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Industrial Scars: The Photography of J Henry Fair

by on December 4, 2012


For those of you in and near the Atlanta area, if you have not yet had a chance to see “Industrial Scars, the Photography of J Henry Fair,” the exhibit will continue to be on display at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum until December 11th. We are very excited to be able to hold this exhibit over past its original end date. Access to the exhibit is free with paid admission to the museum. You may purchase admission to the museum online or on site. Directions can be found online.

“Industrial Scars is an aesthetic look at some of our most egregious injuries to the system that sustains us in hopes that the viewer will come away with an innate understanding of her complicity and a will to make a difference.” – J Henry Fair

Rio Tinto © J Henry Fair

Rio Tinto mining operations, Spain, April 2008 © J Henry Fair

Fair further comments on his artistic work as follows: “My work is a response to my vision of society. I see our culture as being addicted to petroleum and the unsustainable consumption of other natural resources, which seems to portend a future of scarcity. My vision is of a different possibility, arrived at through careful husbandry of resources and adjustment of our desires and consumption patterns toward a future of health and plenty. To gear our civilization toward sustainability does not necessitate sacrifice today, as many naysayers would argue, but simply adjustment. There are many societies existing at present that have a standard of living at least as high as ours while consuming and polluting a fraction of what is the norm in the United States. As an artist with a message, one asks oneself: how do I translate my message to my medium such that it will effect the change I want? At first, I photographed ‘ugly’ things; which is, in essence, throwing the issue in people’s faces. Over time, I began to photograph all these things with an eye to making them both beautiful and frightening simultaneously, a seemingly irreconcilable mission, but actually quite achievable given the subject matter. These are all photographs of things I have found in my explorations. Other than standard photographic adjustments of contrast, they are unmodified.”

Energy and the environment were prevalent issues during Carter’s administration, so it is fitting to be able to display an exhibition such as Industrial Scars. I find the images to be both beautiful and unsettling at the same time–it is this paradox that causes me to stop and think about what it is at which I am actually looking.

Be sure to stay tuned to our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and our Events page to find out about other upcoming events and exhibits in 2013. New information is added frequently, so be sure to check back often.


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