HANOVER -- A photography exhibit that opened at Dartmouth College on Saturday captures our world and our impact on it.
“Looking Back at Earth: Contemporary Environmental Photography from the Hood Museum of Art's Collection” runs till Aug. 26.
From sustainability to climate change to pollution, the collection draws attention to several environmental issues that concern the artists and documentary photographers featured in the show.
It's a non-confrontational approach though, reflecting the complex relationship between mankind and nature through vast landscapes and aerial photography.
Photos include a caribou migration on the plains of the Alaskan National Reserve by photographer Subhankar Banerjee and boats stranded by a severe drought on the Amazon River by photographer Daniel Beltrá.
“It's an exhibition that is meant to stimulate people to think and discuss and talk,” said Katherine Hart, a co-curator of the show.
The show includes 23 photos by 16 photographers.
“Some of them are environmental activists and some of them less so, but all of them share an interest in the earth,” Hart said.
The show also reflects what is taking place in the world of art photography, which is large scale photos, Hart said. “You become enveloped in the photograph, and that is particularly seductive in landscape photography,” Hart said.
Most of the photos in the show are part of the Hood Museum's collection.
A few years ago, the museum had already started collecting environmental photography when a group of students in a “Museum Curating 101” class showed a “deep interest” in the fairly new medium, Hart said.
As Dartmouth's teaching museum, the Hood saw the pursuit of adding to its environmental collection as a way of enhancing the already strong Environmental Studies Department at the college, she said.
“It intersects with curriculum in an interesting way,” Hart said. “We look at art as something that stimulates discussion and bridges across disciplines.”
Chanon Kenji Praepipatmongkol, a Dartmouth College junior, co-curated the exhibit with Hart.
While curating the show, the international student from Thailand, added several photos to the museum collection and took the lead in pursuing international photographers, such as the British/Chinese photographer Ian The, who works in China.
“He's a very impressive student and the process of curating the show was made more so enjoyable by him,” Hart said.
Kenji also procured “Arsenic and Water” by photographer J. Henry Fair for the museum's collection.
“Contemporary environmental photography helps us to imagine new ways that we might relate to the earth that go beyond either romantic awe or lament,” Kenji said in a statement.
Fair plans to give an artist lecture, “Industrial Scars: The Art of Activism,” on campus Tuesday July 17.