The Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City, is one of my favorite art spaces in Los Angeles. The curators always seem to have the most thought provoking and emotional exhibitions. Their latest offering, Sink or Swim: Designing for a Sea of Change, is no exception.
Sink or Swim is all about how architecture is working with climate change. The old way of thinking was to built urban areas that try to fight or suppress nature. Now, architects are designing with nature in mind and they are trying to figure out ways for people and nature to co-exist.
The exhibition uses examples from around the world to highlight the problems and solutions of people living in coastal regions. In Africa, there are areas where communities live on houses built on stilts over water and the children have school on a boat. The Netherlands are highlighted as a progressive country who have used current technology and ingenuity to build homes that are safe with the rising water. American disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Sandy are shown as examples of areas devastated by storms, but who have also learned from the disaster and who are reshaping their communities. One of the most striking images is of a Jersey shore boardwalk roller coaster swept into the ocean after Sandy.
I found the exhibit to be a moving and educational experience. In particular, I enjoyed the short documentary that had interviews with the photographers. This provided a background and context for the photographs, making for a deeper experience when I walked the gallery and viewed each picture more closely. I highly recommend watching the documentary first.
Sink or Swim runs through May 3rd. The space is small and it took us about an hour to walk through. The Annenberg Space for Photography is a fabulous place to visit and unbelievably, it's free! Go and enjoy this local gem.
Here are a few pictures taken outside of The Annenberg Space for Photography.