton’s twin alligator sculptures mimic the ouroboros—an ancient symbol of a serpent locked in an endless cycle of death and rebirth. The artist, who was raised in Florida, has often included alligators in her work, playing on their multiple associations in the South: as predator and prey, as mythological figures, or as reminders of racialized violence—based on a legend that African American infants were once used as hunting lures. The incongruous setting of these animals on the terrace outside the Lunder Center galleries, set against a mountainous landscape, suggests a long voyage, as if they are climate migrants from a rapidly warming south. Environmental crises travel, the artist suggests, well beyond the southern Black communities that have long borne the brunt of them.