New installation at University of Michigan explores human impact on climate change

U-M Institute for the Humanities displays artist Gideon Mendel's 11-year project

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

Lucas Williams, Lawshe Plantation, South Carolina, October 2015 (Photograph by Gideon Mendel, part of his Drowning World Project)

ANN ARBOR - A new video installation is coming to the University of Michigan's Institute for the Humanities from Nov. 9 through Dec. 14.

The installation, titled "Deluge," will be on display as part of the institute's 2018-19 theme, "Humanities and Environments" and is the pinnacle of artist and photographer Gideon Mendel's "Drowing World Project," which is 11 years in the making. 

The five-channel video installation shows the human impact on climate change, specifically flooding.

From the home of Muskan and Javed Ahmed, Mahjoor Nagar, Srinagar, Kashmir, India, September 2014 (Photograph by Gideon Mendel, part of his Drowning World Project)


Mendel has been documenting the effects of climate change since 2007 through video footage and a series of intimate portraits of people who have survived and endured floods.
The project has been featured in 13 countries, including Haiti (2008), Pakistan (2010), Brazil (2015) and others.

The recent floods in the Carolinas, Florida and Texas are also included in the installation.
"I feel as if his work connects us globally -- it leads to an understanding that we are all connected, that it isn't one community or one country that is isolated, that climate change affects all of us," Amanda Krugliak, curator and assistant director of arts programming at the U-M Institute for the Humanities, said in a statement.
"It demonstrates our true responsibility to one another, our responsibility to find collective solutions." 

Francisca Chagas dos Santos, Taquari District, Rio Branco, Brazil, March 2015 (Photograph by Gideon Mendel, part of his Drowning World Project)

Mendel says "Deluge" portrays an array of individuals positioned with a "synchronous global narrative in ways that are both personally intimate and deeply political."

On Friday, Nov. 9, an opening reception with Mendel will take place at 5 p.m. at the Institute for the Humanities Gallery, located at 202 S. Thayer St.

The gallery will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and is free and open to the public.

About Gideon Mendel
A leading contemporary photographer, Mendel's intimate style of image making and long-term commitment to projects has earned him international recognition and many awards. His career has been notable for his engagement with three of the crucial political and social issues that have faced his generation: apartheid in South Africa, HIV/AIDS in Africa and climate change.

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