Fazal Sheikh, from the series Thirst: Great Salt Lake, November 2022 © and courtesy of Fazal Sheikh
Fazal Sheikh: Thirst | Exposure | In Place
Mar 10 – Oct 20, 2024
Denver Art Museum
Denver, USA

Fazal Sheikh: Thirst | Exposure | In Place is an exhibition created from three projects photographer Fazal Sheikh made on the Colorado Plateau from 2017 to early 2023. Sheikh’s portraits and landscapes shed light on the far-reaching consequences of extractive industry and climate change. Born in 1965 in New York City, Sheikh creates images of displaced communities and marginalized people that prompt awareness of the world beyond the museum. The photographs in Thirst ǀ Exposure ǀ In Place expose indelible marks on the Colorado Plateau and American Southwest landscape that have been etched by both geological and human forces. Through this beautiful and sometimes frightening new work, Sheikh encourages viewers to witness the consequences of the past and imagine the shape of the future.

The exhibition presents Sheikh’s recent work in three interrelated sections: Thirst is a new series of aerial photographs that document the decline of the Great Salt Lake in northeast Utah, which is shrinking due to overconsumption and dwindling rain and snowfall. Exposure examines the impacts of uranium, coal, oil and natural-gas extraction on the American Southwest and on its Indigenous inhabitants. In Place evokes the enduring landscapes of the Bears Ears region in Utah, bringing Sheikh’s photographs together with contributions from scientists and Indigenous communities in and around Bears Ears in southeastern Utah.

Visitors will reflect upon the transformation – and often devastation – of these landscapes in the context of the past, present and future, while considering the juxtaposition of beauty and catastrophe, as well as intimate, human-scale stories and those spanning vast geological eras and changes.

Fazal Sheikh: Thirst Exposure In Place
Mar 10 – Oct 20, 2024
Denver Art Museum
Denver, USA

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