THIS BURNING WORLD speaks to the urgency and importance of our collective relationship to the planet. It places the earth under the ICA SF building in dialogue with video of the natural world beyond these walls. This installation is a reminder to the hidden land, “This is where you come from! Aren’t you incredible!”
The openings in the floor are an opportunity for the earth to breathe and serve as a portal for us to speak, give thanks, and apologize to the land for our treatment of “them.” The hundreds of videos, shot mostly in the Hudson Valley, capture the seasonal and evolving natural environments where I live and work. Joan Henry speaks and sings to the earth, the trees, the water, the mountains, the animals, the sun and the moon.
Indigenous kinship philosophies have provided the conceptual and philosophical framework for this installation. These perspectives acknowledge the elements of our natural environments as our equal ancestors, living relatives, and as extensions of our own minds and bodies. When we damage or treat the land without regard for its own sustainable well being, we are in turn hurting and damaging ourselves and disregarding our own well being, safety, and health.
– Jeffrey Gibson
Still from Jeffrey Gibson, THIS BURNING WORLD, 2022. Courtesy of the artist.