Solo Exhibition "End Water?" at the Paul Sack Gallery
February 01, 2016
Paul Sack Gallery proudly presents "End Water?"
A Juried Solo Exhibition of Aaron Wilder's Photography
February 22-26, 2016
Paul Sack Gallery
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
Aaron Wilder's End Water? series consists of 26 photographs of farms in central California. Having grown up in the desert of southern Arizona, he is no stranger to water scarcity. Wilder moved to California in 2015 in the midst of the most impactful drought in the state’s history since 1895. Since farms in California consume 80% of water used by humans in the state, he was drawn to the farming industry to document what he could witness of the drought’s impact. This body of work represents what Wilder documented in the Central Valley, an area covering 20,000 square miles, containing approximately 17% of the United States’ irrigated land, and producing more than 250 types of crops. Even with the rainfall assistance from El Nino, drought and water scarcity are going to continue to be issues. In fact, environmental scientists have predicted that this drought will be an example of worsening drought conditions in the future.
Through this limited photographic investigation, Wilder seeks to generate dialogue about our relationship to water and commodities we consume that rely on water. How much of the impact of the drought on the farming industry can actually be seen in these photographs? When farmers feel forced to fallow land that could be productive in times of better water availability, what are the broader economic impacts on labor, commodity prices, and import/export? What is our responsibility as consumers of water and agricultural commodities in times of drought? Is there parity between water conservation efforts between urban and rural environments? Given the trends of climate change and the unsustainable population growth in comparison to water availability, how can we best adjust as human beings to the potentiality of greater water scarcity in the future?