The Cost Annex
59 Wareham Street, 5th Floor
Friday, June 21, 6-9pm
“Signposts,” a selection of recent work by Stephanie Cardon.
Organized by Robert Moeller
“We were told that you could tell the extent of the degradation of the earth because there would be two very important systems to warn you. One would be the acceleration of the winds. [...] When you see that the accelerations of the winds are growing, then you are in dangerous times. They said the other way to tell that the earth was in degradation was how people treated their children. They said it will be very important to note how people treat their children, and that will tell you how the earth is degrading.”
— Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation
It’s a beautiful June day. We’ve been rewarded for the patience with which we faced yet another interminable New England winter with a jubilant spring. Long, colorful and lush, full of birdsong, plenty of rain, and some warm sun. There have been a few particularly windy days though, during which trees groan and torque, more than they used to, it seems to me. One felled a branch weakened by rot, about 8 inches in diameter. It broke off a Norway Maple in our yard and put a huge dent in our car hood. I was returning home from the latest Climate Strike at the Massachusetts State House when I came across its dense foliage camouflaging our driveway. I had joined some youth organizers to ask Governor Baker to declare a climate emergency. That’s as it should be referred to now. The Guardian newspaper recently updated its style guide to reflect the state of urgency we find ourselves in, in 2019. We can no longer speak of climate change. We are now in the Anthropocene, facing a climate crisis of our own making, whose conclusion, as far as we will be able to record it, could very well be the decimation of the Homo sapiens species. To decimate is to kill one in ten as punishment for the whole group: climate migration could affect as much as one in nine people by 2050, which translates to 700 million people on the move, internally to countries and around the globe.
Everyone’s self-liberation looks different and is uniquely painful and drawn out. For the past few years, each of my efforts in the studio has been one often blind grasp in that direction. The most recent pieces grapple with grief and loss. Others with the dangers of staying silent. These three-dimensional wall works repurpose construction waste into banner-like objects that use color, shape, texture and pattern to sound the alarm. Signposts (2019) is a visual response to the phrase “Blue Arctic”, the moment, soon to come, within perhaps the next five years, when there will no longer be any summer ice in the Arctic. This will end what is known as the albedo effect: the cooling of our air from the reflective quality of ice will be lost, at least part of the year. It is a piece that is fragmented and abstract, linked to its subject matter by color. The embroidered text was inspired by Chief Oren Lyons’ speech, excerpted above, and represents my interpretation of the signposts he named, in this current moment. — SC, 2019