San Francisco Public Library

*Empire of Thirst

6/26/10 - 8/01/2010

Main Library

Jewett Gallery - Lower Level

100 Larkin St.

Robert Dawson has photographed water in the American West for the past thirty years. He sees water as the most compelling metaphor and prescient symbol for the legacy of attitudes that have profoundly shaped the landscape of the West. The full range of our nation's regard for the natural world has manifest itself in western water history - from loving stewardship and respect to outrageous abuse and plunder. Dawson’s photography examines the cultural values and attitudes that have brought us to this critical point with the natural world. While the water crisis is global, Dawson has chosen to focus on the American West.  It is here that the impact of rapid development of arid lands is immediately visible for all to see. Some of his work addresses the issues of water with irony. Some of the work looks at our culture's desire to possess, control and shape the land and water to our needs while others document misuse and examine a complex, evolving relationship to water that Dawson hopes to influence with his work.  This is a Green Stacks exhibition.