‘It’s emotional. It’s visceral’: Jennifer Baichwal on the power of art to open up consciousness

CBC Arts

At AGO Creative Minds, the Anthropocene director spoke about how art can help us survive in a time of climate

Jennifer Baichwal’s Anthropocene project — a film and exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario created with Edward Burtynsky and Nicholas de Pencier — is an arresting look at how humans are leaving a terrifying signature on the world. Her art warns of the future we risk if we don’t address climate change. And at Monday’s AGO Creative Minds, she was part of a panel discussing the capacity for art in an age of climate crisis to help us survive.

Baichwal sees a power in art that can break through conversations about these issues. “Art as an arena of inquiry about these things that are facing us — these problems — has a unique quality in that it’s not just something we argue about, it’s not just intellectual. It’s emotional. It’s visceral. It hits you all at the same time.”