Thursday, February 25, 2010

Making an IMPACT

In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti and the many other natural disasters and problems facing the world, I thought I'd devote a post to socially-conscious artwork.

This week, LiveBooks' IMPACT online exhibition went live, presenting the work of 12 imagemakers who had a unique impact on their subject or whose subject had a unique impact on them.

Ed Kashi: A “Fady” in Madagascar.  From: IMPACT exhibition.

Originally posted on Ed Kashi's Weblog, Ed describes the project:
Welcome to the new IMPACT online exhibition, a project exploring the internet as a venue for insightful photographic work. In an effort to remind viewers of the important role photographers play around the world, we invited an array of imagemakers to share galleries on their blogs (like this one) that comprise up to 12 images representing an experience where they had an impact on the subject or were impacted themselves. By clicking on the links below the IMPACT logo, you can move through the exhibition, viewing other galleries by different photographers. You can also click the IMPACT logo to be taken to a post on the liveBooks RESOLVE Blog where you can see an index of all participating photographers. We hope that by linking different photographic visions of our first topic, "Outside Looking In," we can provide a multifaceted view of the topic as well as the IMPACT individuals can have on the world around us.
Many artists have recently tried to contribute to social change, and it's always great to see that type of involvement with their subjects, because the depth of research shows through in the work.

Another group of recent note is KK Projects, based in New Orleans, who took over properties abandoned following the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina and transformed them into art installation spaces that would open up a conversation with their neighbors and contribute to rebuilding efforts.

One particular work, Mel Chin's "Safehouse," attempts to raise money to clean up the lead now seeping into New Orleans soil.

  KK Projects writes:
An entire house has been transformed into a vault with a massive bank safe door amending its fragile facade.   The formal opening revealed the physical and conceptual contents of the vault.  What the vault protects is a tremendous art investment from the local New Orleans community.  Although the project was enveloped by an unusual amount of secrecy, certain things have now been revealed.  This installation is part of a larger project involving “300 Million in the Making", in which 300 million dollars is literally made by students and visitors to the art space in order to pay for the remediation of lead from the contaminated New Orleans soil. This project seeks to determine the exchange value of singular human expression.  It also presents the engineering and scientific coordination of a solution to conditions compromising the health and education of youth.

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