Climate change can be tough to wrap your head around. Far-reaching in impact, complex in cause, its a phenomenon that's sometimes hard to visualize. A new exhibition at the Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto is doing its part to make the subject accessible through photography and video.
The Edge of the Earth: Climate Change in Photography and Video is open from September 14 to December 4. More than 20 artists from around the world contributed to the exhibition, including Amy Balkin, Raymond Boisjoly, Edward Burtynsky, Naoya Hatakeyama, Isabelle Hayeur, Mishka Henner, Chris Jordan, Richard Misrach, Evariste Richer, Joel Sternfeld and Sharon Stewart.
“We need to renew our approach to climate change,” says Montréal-based art historian Dr. Bénédicte Ramade, who guest curated the exhibition. “Since climate change is by nature disproportionate, it often overwhelms our understanding of scale and impact, becoming virtually impossible to visualize. Art is certainly one of the most powerful mediators for changing our vision.”
At times vast and sweeping, sometimes infinitessimally subtle, the collection of photos and video challenges the viewer to think about the environment around them and people's impact upon it.
Adrien Missika , Documentation photograph of Darvaza, Turkmenistan, 2011. Courtesy of the artist
Chris Jordan, CF000313: Unaltered stomach contents of Laysan albatross fledgling, Midway Island, 2009. From the series Midway: Message from the Gyre. Ultrachrome Inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist
Nicolas Baier, Reminiscence 02, 2013. Inkjet print. Courtesy of Galerie Division, Montreal & Toronto
Naoya Hatakeyama, Blast (#5416), 1998. Chromogenic print © Naoya Hatakeyama. Courtesy of Yale University Gallery - The Heinz Family Fund
Paola Pivi, Untitled (Zebras), 2003. Pigment print. Photography by Hugo Glendinning. Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin
Edward Burtynsky, Railcuts #4, C.N. Track, Thompson River, British Columbia, 1985. Chromogenic print © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto
Joel Sternfeld, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: Eleventh Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention and First Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, Palais de Congres, Montreal, Canada, 28 November - 9 December, 2005 Robert Kofi Poamfo, Corporate Manager, Forestry Commission, Ghana. From the series When It Changed. Digital c-print © Joel Sternfeld, courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York
Don Rutledge, Untitled [Tires, Alabama, USA], date unknown. Gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre