Brooklyn : Ed Kashi
The Forgotten Land
Ed Kashi traveled to Madagascar to study the consequences of the depletion of natural resources on a culture dependent upon them. Using an explicit visual language, Kashi defines man by his close bond with nature. The tense portraits of mud-covered bodies correspond to the silent, cracked lands, taking on the abstract patterns of the cloudy sky. The lines and colors of human and animal skin blend together in a mystical and agricultural symbiosis as they tread the ground to make it fertile.
In almost every single image, man and nature merge, showing their interdependence, under a heavy sky emitting a light nearly as threatening as the disappearance of the forests. Kashi uses documentary photography as a tool to make his viewers take action. His compositions are clear and unambiguous. In his literal illustrations of how slash-and-burn agriculture endangers forests, the photographer employs a stormy and apocalyptic light. The bare white trunks cut across the green landscape blackened by a smoky sky, the branches jut out like begging hands.
Everything in Kashi’s work is a symbol: the smoke, the material, the postures, the unbalance are eloquent representations that trigger an immediate response. This type of language is indispensable in a situation as urgent as Madagascar’s.
“The Forgotten Land: Madagascar Out of Balance”
November 8, 2012 – January 4, 2013
28 Jay Street