Water Scarcity: Perpetual Thirst
Water Scarcity: Perpetual Thirst features artworks by Tahir Carl Karmali, Cannupa Hanska Luger and Lucy + Jorge Orta, who use a range of approaches to raise awareness about the issue of access to clean water. Water is essential for life and is crucial for ecological cycles on the planet. With water covering more than 70% of the earth’s surface, it can be hard to imagine that there is a global water crisis, yet billions of people experience a lack of available water. Only 3% is fresh water, including that which is encased in glaciers, and only half of that is usable for drinking and other necessities. While water scarcity is a worldwide problem, different regions face different challenges, including resources that are being polluted or drying up.
Karmali’s work focuses on refugees seeking asylum in Kenya due to the intense desertification of the areas surrounding the Sahara. In his interactive sculpture made of wood and sheet metal, visitors are invited to walk across the piece, which spans the length of the gallery and transmits a range of sounds that reference water. Luger presents New Myth, a video installation from his ongoing Future Ancestral Technologies series, with a narrative that expands on the ways in which Indigenous people have developed sustainable technology to live nomadically in deep attunement to land and water. Lucy + Jorge Orta are motivated by ecological and social issues, developing sculptures, installations and drawings that highlight a range of topics, including the fragility and resilience of the human condition when faced with extreme circumstances and how to distribute clean water to communities in need. The projects in this exhibition reveal water scarcity as an urgent concern that is interconnected with other issues, such as food insecurity, land rights and refugee crises.
Although the projects on view in Water Scarcity: Perpetual Thirst represent far-flung sites from Africa to Antarctica to the American Southwest, water scarcity is an issue that affects communities on both a global and a local scale. Even areas that boast high levels of annual precipitation are susceptible to polluted water sources and the effects of climate change that can create unpredictable periods of drought. The gallery exhibition is supplemented by topic-related public programs, which address local and domestic water issues and policy. These include a conversation between an exhibiting artist and climate scientist, as well as a talk among artists whose projects consider how to prepare for water shortages anticipated by drastic climate fluctuations. In the face of this impending scenario of devastating scarcity, how will we respond when a water crisis affects our own city or town?
This exhibition is organized by Director of Arts and Chief Curator Gabriel de Guzman, Curator of Visual Arts Eileen Jeng Lynch and former Assistant Curator Jesse Bandler Firestone.
Don't miss the spring exhibitions opening event on Saturday, May 21 from 2–4:30PM.
Gallery Performance: Tahir Carl Karmali––Kiangazi, The Dry Season
Saturday, June 25, 2022
Water Crisis and Climate Change: An Artist and Scientist Conversation
Thursday, June 30, 2022
Artists’ Conversation on Water Scarcity
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Tahir Carl Karmali
Tahir Carl Karmali
The work of Nairobi-born and Brooklyn-based artist Tahir Carl Karmali spans photography, installation, papermaking, sculpture and sound and concentrates thematically on migration, landscape/geology, labor and belonging. His work has been exhibited at LKB Gallery, Berlin, Hamburg, and Copenhagen; Circle Art Agency, Nairobi; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Kunsthal Rotterdam; The Shed, Cleveland Museum, Leslie Lohman, and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, among others. Karmali was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and a Lower East Side Printshop Keyholder Residency (both 2019–20). Recently he was an artist in residence at The Watermill Center (2020) and Montello Foundation (2021). He was previously an Artist-in-Residence at Triangle Arts Association, Pioneer Works, Trestle Gallery, the MacDowell Colony and BRIC. Learn more about Tahir Carl Karmali.
Cannupa Hanska Luger
Cannupa Hanska Luger
Born on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, Cannupa Hanska Luger is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold and is of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota and European descent. He has been the subject of more than 21 solo exhibitions and has participated in over 110 group exhibitions at venues such as Art Mûr, Montreal; Princeton University Art Museum; Washington Project for the Arts; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Gardiner Museum, Toronto; Orenda Gallery, Paris; Autry Museum, Los Angeles; and Museum of Arts and Design, New York, among others. His works are featured in the public collections of the North American Native Museum, Zürich, Switzerland; Denver Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe; Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Norman, OK; Luciano Benetton Collection: Imago Mundi, Treviso, Italy, Yale University Art Gallery and other museums. He earned a BFA in from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Learn more about Cannupa Hanska Luger.
Lucy + Jorge Orta
Lucy + Jorge Orta
Artist duo Lucy + Jorge Orta’s collaborative practice focuses on social and ecological issues, employing a range of mediums. Studio Orta is located in central Paris and Les Moulins, a cultural complex founded by the artists in Seine-et-Marne, France. Les Moulins is an extension of their practice, to establish a collective environment dedicated to research and production of contemporary art. Over the past two-decades, Lucy Orta (b. Sutton Coldfield, UK) and Jorge Orta (b. Rosario, Argentina) have exhibited at the 46th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, Italy; The Curve, Barbican Art Gallery, UK; Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Italy; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Netherlands; Biennial of the End of the World and the Antarctic Peninsula; Natural History Museum London, UK; MAXXI, Rome, Italy; Shanghai Biennale, China; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, USA; London Museum, Canada; Attenborough Arts Centre, UK; City Gallery and Museum Peterborough, UK; Emsherkunst, Germany; Ikon Gallery, UK; Palazzo Vecchio, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, Museo Novecento, Italy; Les Tanneries, France; and Drawing Lab, France, among others. Learn more about Lucy + Jorge Orta.