The importance of protecting nature and changing our “bad habits” are topics dear to David; the ideas and reinterpretations that the artist proposes have an ironic flavour, without dramatic or apocalyptic connotations, to better highlight the profound contradictions that represent our age.
The sculpture Social Distancing illustrates the connection, the segue between Time, Space, Existence, the exhibition planned for the summer of 2020 and what was eventually Open Space, the exhibition that the ECC held following the events of Covid19, the pandemic that has wreaked havoc across the globe.
The stone sculptures were made for Time, Space, Existence, and addressed my concerns about our abuse of water and the systemic pollution of our planet and mankind’s contribution to exacerbating climate change.
There is an irony in the fact that the first caste of ‘footprints’ was made in 1981 when they were signifiers for gravity, of mankind’s presence on earth, and when Covid19 arrived ‘footprints’ became the global graphic for the need to socially distance ourselves, a counter-intuitive condition of our species to ensure its future.
It was not a major leap for Jacobson to have a second caste of the footprints made and to use them in this installation for Open Space, an exceptionally brave decision by the ECC in the wake of lockdowns and travel bans, to link my sculptures with what are critically important issues that need urgent addressing and the pandemic, in need of the same attention.
Open Space can be interpreted in many ways. In purely sculptural terms, in architectural terms, and in terms of the pandemic which made open spaces of our cities and towns. Jacobson used the opportunity to make Earth Lung, a response to Covid19, a respiratory disease, after witnessing how nature so clearly showed its incredible powers of recovery when our way of life was so diverted from its frenetic carbon-emitting march.
Parks, gardens, and green spaces are the lungs of our cities! Since the pandemic with fewer cars, trains, planes, and less industry it has been well documented that nature has reclaimed much of its territory. The air is cleaner, the waters clearer, and birds have returned en masse to our cities and green spaces.
Will this continue, that depends on our desires and our perceived needs and the urgency with which we seek for solutions as we have managed with the vaccines and the speed of their development.