Blue Tears – Patricia Carr Morgan’s exhibition at Tucson Museum of Art


(clock ticking loudly) (plaintive music) – The images are
single photographs that I took in Greenland
and in Antarctica. They’re 17 feet tall. I’ve printed it on silk organza, and I chose silk for
the specific reason that it’s a natural fiber, and it’s also endangered
because of climate change. It was a long process. As an undergraduate, I
was an art history major, and photography was required
for art history majors. I learned a lot in that class, and the most important
thing I learned was how personal photography is. (people murmuring) I was actually stunned
at how everybody could have the same assignment, and everybody’s work
looked so different and said so much
about themselves. I did an MFA at the U of A, and my focus was photography and interdisciplinary sculpture. I was a reluctant traveler,
to go to the Antarctic, because I get terribly seasick. But as my husband tells me,
if I haven’t been there, I’ll go, and that’s true. So off I went to the Antarctic,
and I fell in love with it. It was like nothing I
had ever seen before, and I found it so
incredibly beautiful. At the time, I didn’t
have a project in mind, but I was taking
lots of photographs. Spent a lot time in a
Zodiac, going around, being as close as I could to the glaciers and
to the icebergs. (contemplative music) It’s so fearsome, and so white, and so fragile, all at once. First I started printing
straight photographs in full color, showing
the whole gamut of the stunning blues
that you find there, and then, while
I was doing that, I printed them in
black and white, which accentuated the
quietness of them. Then I started thinking
about their degradation. I rephotographed
this with abused, expired 35-millimeter film.
(paper scraping) This is the result
of that experiment. You can see that the photograph
is radically changed. Still thinking about their
destruction and our loss, I sanded the photographs,
and began painting on them with particles of coal
and carbon pigment, as a way of showing
the defacement that we’re giving
our environment, and I printed them
on Japanese paper to explore the
fragility of them. All this time,
I’m thinking about wanting to do an installation, but not knowing how that
would work or what I would do. This is silk, and it’s
prepared for digital printing. I began printing larger
ones, and the way they layer, and their translucence
really worked well. (clock ticking loudly) I started with a performance where I dropped
three of the panels. The performance is
really a performance of mourning.
(fastener clatters) I feel very emotional about it. I’ve been concerned
about climate change and global warming since we
first began talking about it. There is a keen
sense of urgency. Things that we take for granted
will no longer be there! Through my art is the best way
that I personally can do it. I’m not a scientist,
I can’t make lectures, but I certainly can impart
my love for the environment and my concern.
(audience clapping) Throughout the exhibition
I’ll surreptitiously go into the museum and
drop additional panels. They’ll all be gone
and there’ll just be this undulating silken
icebergs on the ground. (clock ticking loudly) (people murmuring)

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