Artist Adam Friedman, based out of Oakland, CA, is optimistic about the inevitable demise of humanity. He looks toward the Earth for comfort in its natural regenerative processes and the shifting elements beneath our feet. His artistic statement is peculiar but somehow uplifting. He states that humanity’s unfortunate apocalyptic view is rooted in religious discourse that ultimately has no real grounding in the way that the Earth will prevail after our demise. It is an expression of vanity and arrogance, he writes, in essence saying that religious doctrine often glosses over the resiliency of Earth and that it will not cease in existence the moment humanity does. This view can seem really rather negative and harsh but, in reality, Friedman is right. What will truly happen if/when the ominous apocalypse does come about and we are destroyed? The Earth, says Friedman, will prevail.
Nature recovers in such a way that we cannot truly fathom how that process may occur. Scientific research has gone quite far but Friedman believes, in his portrayal of natural geological processes, that some things are imperceptible. It is up to the artist to make it perceivable. Friedman, in a myriad of beautiful and multi-dimensional works, tries to visualize the way in which the world will recover and regenerate post-humanity. Friedman strives to present a world that is still very powerful and defies the human landscape, the destruction of our greed, and remains optimistic that this existence is quite possibly utopia. Are we indeed living in a dystopian world? Will the world only become utopian when humanity ceases its influence over it? Adam Friedman seems to think so.
His works are both ambitious but very moving. The images appear jagged, harsh but sleek and powerful in their message that nature will ultimately survive the damage caused by humans. In a piece entitled “Palengensis: Chernobyl’s Rebirth II (detail)”, the juxtaposition of the destroyed buildings against the power of the Earth’s natural tectonic movements is quite astonishing. It begs the question: How will the Earth heal from all the nuclear experiments it has sustained? Not only the unnecessary nuclear advances are questioned but even the idea of the Earth recovering from mass consumption, consumerism and the waste that goes along with all of that. Will the Earth rebuild after we’re long gone or will our impressions, like the buildings of Chernobyl, still remain indented in the ground, forever marking the beautiful landscape we called home?
Written By Sarah MacDonald