Gideon Mendel: Deluge
Nov 9 - Dec 18, 2018
Gallery Hours: M-F 9am-5pm
Opening Reception & Gideon Mendel in Conversation with Curator Amanda Krugliak
Nov 9, 5pm
Institute for the Humanities, 202 S. Thayer, Ann Arbor
Five Channel Video Installation
13 Minutes, 27 Seconds.
Deluge is a culmination of Mendel’s ten years of work on the Drowning World project, shooting video and stills in thirteen different countries. It depicts a variety of individual stories, positioned with a synchronous global narrative in a way that is both personally intimate and deeply political. In all his years of responding to floods and making many journeys he has shot a vast archive of video footage, which is fully activated in this presentation for the first time.
About Gideon Mendel and his Drowning World project:
Gideon Mendel came of age as a photographer in South Africa in the 1980’s and identified strongly as a ‘struggle photographer’. This marked him and his subsequent career has been notable for his engagement with three of the crucial political and social issues that have faced his generation. These are the struggle against apartheid, HIV/AIDS in Africa and Climate Change.
A leading contemporary photographer, Gideon Mendel's intimate style of image making and long-term commitment to projects has earned him international recognition and many awards. He was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet Prize 2015 and recently has won both the inaugural Jackson Pollock Prize for Creativity and the Greenpeace Photo Award 2016.
His on-going project ‘Drowning World, explores the human dimension of climate change by focusing on floods across geographical and cultural boundaries. By highlighting the personal impact of flooding he evokes our vulnerability to global warming questioning our sense of stability in the world.
The work began in 2007, when Mendel photographed floods in the UK and in India within weeks of each other. He was deeply struck by the contrasting impact of these events, and the shared experiences of those affected.
Since then he has endeavoured to travel to flood zones around the world visiting Haiti (2008), Pakistan (2010), Australia (2011), Thailand (2011), Nigeria (2012), Germany (2013), The Philippines (2013), The UK (2014), India (2014), Brazil (2015), Bangladesh (2015), the USA (2015 and 2017) and France (2016 and 2018).
As the work progressed photographing floods became both a literal and allegorical means of documenting the tension between the personal and the global effects of climate change. Each location added has intensified the narrative impact of the endeavour.
Drowning World now consists of four parallel and connected narrative elements: Submerged Portraits, Flood Lines, Watermarks, and Deluge.