The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present Nick Brandt, This Empty World, an exhibition of new works addressing the escalating environmental and ecological destruction of the natural world at the hands of man. In this series Brandt directs our attention to a world where, overwhelmed by runaway human development, there is no longer space for animals to survive. The humans in the photographs are also often helplessly swept along by the relentless tide of "progress".
In This Empty World, Brandt uses color for the first time, and a digital medium format, bringing immediacy to a critical subject that demands our attention. Made on Maasai land in Kenya, Brandt began by photographing indigenous animals in their natural habitat. Almost always keeping the camera in precisely the same position, he then built temporary urban structures in the same location, a highway overpass, a fueling station, re-photographing the transformed space. Brandt then combines the two images in post-production, composing dramatic scenes that confront urgent environmental issues, such as the scarcity of resources and encroaching industrialization.
The series, shot primarily at night, shows the neon glow of urban lights illuminating passive crowds and displaced animals. In This Empty World, Brandt makes powerful and haunting images revealing the mutual suffering of animals and humans as victims of environmental devastation.
It is important to note that following this project, all sets were carefully removed and recycled with almost zero waste. No evidence of the shoot now remains in the landscape today.
Born in England, Nick Brandt first visited East Africa in 1995 and quickly fell in love with the land and its animals, prompting a switch in careers with a determination to photograph animals as never seen before. Nick co-founded Big Life Foundation with one of the most respected conservationists in East Africa, Richard Bonham.