Max Hooper Schneider: Carnival of Gestation

2024.7.14 - 2024.10.13

Max Hooper Schneider, Resort Re-Sorted, 2017, live freshwater biocoenosis, glass aquarium, modeled habitat, site-specific materials and vintage and/or mutilated chandeliers and crystal ornaments scavenged from failing resorts across many different atolls in the Maldives, steel base. 61.0 x 137.2 x 50.8 cm. Courtesy the artist.


Location:  UCCA Dune

Max Hooper Schneider explores the intersections between ecology, technology, and relationality in his artistic practice. With a background in landscape architecture and marine biology, Schneider presents an alternative reality of a post-human world through various means such as dioramic miniature landscapes, uranium glass sculptures, electroplated plants, microscopic cinema, and aquariums filled with human artifacts and marine organisms. In this reality, described by the artist as “trans-habitat”, everything undergoes continuous morphogenesis and autopoiesis. Schneider constructs or simulates unique ecologies devoid of human presence, highlighting the interconnections between different worlds, species, and entities, blurring the boundaries between the living and non-living, and the organic and inorganic.

The exhibition centers around the concept of the “Traumatic Sublime,” which explores the marvels and horror that emerge in the aftermath of ecological collapse or “geotraumas” caused by humans. Through continuous technological reinvention, Hooper Schneider showcases new material forms and amalgamations, creating immersive experiences that challenge viewers to reconsider their anthropocentric positioning and perspectives on life, death, and the material states. The exhibition is curated by UCCA curator Luan Shixuan.

About the Artist

Max Hooper Schneider (b. 1982, Los Angeles, CA) received his Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design (2011). In addition, he obtained his Bachelor’s degrees in Urban Design and Biology from New York University, and did further studies in Marine Biology and Entomology at The University of Hawaii at Mānoa and Santa Monica College. Selected solo exhibitions include Twilight at the Earths Crust (Maureen Paley, London, 2023), as well as others held at MO.CO Montpellier Musée Contemporain (Montpellier, France, 2022), Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, CA, 2019), High Art (Paris, France, 2021, 2015), and Jenny’s (Los Angeles, CA, 2018, 2014). His work was included in group presentations at the Centre Pompidou-Metz (France, 2022); Schinkel Pavillon (Berlin, Germany, 2021); Leeum Museum of Art (Seoul, Korea, 2021); “Liquid Life” (Kistefos Museum Jevnaker, Norway, 2021); the Belgrade Biennale (Serbia, 2021); Regen Projects (Los Angeles, CA, 2021); Marc Selwyn Fine Art (Los Angeles, CA, 2021); the 16th Istanbul Biennial (Turkey, 2019); Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (France, 2019); the 13th Baltic Triennial (Lithuania, 2018); UCCA Center for Contemporary Arts Beijing, China, 2017); High Line (New York, NY, 2017); Gagosian (Los Angeles, CA, 2015); and the Mongolia Land Art Biennial (2012, 2014). He has been the recipient of major art and science research expedition prizes via BMW in 2017 and the Schmidt Ocean Institute in 2023, and is participating in the next edition of the Gwangju Biennial. as well as several other solo exhibitions in Europe and Asia in 2024.