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James Balog: Photographs from the Anthropocene

For four decades James Balog has studied ancient cultural assumptions about the relationship between human nature and the rest of nature. Through innovative imagery, his projects interpret significant aspects of what has changed, what’s survived, and what changes are projected for the future. His photographs and films reveal nature’s dazzling beauty as well as its capacity for destruction. Conversely, as a scientist and an artist, he documents humanity’s actions that are interrupting nature’s traditional patterns and properties to the detriment of both humans and nature. Each of his projects connects to previous as well as subsequent investigations to knit an increasingly whole view of the people versus nature interface.

Photographs from the Anthropocene describes both of the ancient cyclical patterns of the earth’s life forms and the impact of human activity by intent or inadvertence on those forms and cycles. For instance, the clearing of forests for habitation and commerce endangers animal and plant species and can change weather patterns which can lead to prolonged droughts which can trigger hotter and more frequent fires in the remaining forests. Balog’s passion to understand these patterns drives him. His talent is to photograph and film them in ways that not only seduce viewers with nature’s rich varieties and splendor, but evoke questions about what is happening and why.

The exhibition is divided into four sections — Survivors, Transformation, Combustion and Extraction, which reflect his projects over four decades. Singular images related to, but independent of those sections are also included.


Number of works:

A selection of approximately 100 works, photographs, videos and films will be shown. The exhibition will be coordinated to the extent possible with the screening of his new film, as well as his award-winning film, "Chasing Ice”.


In collaboration with FEP, Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. will publish two books related to the artist’s work: one is an illustrated oversized 400 page catalogue of the exhibition that comprises a major text by curator Anne Tucker and was selected as one of the best photographic books of the year by The Times (London). A second publication will be written by the artist about his experiences as an environmental photographer.

Exhibition Partner

Earth Vision Institute is co-producing the exhibition with FEP.
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