Nina Berman Presents
Fractured: The Shale Play
Featuring Nina Berman / NOOR
The rush to drill down and explode the ground in pursuit of energy is transforming the natural landscape in rural America. Photographing this kind of industrial activity presents a paradox. The visual spectacle is alluring, yet the effects are toxic and polluting. This form of natural gas drilling, also called fracking, is steeped in controversy and unknowns. In these images, all made in rural Pennsylvania, I sought to capture the strange beckoning and fear where the landscapes shifts from natural to industrial, where what appears as rays of sunshine are actually methane flares; where pitch dark dirt roads, end in a burst of artificial light. In this unsettling environment, I include portraits of individuals who are trapped amid this altered, contaminated landscape.
Nina Berman is a documentary photographer, author and educator, whose photographs and videos have been exhibited at more than 90 venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Portland Art Museum, Dublin Contemporary and the Museum for Modern Art, (MMK) Frankfurt. She’s received awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, (NYFA), the Open Society Foundation, World Press Photo and Hasselblad. She is the author of two monographs: Purple Hearts – Back from Iraq, and Homeland, which examine the aftermath of war and the militarization of American life. She lives in New York City, is an associate professor at Columbia University and is a member of the Amsterdam based NOOR photo collective.