Walker Art Center

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Erik Friedlander and Mitch Epstein’s American Power



“I have tried to convey in these pictures…the beauty and terror of early-21st-century America, as it clings to past comforts and gropes for a more sensible future.” —Mitch Epstein

Acclaimed contemporary cellist/composer Erik Friedlander collaborates with American photographer Mitch Epstein on a musical, visual, and oral exploration of what Epstein terms “our cultural relationship to energy.”

Drawn from Epstein’s series of photographs taken on his 5-year, 25-state investigation of US energy production and consumption, American Power combines new compositions for solo cello with evocative large-scale projected images. Elegant yet spare, this richly visual and acoustically superb work serves as metaphorical investigation into the notion of power itself and the overlap of electrical, corporate, civic, religious, environmental, governmental, and even artistic power. The evening concludes with a poetic short film and music meditation by the collaborators on the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

This project follows Friedlander’s successful and popular 2009 Walker-commissioned work Block Ice & Propane.