by Santiago Estellano
When Morton Hilbert proposed to carry out the Human Ecology Symposium to give visibility to the scientists who warned about the effects that the deterioration of the environment produced on human health, the scenario was very different from the one we inhabit today.
When Rachel Carson presented her book Silent Spring and put the agrochemical industry in check by pointing out the damage they cause to humans and their impact on nature, the situation of the space we inhabit was not like the current one.
Scientists and politicians have spent more than half a century announcing what is happening today and what will happen in the coming decades, however, humanity continues to grow with a growing attitude of consumerism and disinterest in the environment.
In an essay published in The New Yorker in 1989, William McKibben pointed out that "...the chemistry of the atmosphere may be an abstraction or a text written in a foreign language...but its translation into the climate of a city will make us notice the how the life of each one of us will change”. Theories about these effects and global warming date back to the 1957 investigations of oceanographers Roger Revelle and Hans Suess. According to KcKibben, the studies carried out by both from California allow us to verify the signals that the ocean gave them then.
Fortunately, artistic expressions have another way of presenting us with this sum of concepts that scientists have shared for decades through articles, essays and books.
Sebastiao Salgado's photographs portray the greatest human atrocities: the exploitation of man by man, deforestation and mining exploration. Also in his travels he has documented the most exotic places on the planet: flowers, rivers, mountains, tribes, fauna, everything he has seen in more than one hundred countries has been printed in black and white images that testify to the same as scientists. they affirm. Each of these images are warning signs about what is happening here on Earth.
Signals that we find cited in the Gaia Theory -developed by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis in the sixties- and that focuses on what happens in the layer that surrounds the Earth's surface.
Today, in the halls of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Salta, there are other images that summon us: Santiago Estellano displays his most recent works that have arisen around a question: what if the current pandemic were Gaia's Revenge?
Inspired by the aforementioned theory, Estellano transforms into images the reflections addressed for decades in the international scientific field. And these images -created from other images- contain within themselves the poetic use of collage. Collage that as a plastic tool is in tune with the proliferation of images that digital communication imposes on us -exponentially increased- after two years of social isolation due to the pandemic.
If the contingencies experienced by the Covid19 virus are a kind of revenge of nature, it is urgent for us to take action in favor of it immediately. Otherwise, we will be irremediably condemned to live the next few springs stunned by the deepest and most devastating silence.