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After Us

A Time for Prophets

- By Jim Hicks

Christmas came a couple of weeks early at our house. During the first week of December, I received an email from Alfredo Jaar, the Chilean-born artist and photographer, recipient of Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships and last year’s winner of the Hasselblad Award. Along with his countless, large-scale public installations, over the years Jaar has also designed a small number of limited-edition artist books, works that have featured essays by John Cage, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Jean-Luc Godard. The latest in this series is an essay commissioned from Erri De Luca, and the honor of translation fell to me. Like nearly everything over the past two years, this project had faced obstacles and delays, but at last its time had come. The message from Alfredo was simple: “We’...


After Us

Il tempo dei profeti

- By Jim Hicks

A casa nostra Natale è arrivato un paio di settimane in anticipo. Nei primi giorni di dicembre ho ricevuto una mail da Alfredo Jaar, l’artista e fotografo nato in Cile che è stato insignito di borse dalle fondazioni Guggenheim e MacArthur e ha vinto, lo scorso anno, il premio Hasselblad. Oltre alle numerose grandi installazioni allestite in spazi pubblici, attraverso gli anni Jaar ha anche disegnato un piccolo numero di libri d’artista a tiraggio limitato, libri che hanno presentato saggi di autori da Cage, a Pasolini, a Godard. L’opera più recente in questa serie è un saggio richiesto a Erri De Luca e l’onore di tradurrlo è toccato a me. Come quasi tutto negli ultimi due anni, il progetto aveva avuto I suoi ritardi e ostacoli ma la sua ora era finalmente...


After Us

The Climate Change in Me (4)

- By Giacomo Sartori

(Part Three)

In me also exists—as within any other citizen of a country where capitalism is unchallenged—a consumer self. This self for years now buys almost exclusively organic food, not only because he is careful not to poison himself any more that he has to, but also because he believes this is one way to stand up for the environment. He thinks that organic farming doesn’t plague and decimate farmlands and countrysides the way conventional farming does, and that, if it has now become a major force in both the countries where he lives, it’s also thanks to him, or at least to people like him, who for years have bought organic produce, even if it costs more. And if there is a way to combat...


After Us

The Climate Change in Me (1)

- By Giacomo Sartori


Inside me exists a self that years ago decided to study agronomy—where that idea came from exactly, who knows? Many aspects of our selves remain a mystery. For forty years this self did work in soil science, and, even at a time when few were talking about climate change, he always felt that the best thing he could do for the environment would be to do his work well, putting all his effort into it, so that he would obtain persuasive data, making it clear that our lands are fragile and essential, that they must be protected and stewarded. This indefatigable self has imposed itself, domineering my life, in part because he brought home the bacon—all the other selves lived off the sweat from his brow. During a long period he analyzed mountain soils. They’re lovely,...


After Us

The Climate Change in Me (2)

- By Giacomo Sartori

(Part One)

Inside me there’s also a militant self. It first showed itself when I was very young; later it became more stealthy, like a spring with water that doesn’t rise to the surface, leaving the stream bed dry. Throughout my life he has always made an effort to keep current and inform himself, and he has often become indignant for one injustice or another, with special attention to environmental issues, but he has never been moved to direct action. He isn’t in touch with the various associations or groups who share his ideas, even if from time to time he has been tempted to seek them out. He has almost never even gone to a demonstration, even though afterwards, when he hasn’t, he feels...


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