Palm Springs, CA
Water has become the most visible sign of the negative impact that human progress has created on the environment. However, it is equally the source of pleasure and play, natural wonder, and cultural symbolism. Rather than presenting artworks according to standard classifications based in media, history, or culture, this gallery presents numerous contexts that find a shared nexus through the multiple uses of water. This installation invites visitors to consider how their experiences with water connect them to this complex network of ideas, values, and emotions.
Water defines human experience. The average person is composed of approximately 60% water. It nourishes life as the body’s most necessary substance. This elementary liquid is essential for sustaining all life on the planet. As a result, the politics of water are woven into the fabric of social and economic institutions at both the regional and global level. Disputes over its distribution are at the center of struggles among interests competing for natural resources. In the desert, water is even more vital for survival than in places where it exists in abundance. Its very lack defines the desert, and yet even that ecological system could not exist without it.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website