Kelly Inouye’s solo exhibition “The Company You Keep”, is currently on view at Interface Gallery, Oakland featuring a large-scale installation. The exhibition references Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, the archetypal nature show in which Marlin Perkins sent Jim Fowler to study animal behavior in particularly dramatic made-for-TV ways. A riveting nature show in its time, Wild Kingdom might also be seen as a strange mechanism for advertising insurance.
Equal parts anthropological study and comedic send-up, Inouye’s installation examines the show as a time capsule reflecting the mentality of the era in which it was created. Themes explored include: the application of science to investigate mysteries of the natural world, the use of language to elevate the importance of a project, having the best intentions but being unable to foresee unintended consequences, and above all, Man’s classic literary struggle with nature. Inouye’s work highlights the incongruity of the show’s slogans considering the current state of our healthcare system and reveals almost sinister undertones of the show’s patriarchal tropes.
“The Company You Keep” is currently on view through December 1st, 2013.
For more information on “The Company You Keep” visit Interface Gallery, Oakland.