ACT Lecturer Georgie Friedman is one of four artists featured in Blindness at Muratcentoventidue Artecontemporanea in Bari, Italy. The exhibition, which asks us to reflect on the theme of global warming, runs October 24 – December 16, 2020.
Friedman’s piece, In the Wake of Icebergs is a video diptych that ranges from iceberg details to vast seascapes of icebergs moving out to sea. The icebergs become both literal and metaphoric representations of Antarctica’s shrinking perimeter. In the Wake of Icebergs pairs incongruous seascapes to allude to the fracturing of the environment, and to highlight the enormous amount of sea and landscape that can not be seen within the frame. (Filmed in Antarctica, January 2017.)
About the exhibition:
The blindness to which the title of the exhibition refers is obviously metaphorical, it is a state of the human being, it is the inability to see the others and what surrounds us, it is indifference and a lack of empathy.
The literary tradition, since the Archaic Greece, has often played on the metaphor of physical blindness, from Tiresias, to Oedipus, king of Thebes, up to recent years, humanity made blind by a sudden pandemic in the novel by José Saramago, Essay on Blindness, the history of literature is full of significant examples of symbolic blindness.
In recent decades, technological development and globalization have guaranteed the possibility of making information travel easily and throughout the planet. Contact, albeit virtual, has become easy and immediate. Everyone can know what is happening on the other side of the world, get informed and create connecting networks. Yet man passively lets himself be informed, like a blind man who, unable to see, lets himself be told. He does not open his eyes, but remains indifferent to the changes, and to the risks that threaten humanity starting with global warming.
The title of the exhibition, which aims to make us reflect on man’s behavior towards an epochal drama such as climate change, is inspired by the essay by Zygmunt Bauman “Moral blindness – The loss of sensitivity in liquid modernity” which tells about the collective loss of sensitivity and moral imagination in a society that lives for consumerism, but also to the essay by the Indian writer Amitav Ghosh, The great blindness, (it is the Italian edition title) which examines our inability to grasp climate change and to find the solutions.
He has no hope in the future, the current model of extremely material life, individual and crushed on a single existence profoundly affects any question about our destiny and the future of the world. And culture, so intimately linked to the history of capitalism, able of recounting wars and numerous crises, reveals a singular, irreducible resistance to face climate change.
About the artist:
Georgie Friedman is an interdisciplinary artist whose projects include large-scale video installations, single and multi-channel videos and several photographic series. She is interested in our psychological and societal relationships to mild and severe natural phenomena. She investigates a wide range of powerful atmospheric and oceanic conditions, and is fascinated by the power of these natural elements in relationship to human fragility. She utilizes photography, video, sound, installation, engineering and the physics of light, all in order to create new experiences for viewers.
She investigates our psychological and societal relationships to mild and severe natural phenomena and our changing climate. She researches and bases her projects on a range of powerful atmospheric and oceanic conditions including: severe storms, hurricanes, glacial melt, the warming oceans, icebergs, and sea level rise. She is fascinated by the power of these natural elements in relationship to human fragility and our culpability in their growing strength in the Anthropocene. She has traveled to five continents to film for her projects and utilizes video, sound, installation, engineering and the physics of light, all in order to create new experiences for viewers.