Monday, March 2, 2009
For the last month and a half or so I've sat across from one of Edward Bertynsky's photos in the Criteria exhibition at A + D Gallery which I work for for. The photo is of a "landscape" formed by the collection of thousands upon thousands of discarded and used car tires. The image is striking and beautiful in its formal qualities. However I find that as people progressed through the exhibition, one of the most common questions was how this photograph could function as a part of an exhibition which was assumed to be about sustainability. The truth behind the driving force on the exhibition Criteria was not sustainability but more so on how unsustainable WE truly are. A mirror effect if you will. The paradox Bertynsky's photograph presented was of how it was probably the most aesthetically pleasing image in the whole show yet it was the most blunt image on waste and an unsustainable culture.
I find it very interesting to think, regarding on this weeks readings; Creative Destruction by Rebecca Solnit, EveryCorner is Alive , and The Death of Enviromentalism by Micheal Shellinberg and Ted Nordhaus, on what an artists role could be in environmental issues and activism. Kevin Fueller ( I hope I spelled his name correctly) whom is the director for 2008-2009 , had a lot of interesting things to say regarding why he feels artist could be a better vehicle for communicating a lot of the present issues facing humans nature than scientist could ever attempt. His reason for this is that artist have a better sense of connecting to a viewer wile scientist approach a more dry and statistical dialogue to research. I keep thinking back to the Bertynsky photo and how it perplexed a lot of iewers yet it striked a strong attention and thought process. There are breaking of rules and ethics in a sense which artist have more liberty of playing with than a scientist or a politician. I can begin to understand exactly what mister Fuller means.
A lot of the discussion sorrounding Eliot Porters practice is how nature informs culture and how our sorroundings have developed into entirely synthetic enviroments. I find it interesting to reflect back to the Byophylia theory here because in a sense though our sorroundings are very heavy in synthetic material ,it is clear to point out that everything we have created comes from nature itself. Yes the tampering of material and changing of process has conscecuences, and a lot to which ar eevry clear and present threats. However I think there is much to say about were things come from and how in a sense earth remains locked within itself as both the scene of the crime and the provider of material. Im a little unclear of were im going with this statement I will admit, but I think the connection Im attempting to make is the connection between man and earth and how there is a conversation between the two taht continues even though our current synthetic world blurrs things.