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2020 SPE Annual Conference: Hosted by The University of Houston | Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts | School of Art

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We All Live Downwind

This exhibition is a solo show of work by Shanna Merola at Notre Dame University's Photography Gallery at Riley Hall.

Artist Statement:

The images in We All Live Downwind are culled from daily headlines – inspired by both global and grassroots struggles against the forces of privatization in the face of disaster capitalism. In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein writes about the free market driven exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries saying, "the original disaster—the coup, the terrorist attack, the market meltdown, the war, the tsunami, the hurricane — puts the entire population into a state of collective shock". The scenes in We All Live Downwind, have been carved out of dystopian landscapes in the aftermath of these events.

On the surface, rubble hints at layers of oil and shale, cracked and bubbling from the earth below. Rising from another mound, rows of empty mobile homes bake beneath the summer sun. The bust of small towns left dry in the aftermath of supply and demand. In this place, only fragments of people remain, their mechanical gestures left tending to the chaos on auto. Reduced to survival, their struggle against an increasingly hostile environment goes unnoticed. Beyond the upheaval of production a bending highway promises never ending expansion - and that low rumble you hear to the west is getting louder.

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