Contemporary Museums Denver

Eco Poetics – MCA Denver

— August 28, 2022 – Clarissa Tossin

Falling from Earth

Miranda Lash, senior curator

From June 3 to Sunday, August 28, 2022, the work of Clarissa Tossin occupied the second floor of the MCA Denver. Falling from Earth , the name of this exhibition, is a collection of artwork resulting from Tossin’s exploration of the intersection of climate change and space exploration. We made it in to the MCA on the final day.

Each of the galleries offered some visual manifestation of the artist’s conceptual project(s). The largest held what was called Death by Heat Wave. See the header image and first photo. Cheerfully, another gallery displayed her moderist sense of irony, Amaxon packing boxes were woven to make images representing places in space that earth bound governments are planning to exploit for resources.

In response, I wrote the following:
Latex resin – man-made & tree-based
skin on the old dead skin of a tree
Manufactured fluid, finely applied
and removed like a condom.
Ripped bark, deflated –
QR code to the artist
discussing her process –
Being unable to enter the gallery
where the limbs were laid
out like a delta – some it
& some not it.
Not alone wanting to envelope
a tree – know it from root
to smallest branch
even while drying
and after life, blown over
exposing ball of roots and stone.

Climate. Mate of mine:
a nature lover, tree hugging,
Climatic, cinematic, climax
hugging, bringing close,
Barking at bark
who would do that?

Bark – the skin of the tree –
My mate is a tree rubber
shadow tree of Mulholland
tired, thirsty, poor
Vanishing to just a rubber
cover for an already dead tree.

Rubbing snow on a tree
still living – it melts
from the inside first
just like snow
under the mitten on
my pulse.

Certain trees dying as
concrete heated the land,
change has weedled in
for a long time.
Wild will not return
on its own.

Death by heat wave
the plot of a novel – obviously
gripping, moral movie:
Tom Cruz playing Donald Trump
traipsing around with secret documents
that could go boom –
at any time.
Laws are broken
secret documents stolen
The thieves always – obviously-
the bad guys
convicted of treason
and killed as my friend says,
‘by the method devised
by the founding fathers
for treasoneers:
Taken from the Iroqqoise
death by heat waves
emanating from a long pit
designed to radiate
your entire length
or rather height as you
are lashed to a St. Andrews Cross’
Fire in the pit burns at your back.
Your are obviously being killed
by your country for not giving
a fuck about it or
anyone else on the planet.

If only climate change –
a complex problem, not
containable in two words –
was as simple to recognize
as a forest of sycamores
that require more water
than is currently available
in a French national forest.
‘We need more wild space,’
said EO Wilson.
I and you cannot stop it
by throwing plastic in a plastic bin
marked recycling
Even when we are all driving electric.

Biking electrically
please, more green
more efficient farming, please,
cities that are walkable
what we need made nearby:
electricity on my roof,
vegetables on another,
more parks less car parks,
Less camping out – homeless homilies
play along and live small.


Resin covered a dead tree. This resin skin was then removed and brought to the gallery
Death by Heat Wave, by Clarissa Tossin
A space suit made of resin and another skin of a tree created in resin
The gallery view of both pieces under this title
Moon dust
Drawing made with moon dust
Installation of resin skin placed on and then removed from a dead peach tree by Clarissa Tossin


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