Thursday, November 6, 2008

Global Warming at the Icebox -- Curator Response to the Graphic Conscience

Dear GC,

I am deeply appreciative of all the effort you put into your comments and observations on our exhibition. It is very rewarding to get this kind of thoughtful response, especially since the majority of the other written commentary has been brief and fairly superficial. I also appreciate your photography, which has so far represented the best images I have seen.

You have been the only writer who has addressed the actual theme in depth. I personally share most of your views, if not all of the specific critiques. When we reviewed the submissions for the juried part of the show, we too were hoping that we would see more in the way of solutions. I think Ralf Sander's piece "World Saving Machine 2" does at least postulate a direction for a solution, even if we perceive it as more whimsical than practical. What we realized after seeing the artists' responses to the theme, was that artists are first of all, artists. That ended up meaning that as much as we would like to think that artists can solve the world's problems through our gifts of creativity and imaginative thinking, what artists are really better at is to provide diverse and unpredictable ways of seeing. From them, perhaps people will walk away with questions, new lines of thinking, and an appreciation for both the art itself and the issues that inspired it.

We did have lofty goals for this show, and in reading what you wrote, it seems like we did accomplish some of them. We had put a lot of thought into it, including commentary and possible contributions from non-artists concerned about global warming, but ultimately decided that since this was a show sponsored by Philadelphia Sculptors that we needed to focus on the art. I think we made the right decision.

Leslie Kaufman

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