“If engaging with climate is not a matter of winning, but more a matter of character and style, then the making of art, story, and literature also becomes part of our responses.” —Per Espen Stoknes, What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming
How do we confront what climate strategist Jorgen Randers calls “the burden of ‘Big Grief,’” when nature is increasingly destroyed around us? The artists in Melt Down present evidence of the undeniable impact of climate change on the fragile environments of the Arctic and Antarctic. As Bruce Brown, exhibition curator states, “With increasing frequency Maine artists of all disciplines are traveling to the Arctic and Antarctic to study, observe and record the effects of climate change. Melt Down includes stunning photographs and videos by ten distinguished Maine artists whose work calls attention to one of the major ecological issues of our time.”
Through their experiences recording and responding to the visible and visceral markers of irrefutable change, they bring these physically remote places and the compelling need for action to a wider audience. Their work provides a route for inspiring awareness and response when overwhelming data and science have failed to motivate.
As photographer Peter Ralston states, “Climate change is obviously not a ‘hoax;’ the core questions we must all ask ourselves pertain to what extent are we actually culpable, as well as what we as a species can do about our contribution to it all. To do nothing is unconscionable.”
Melt Down is organized by CMCA curator emeritus Bruce Brown.
John Paul Caponigro