February 4 – April 2
In Bycatch, Eric Magrane and Maria Johnson present an art-science exploration of the shrimp trawling fishery in Mexico’s Gulf of California. Every night from September through March, hundreds of boats traverse the water dragging hundred-foot long nets across the seafloor after a quarry of shrimp. Along with shrimp, they pull up over 200 other species. About 85% of the weight captured is not shrimp; this is called ‘bycatch.’
Combining video, installation, illustration, and poetry based on their overnight field research aboard trawlers, Magrane and Johnson have created an exhibit that gives you a taste of what it feels like to be knee deep in this overwhelming bycatch on the deck of a boat. They also introduce you to some specific individuals—such as a Shamefaced crab, Shovelnose guitarfish, and Sonora scorpionfish—often caught up in the nets. For the exhibit, they have produced a “Collectors’ Edition” set of Bycatch Trading Cards that pay witness to some of the non-human individuals so often the casualties of this unsustainable fishing practice.
Drawing on their interdisciplinary backgrounds—Magrane, a PhD candidate at UA in the School of Geography and Development and a research associate with the Institute of the Environment, is a geographer and a poet and Johnson is a marine conservationist and artist—Bycatch sheds some light on a key conservation issue in the Gulf. They created this work as part of the Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers 6&6 art-science initiative that paired 6 scientists and 6 artists to create work engaging with the Sonoran Desert and Gulf of California.
The gallery also features a complimentary selection of work from the Museum’s permanent collection and the collection of the Center for Creative Photography curated by MFA students in the UA’s Creative Writing program.
University of Arizona Museum of Art & Archive of Visual Arts
1031 North Olive Road
Tucson, AZ 85721-0002