CLIMA 2016 | Artist’s Statement

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Cortada works: Do Not Open | Climate Refugees | Hot for Hialeah | Psychoanalysis of Climate ChangeReclamation Project | Flor 500
LTER : Everglades (Florida) | HJ Andrews (Oregon) | Hubbard Brook (New Hampshire)

Xavier Cortada, "Devour," acrulic on canvas, 60" x 72", 2011.

Xavier Cortada, “Devour,” acrylic on canvas, 60″ x 72″, 2011.


Artist’s Statement

Human impacts on our global climate have caused irreversible damage. Our collective addiction to fossil fuels, our insatiable appetite for beef, our wanton destruction of forests everywhere, have all contributed to ecological disequilibrium across the Earth. The greenhouse gases we’ve blasted upwards trap heat in our atmosphere, our water, our planet. The last ten summers have been the hottest summers in recorded history. The heat is melting our glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice.

The Western Antarctic Ice Sheet is being gnawed at from beneath. Warm ocean waters move the grounding line further inward sliding ice to sea.  The melting will swell the sea, raising every shoreline across the planet.  In time, lower elevation cities like our own, will drown.

The process is irreversible. There’s enough carbon in the atmosphere to doom Miami.

Not just coastal Miami on the east. Not just Miami’s western coast — the Everglades, where the edges of newly developed neighborhoods meet their former selves, but all of Miami which sits on a porous limestone aquifer.

We can’t wall in at the edges. No matter how high our sea walls, the water will bubble up beneath our feet.

We are a city built by people who had lost it all before.  Generation after generation of migrants, dreamers, political refugees, we have come here to build new lives.

In time, future generations, climate refugees, will need to learn from us as they set on their forced migration to higher ground.




Xavier Cortada
CLIMA 2016

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