October 25 – December 1, 2019
Michael Krondl: Melt
Turning to the thematics of our troubled relationship with the natural world, Krondl explores an ongoing discussion from the standpoint of both society and the individual. The work in his exhibit seeks to create an intersection of the corporeal and the conceptual, illustrating that human demise isn’t merely theoretical, but a potential and immediate possibility.
The two installations in the exhibition directly address the experience of climate change. The first, “Melt” is a large-scale digitally printed photograph of Sólheimajökul, an Iceland glacier that has retreated more than a kilometer over the course of the last decade: a casualty of global warming. The second piece, “Alza le vele” (“raise the sails”) is an ongoing video installation depicting a rising tide, this accompanied by audio from a public swimming pool.
Krondl’s work seeks to rethink the tropes of photography by replacing the common process of peering through a lens. He substitutes this with a more immediate, personal, and physical response that has urgently bypassed higher intellectual function to directly incite a mid-brain reaction in the viewer. Although the installation’s environmental message is clear in a visceral sense, it also succeeds in treading a fine boundary between the apocalyptic and the sublime, ultimately seeing the natural world as both threatened and transcendent. Krondl writes, “I think often of Thoreau’s wild delight in the face of nature and his response as feeling ‘glad to the edge of fear.’ ”