Galleri Urbane presents Michael P. Berman: "Perdido" opening reception
Photographer and Guggenheim Fellow Michael P. Berman presents his first solo exhibition with Galleri Urbane since 2014. The show borrows its name from and follows the release of the artist’s most recent published book Perdido: Sierra San Luis (Museum of New Mexico Press, 2019).
In his book, Berman traverses by foot the San Luis mountain range that cuts through the boot heel of New Mexico and south into the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora. This journey, in addition to subsequent trips along the Texas-Mexico border, is captured through photographs in the exhibition. As does his book, this body of work captures the borderland’s beautiful and rugged landscape and provides a poetic opportunity to recognize its ecological significance.
In his foreward to Berman’s book, climate activist Tim DeChristopher presses that the individualist spirit which pits mankind against everything and everyone else has tragically disconnected humans from nature’s web of interdependence. The suburbs, cities and borders we erect protect our illusion of control, while the untamed mountains, swift rivers and vast desserts beyond them remind us of our fragile mortality.
Answering DeChristopher’s call for a return to the wilderness, Berman rejects the safety of built civilization in favor of the barren borderlands. Traveling for days and weeks at a time on land occupied by ranchers, wildlife and narcos, Berman captures instances that gift us reminders of our small and delicate nature. Some of his images do this through capturing the oft-futile attempts by humans to dictate nature’s course, while others offer panoramic vistas that unlock a sublime reading of the natural world. Through Berman’s lens, our vulnerability becomes something to treasure and serves as a catalyst for understanding our collective responsibility of protecting the land.
Following the opening reception, the exhibit will be on display through October 2.