Artist: Virginia Hanusik
Project: A Receding Coast: The Architecture and Infrastructure of South Louisiana
Description: Taken in moments of tranquil cohabitation rather than scenes of flooding and disaster, Virginia Hanusik’s photographs interrogate the commonplace existence of communities touched by South Louisiana’s struggle with sea-level rise. “Despite the uncertainty that rising seas and coastal erosion bring to the region,” Hanusik writes, “hope persists in the history of building practices and land migration patterns in response to environmental change.” Fittingly, the austere, straightforward architectural portraits in her project transcend the cliché of environmental ruins, where homes and churches stand stoically on their stilts, their porches and doors hovering inches above water. Aside from emphasizing the growing threat of climate change, Hanusik’s work strives to observe the ingenious responses to its symptoms, accumulating a bank of the “physical artifacts produced by [South Louisiana’s] shifting landscape.”
Hanusik’s project is supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.