MONOCULAR STUDIES -- DANUBE
The Danube River is the most international river in the world, flowing through 10 nations with disparate languages and cultures. The river's drainage basin includes nine more nations. While today's Danube is still a place of beauty and recreation for diverse peoples, the River faces serious long-term challenges from pollution and the climate crisis.
The Danube has always been incredibly important to me because my mother was born in a small village, Chl'aba, along its banks, and I grew up visiting there every summer. Following their retirement, my parents moved back to Chl'aba, and again my yearly visits began.
During these visits, I often spent extended times at the river's banks creating experimental images. Using a circular field of vision that is normally associated with a telescope, a microscope, or one side of binoculars, I isolated small details of the Danube's water and its surroundings to better interrogate their meaning and importance. Not only does this technique let the intrinsic value and precious nature of the Danube shine through, it helps us to better appreciate and understand the act of seeing itself.
My engagement with the Danube has produced two long-term projects carried out together with Mark Isaac. The first is a very personal project about my family and their life in Chl'aba, called The Shadow of Smoke, which you can view here. The second is an in-depth study of the Danube based on its status as a political and cultural borderland -- and the site of "fluid borders" that freely spread environmental and climate crises. You can view the second project here.