On Tuesday (October 1st, 2019), a panel discussion was hosted at Weiss – the Center for the Arts – to address issues raised by Edward Burtynsky in his exhibition: global impacts of our local interactions with water and the movement to develop a sustainable reality for water and human. The college panelists included three professors, two directors and the Trout Gallery’s staff.
The panel discussion started with a brief introduction of the exhibition and followed with reflections of the panelists on a series of questions prepared by the Trout Gallery’s staff. “Water” is a collection of photographs taken in nine countries and divided into six themes; it focuses on how humanity shapes water as well as how water shapes our lives through time and space. The exhibition itself is an amazing and mesmerizing journey for everyone to learn about the relationship between human and water. However, each photograph does not have a detailed description, which has been preventing viewers to understand deeply about them. Therefore, I think that the panel discussion has been a helpful guidance for the community to analyze the hidden messages in these photographs as every panelist provided their thoughts and new insights based on their professionals and personal experiences.
Throughout the discussion, the global reduction of freshwater was highlighted to talk about climate change, the control of man-made system, such as dams, on water and the privilege of getting access to water. Nevertheless, I encourage you to visit the exhibition; because I do not think that the panel discussion was able to cover every perspective of Burtynsky’s photographs. The relationship between humanity and water is beyond our fundamental need of water to drink. By taking a walk through the exhibition, you will see how this relationship changes in different places and time as well as in the context of development, culture and more. Limited photographs of the completed exhibition are on display to public at the Trout Gallery (Weiss Center) until October 19th, 2019. I hope that you can come over to take a glance at this fantastic work and get a better view of the current environmental and social issues relating to water.