Changing Landscapes: Janelle Lynch and Pedro David
Tuesday, November 7 at 6pm
Organization of American States
1889 F Street, NW
November 7, 2017 – January 12, 2018
By appointment only: [email protected]
Washington, DC: The Organization of American States (OAS) AMA | Art Museum of the Americas proudly announces Changing Landscapes, an exhibition of photography by Janelle Lynch and Pedro David. Landscapes are constantly changing, sometimes interrupted by periods of stability, marking points across the lengthy timeline of evolutionary changes, and more recently, changes caused by human-induced technological and economic impact. Nevertheless, we can approach the landscape as a sensuous, living creature: of body and mind, the landscape is merely an external form of ourselves.
“One definition of landscape reflects the European experience of long settled existence. Such long patterns of habitation may be broken. Settlers who force out indigenous communities may bring with them a sense of landscape from elsewhere and remake the landscape with this in mind. European aesthetic categories, such as the sublime, beauty and wonder may well travel.”
This definition of landscape is entangled with European Romanticism the environment was built on, plowed, defended, conquered, and contemplated in ecstasy. Today these landscapes form and inform our subjectivities, reflecting our present through the past’s mirror, as evoked by both Janelle Lynch and Pedro David.
The notion of the “settler" and the concept of the landscape as a Romantic convention are present in Janelle Lynch’s photographic series Fosa comun, made in México City in 2007. The “settler” becomes a corpse dumped into a mass grave. Disquieting images of abandonment and desolation, of sunless gardens of plants struggling to survive, are not just about death, emptiness and loss, but something else: a parallel and proximity between life and death, as in the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead.
For the last 13 years, Pedro David has been photographing transgenic eucalyptus that are replacing the natural forests throughout much of the Cerrado or Brazilian savanna, the Atlantic forest, and even in the Amazon. The plants are changing the biodiversity of the original forests into a mono-crop, taxing the local environment, depleting the soil and consuming water and other vital resources. The speed at which these forests are being replaced is an increasingly global concern. The eucalyptus itself becomes the ‘settler.’
In David’s Harwood (Madeira de Lei) series, he shows rows of eucalyptus only interrupted by suffocating natural species - Sucupira, Pequizeiro, Araticum, and Palo Tierra (Pau Terra) - the images evoking desolation, death, solitude and extinction.
Artworks on view are for sale, to benefit the artists and AMA programming.
Accessibility: The OAS AMA F Street Gallery is wheelchair-accessible. For more information on accessibility, please contact 202 370 0147 or [email protected]
For more information on AMA, please visit AMAmuseum.org