Thursday, January 03, 2008

Artists rush in where politicians fear to tread

Perhaps the reason it has been so difficult to mobilize humanity to take action on climate change is because we've relied on scientists and politicians to make the call to action. Scientists attempt to make their appeals based on logic. And let's face it, most politicians aren't appealing at all.

Artists may be our saviors, for those who really get it can touch our souls.

If that happens, we just may have a fighting chance to do the right thing. (GW)

Lynn Davis: can photography save melting glaciers?

By Louis Mesple
December 6, 2007

“A diaphanie of lights and glitter… Who will give it back to us? The Arctic is waiting for its painter”, wrote the writer Jean Malaurie (1). It now has its photographer, Lynn David. Up until the 29th July, Lynn Davis is exhibiting pictures of icebergs of Disko Bay (Greenland, -69°N/52°W) at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundation Museum in Madrid. The icebergs were photographed from 2000-2005, are they still submerged? Absolutely not. It was already a monument of drifting still art back then. At the gates of one’s memory.

And yet, Lynn Davis’ photography, true to the tradition of North American landscape, contains an unmistaken signs of life, encouragement of it even: quivers of floating matter, conceited perspectives and clapping graces.

This photography, along with Ansel Adams, has helped, last century, the upsurge of the Rocky Mountains, but cannot hide today’s calamity. The photography is not miraculous. This is a lesson on fleeting things. Lynn David must have shared this feeling of loss with her friends Robert Mapplethorpe, with whom she exhibited for the first time in 1979 in New York City. It’s the same melancholic grey. The same meditation in front of the subjects.

Still in black and white in a big square format, head-on with these ice behemoths, Lynn Davis has aligned other monoliths. These are made of stone, in bricks and are the vestiges of the Zoroastrians, religious monuments of Ancient Persia (1000 B.C.), dispersed in today’s Iran. This gigantic confrontation between these timeless masses allows for an exceptional silence. This will make you oblivious from the noises of the Paseo del Prado, long after you’ve left the Museum….

(1) Jean Malaurie, "Les derniers rois de Thulé" Terre Humaine. Plon p.351.

Lynn Davis Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, 8, Paséo del Prado, Madrid.


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