Goodbye world as we knew it. If it wasn’t clear before, it is now. The world climate is changing rapidly, and no one knows what’s going to happen or how to plan for it.
Artists Jarod Charzewski and Colleen Ludwig have worked together for 5 years. Although they’ve never felt strongly that they belong to different cultures, they were confronted with a gulf in their perspectives on the Manitoba landscape in preparing for the show at aceartinc. Jarod, who was born in the North End of Winnipeg, can recall minute details about his hometown. Colleen has only the perspective of Google Earth to upon which to rely, since she has never been there. However, since both artists are concerned about ecosystems, the same questions occurred to them: What is the state of environmental health of southern Manitoba? What is changing here and how does this fit into the overall condition of the planet? These questions led the artists on an environmental, cultural, social and political investigation that plays off of Ludwig’s curiosity and Charzewski’s familiarity of the area.
In the coming years, water rights and sustainable agriculture will be in hot debate. Permafrost and the ice flow on Hudson Bay were once reliable elements on which life in the north was based. Currently things associated with extreme cold are swiftly becoming uncertain and suspiciously irregular. Climate change means a shift in perception for the untouched regions of Manitoba and the north. The average yearly low temperature of northern Manitoba rises and suddenly these harsh unapproachable areas become viable as real estate, agriculture and tourism. Will climate change push migration north or south? Lake Winnipeg is a prominent natural feature that occupies the middle of the province. It is considered by many to be the world’s gateway to future resources but that future looks bleak. The lake is suffering from high levels of phosphorous and nitrates generated by four provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario) and four U.S. States (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota). What are the consequences of these politically designated territories in the face of environmental crisis on a world scale? Can we imagine governments collaborating to protect what is left of our environment?