‘Wild’ @ the PMA: A Review

 

Award winning photographer Michael Nichols’ exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art appears to be the culmination of a very distinguished career. Over the past thirty years he has documented the wonders, struggles, and challenges of the wilderness and has been a strong advocate for the preservation of wild spaces. This exhibition could not be more timely and relevant.

The scale of environmental destruction and the precariousness of our continued existence on this planet is slowly beginning to dawn even on those committed to willful ignorance. This article will explore why things like the ‘Wild’ exhibit are valuable and necessary; we’ll also explore what must be done to move the concept of wilderness from its position as a far off abstraction to one that has a very real and immediate relevance for our collective survival. Spoiler: if the wilderness dies, we die. It’s pretty much that simple.

Let’s first define what is meant here by “the wilderness.” The wilderness is generally any area that is not under the direct or indirect control of human beings. These places are in a relatively pristine state and non-humans are the majority. When most people think of the wild they might conjure up an image of the tropical rain forest or of African grasslands, yet the ice caps of Antarctica and the North Pole are also wild places as are most of the oceans. And when we consider ice caps and their role in making human society possible, we can understand that protecting the wilderness is also a form of self preservation.

Read more here, on DGP’s Medium page.

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