2008/09/27

Nicolas García Uriburu x Green Paris

The nature-versus-culture debate exists due to technological advances. Since the sixties, few artists have made defending Nature the leitmotiv of their work. Of what was originally called Land Art, or direct action on nature, some projects can be seen as part of the international ecology movement.

The first large-scale project of this sort was carried out by Argentine artist Nicolas García Uriburu when, in June of 1968, during the Venice Biennial, he dyed the waters of the Gran Canal (3 Km.) to protest the polluting of these waters. He was followed by Robert Smithson with his Spiral Jetty in April of 1970, and Robert Morris with the Ottawa Project in May of 1970.

In the 21st century, the environment is threatened by global warming, the destruction of tropical forests, excessive fishing and a shortage of drinking water. Only 2% of the world’s water is fresh water, and most of it is frozen in glaciers and icecaps.

Uriburu’s concern with these issues is evident in his work; whether they entail interventions in nature, paintings or sociological actions, his message is alarming. His colorings of waters around the world are innumerable, as are his manifestos against the indiscriminate destruction of the Amazon, which French critic Pierre Restany, in his Río Negro Manifesto (1978), called “the last reserve of integral nature,” or against tree plantations in different places around the world.

Coloration des Fontaines du Trocadéro, Paris, 1972 | Nicolas García Uriburu.

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