Joint installation at The MAC, November 2019
Carmen Menza and Shawn Saumell
We have come to a point in time where it seems nearly impossible to ignore or reject ideas and scientific facts about the degradation of our planet and the destructive effects we are witnessing in our own time.
In this collaborative installation Menza and Saumell consider the issues of desertification and global warming, issues that have a wide-ranging impact on our human population. The causes of desertification are climate change, urbanization, industrialization, unsustainable farming and deforestation. The effects are a food supply that is in danger, human migration and poverty. Some 60 million people are expected to eventually flee desertified areas in Sub-Saharan Africa towards northern Africa and Europe in the next 20 years. Every year, between 700,000 and 900,000 Mexicans leave their rural dryland homes to find a living as migrant workers in the United States.
Menza’s work transposes these environmental issues into varying constructed works through the use of light, reflective surfaces and soundscape. By utilizing materials that are symbols of industrialization, such as universal beams, LED’s and glass, she creates a conversation for our present time. The installed soundscape is a subtle but palpable wind.
Menza and Saumell meet in the middle and conspire in a centerpiece about this prophetic work. The two conjointly present a lush world that is slowly transforming before our eyes as sand from an IV bag envelops the world below. Their works address our shifting landscapes and consequences on Earth and strive to bring attention to these important world issues.