Documentary Photographer Carlan Tapp – “The China Express”

The China Express
A Lecture and Exhibition by Photographer Carlan Tapp

china express

Image from Carlan Tapp’s “China Express” Tour blog
Captioned: “Many condominiums line the waterfront along the rail”

Lecture & Exhibition Opening
Monday, March 11, 2013
6pm @ SFAI
$10 general | $5 students/seniors

The China Express Exhibition
March 12-April 5, 2013
9am – 5pm @ SFAI

Santa Fe, NM –The Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) is pleased to welcome – as part of the SFAI’s 2013 season of public programming, Contested Space – documentary photographer, Carlan Tapp, to give a lecture and show a small exhibition of his most recent work, The China Express.

About Carlan Tapp:
Carlan Tapp is a documentary photographer and lifelong educator, descendant of the Wicocomico Tribe, Taptico family, who studied photography at Art Center College of Design. After graduation, he worked with the National Park Service using photography to document socially caused changes in the natural environment. In the 1970’s, Carlan had the privilege of assisting the late Ansel Adams for three years and was inspired by Ansel’s love of the natural landscape. His series of fine art photographs devoted to Mt. Rainier are now in permanent collections in China, Australia, Seattle and Mt. Rainier National Park. In 2005, Carlan established a Federal (501c3) non-profit foundation, Naamehnay Project – Question of Power. The foundation creates human stories of individuals, families and communities – stories of unheard voices affected by the extraction, production, consumption and waste materials of coal in the creation of electricity for America. More info at his website

About The China Express:
As the United States continues to lower its dependency on coal, coal companies have turned to China. Currently, there are 4 daily trains each with over 100 cars of coal being railed from Wyoming to British Columbia where it’s shipped to China. For every 500 miles a train travels it loses up to 0.6 tons of coal dust per car polluting communities, ranches and agriculture. Coal cars can’t be covered because of spontaneous combustion. A proposed expansion (permits are pending) will increase the number of trains per day to 18. This expansion will also create a new mega mine in Montana and new shipping terminals in WA, OR and CA. For three weeks in January and February 2013, Carlan followed the entire train route from Wyoming, where the route begins, to the Pacific Northwest proposed port in Bellingham, Washington, documenting the people and places along the way. More info at Carlan’s blog

About Contested Space:
CONTESTED SPACE will explore the complex contemporary landscape: social, political, physical, and cultural, and the arts, ideas and artists that play a major role in shaping public understanding of the powerful dynamics of those spaces.

Historically, land was the great frontier and artists had a major role in shaping public understanding of those spaces. Now the frontiers of the past have become the “contested spaces” of the present. These new frontiers are no longer just physical space, but constantly assume new morphologies- local, national, transnational, geopolitical, social, cultural, physical, virtual. At this point in time the planet has been entirely mapped and Googled and has become a globalized space that conveys the fears and hopes of humankind. Cosmic space is being unraveled and mapped and we are closing all the distances that seemed, at one point, unimaginably vast. When distance has been abolished and time and space have shrunk, can art still explore new territory? Yes, it is the territory of “contested space” in which transformation and re-imagining begins and the arts play a central role.

Artists are powerful commentators and describers of these spaces, presenting diverse perspectives and creative ways of engagement. From the vast openness of the internet to the closed, restrictive space of a jail cell, from urban center to wildlife preserve, artists make art that offers new perspectives: challenging assumptions, presenting new ideas, opening discourse and inviting the audience to engage around important issues.

By presenting artists and their works through lectures, workshops, exhibitions, residencies, and arts education to the youth of our city and region, we use the arts to foster individual thinking, creative engagement, and community by focusing on the arts to offer new ways to participate in and navigate contemporary life. We invite artists who bring Native, Hispanic, Asian, and Anglo perspectives supporting the diversity and history of our region.

This programming reflects our mission to support and promote the arts as a positive social force by presenting artists whose work addresses important issues of social justice, cultural freedom and environmental responsibility. These programs support creation of and public access to art, nurture artists at all phases of their careers, and foster learning via the arts for people of all ages.

Comments are closed.