Thursday, August 14, 2008

Plastic, size, compassion fatigue and art

What does Andreas Gursky's 99 cent diptych have to do with the floating garbage patch in the pacific? (Seen here thanks to Moma). What are the implications of the kind of deep looking that his photographs require? (An earlier post on Gursky here.) As if to force us to grow accustomed to looking at what appears like simple minimal repetitions...we've grown accustomed to thinking manufacturing or replication is benign.
Scale, scale, scale (even in Chelsea he's huge, not Serra huge, but enough to take up more than one gallery at a time...) is so instructive.
The problem of the garbage is complicated, and it's so big experts don't have a clue how to begin to solve the problem. Does seeing the problems really make one pessimistic? How to look without getting burned out? What do we do with all this information? Is it useful to know that there are 191 million global migrants. On the other hand what does business see when it looks at a floating island of garbage? Sometimes just picking up one piece is a start, no? Isn't optimism confronting things head on? Doesn't that suggest at least a will to move through and beyond?


Steven Fama said...

The garbage thing is bad, but maybe the growing hypoxia in the seas is worse.

A poetic and very thought provoking (to me at least) exploration (sort of) about compassion fatigue (and other things) is Death Notices by Meg Hamill.

lemonhound said...

Hey thanks for the tip. Hamill's work looks very interesting. Definitely will order, and report back.

Yes, things are bad. But I think that there's a lot of hope. Humans do things right some times.