The Time Has Come, This is “The Hour of Land”
Artwork: Mark Klett. Beneath the Great Arch, near Monticello, Utah, 6/21/1982, Gelatin Silver Print, 16 x 20 inches, unique.
Author, conservationist, and activist Terry Tempest Williams is a true patriot. Born in Corona, California, in 1955, she grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. Atomic testing at the Nevada Test Site conducted from 1951–1962, lethally exposed the Williams family to radiation. By 1994, nine members had mastectomies and seven had died from cancer; her mother, grandmother, and brother had all been affected but Williams had been spared.
As an advocate for the American West, Williams’s work addresses issues of ecology, wilderness preservation, and women’s health, be it through writing books, testifying before Congress, or using acts of civil disobedience to protest nuclear testing in the Nevada Desert or against the 2003 Iraq War. She has most recently authored The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks (Sarah Chrichton/FSG), a 416-page literary celebration inspired by the centennial of the National Park Service, which was founded on August 25, 2016.
Williams uses her platform as an author to draw attention to the importance of national parks, of their significance in the twenty-first century as harbingers of climate change make their way around the world in a series of devastating floods. Williams takes us on a journey across the nation, using it as an opportunity to discuss significant matters of the history, politics, and activism of the people who have become a critical factor to the landscape.
In conjunction with the release of the book, Equinom Projects, San Francisco, presents The Hour of Land, a photography exhibition on view now through July 23, 2016. The exhibition includes works by Robert Adams, James Balog, Daniel Beltrá, Lois Conner, Lukas Felzmann, Lee Friedlander, Emmet Gowin, Mary Daniel Hobson, Mark Klett, Edith Levy, Edward Riddell, Ansley West Rivers, Christina Seely, Jonathan Stuart, Carleton Watkins, Will Wilson.
As Williams observes, “By touching the essence of a place, another kind of poetic crossing is made,” reminding us of the transformative power of the sensory world. The photographs selected channel the majestic spirit of the continent, showing us the glory of nature that has been granted to us.
The National Park Service has become a caretaker of the land, protecting it from the ravages of “progress” in the name of capitalism. In doing so, the parks embody the very soul of the earth, the very living entity upon which we all share the air we breathe.The Hour of Land shows us that the sum of the whole is greater than its parts, and it behooves us to continuously reinvest in the conservation and preservation of the earth.
All artwork: Courtesy of EUQINOMprojects.
Miss Rosen is a New York-based writer, curator, and brand strategist. There is nothing she adores so much as photography and books. A small part of her wishes she had a proper library, like in the game of Clue. Then she could blaze and write soliloquies to her in and out of print loves.