While the Fires Burn: A Glacier Odyssey
Begun in 2009, Daniel Schwartz’s latest photographic art project considers visible evidence of the disappearance of glaciers around the world as a starting point for reflections on climate history and the relationship between glacial cycles and human lifespan, on natural ecology and human ‘progress’. The project’s geographical field of interest extends from today’s Alpine cryosphere to areas of prehistoric glaciation in what is now the great plain of Switzerland, to as far afield as Pakistan (Karakoram range), Uganda (Rwenzori range) and Peru (Cordillera Blanca), all of which demonstrate dramatically shrinking glaciers at differing stages. Schwartz has travelled widely over many years, creating unique new views of rarely photographed equatorial African glaciers.
Combining spectacular close aerial photography with archive documents, Schwartz links visual art and the natural sciences, continuing an interdisciplinary tradition with roots in early 18th-century Switzerland, the birthplace of glaciology. Neither documentary nor pure artwork, these beautiful photographs, shot in exceptional and arresting detail, define new ways to examine glaciers as a functional archive of human presence, and to consider human intervention in natural history.