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Xavier Cortada, "Longitudinal Installation," South Pole, 2007.

Xavier Cortada

"My work aims to challenge us to find deeper meaning in our present lives by exploring the paths of those who came before us and our relationship to the natural world.

"In 'The Reclamation Project,' I hung 252 mangrove seedlings (in plastic, water-filled cups) at the Bass Museum and worked with volunteers to place another 2500 across South Beach, 'reclaiming' an island that once a lush coastal ecosystem thriving with mangroves.

"In January 2007 I traveled to the South Pole to create site-specific installations: for 'The Longitudinal Installation,' I arranged 24 shoes in a circle around the South Pole as a proxy for those affected by global climate change in the world above.

"In 'The 150,000-year Journey,' I used a moving ice sheet to mark time: I planted a mangrove seedling at the South Pole, embedded in the ice it will ride for 150,000 years towards the waters edge where, theoretically, it will set its roots. Juxtaposing Antarctica's geological time frames with human time frames, my art reaffirms the notion that we are simply custodians of the planet who should learn to live in harmony with nature."

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