Ryerson Image Centre explores climate change through art

Ryerson Image Centre The Edge of the Earth exhibit

The Edge of the Earth exhibit showing at the Ryerson Image Centre from Sept. 14 to Dec. 4, 2016. (Kevin John Siazon)

If you’ve ever wondered what climate change looks, feels and sounds like, then step into the Ryerson Image Centre’s (RIC) exhibit, The Edge of the Earth: Climate Change in Photography and Video.

You might feel it through the urgent singing of activists, or through the creaking of oil rigs, and see it in the form of smoke fumes emerging from a forest.

All of these make up The Edge of the Earth: Climate Change in Photography and Video. The exhibit opened last Wednesday and challenges traditional views of climate change.

Bénédicte Ramade, a Montreal-based art historian, guest curated the exhibit. She hopes it will get people involved in the debate on climate change without being influenced by the Internet and news.

“I wanted to have something more open to make my spectator realize that climate change is a question of interpretation and is very individual and subjective,” Ramade explained.

Bénédicte Ramade at "The Edge of the Earth" exhibit

Guest curator Bénédicte Ramade at The Edge of the Earth exhibit at the RIC on Sept. 13, 2016. (Oriena Vuong)

The exhibit includes pieces from international [as well as local] artists. Photojournalism from the RIC’s Black Star Collection is also included.

Paul Walde is one of the artists showcased. His video installation, Requiem for a Glacier, is seen as soon as you enter the RIC.

It showcases B.C.’s Jumbo Glaciers, which are under threat from global warming and a ski resort development.

Walde said he thinks it’s sad that we’re in a situation that warrants an exhibition about climate change, but also sees art as an effective way to tackle the complex issue.

“What happens in an artwork is that you’re presented information and most artists don’t tell you what to think,” he said. “When you have that opportunity, you draw your own conclusions through an experience.”

The exhibit runs from Sept. 14 to Dec. 4. Admission is free.

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