Ashes and Snow

My dad travels… a lot. Last weekend, he stopped by Philadelphia on his current trip to visit us. He has been on the road and in the air for over two weeks, visiting Mexico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and on to North Carolina and then back home to France by the end of this week. He works in the tobacco industry, working with flavors and R&D for all the big name cigarettes and cigar companies. One of the beauties of all this traveling is the incredibly cultured experiences he encounters and the wonderful and varied people he meets all around the world.

From this current trip, my dad told me about “Ashes and Snow”. His descriptions of whimsical photos and videos and real-life images of people and animals all displayed in this fantastical and astounding bamboo building in the middle of Zócalo, Mexico City, was hard to comprehend and visualize. This “Nomadic Museum” sounded ethereal. I could tell he was deeply affected by his experience.

He handed me a brown paper bag which I opened and inside found two notebooks, intricately and meticulously hand-made of natural paper and twine. Opening them revealed beautiful sepia photos of women, men and animals in natural environments, untouched by human technology. The package also included a DVD. The video was amazing…

Although the imagery is unaltered by today’s technology and shows humans and animals in their most natural and serene nature, the images were produced and delivered using high technology. The photos were printed in large format, revealing intricacies in skin pores and animal fur. The videos were played on giant screens, where every ripple of muddy water the baby elephant sloshes
around looks like a mountain. It took the artist almost two decades to accumulate the work in the exhibit but it is the technology of today that delivers his images with the most powerful and inspirational potential.

From the installation to the gift packaging to the website and video, the experience is consistent and amazing. Although we may not always be filming eagles flying down narrow columned ruins, or a man suspended in the ocean with humpback whales, this experience is what we strive for in each of our projects at DDA.