Gesche Würfel: When Trees are Dying

June 11 – July 24, 2021

Gesche Würfel  Buxton Woods, NC (1), 2021  Archival Pigment Print  30h x 37 1/2w in 76.20h x 95.25w cm  Edition of 5  GW_005, color photograph of a flooded woods, illustrating the effect of climate change on forests

Gesche Würfel

Buxton Woods, NC (1), 2021

Archival Pigment Print

30h x 37 1/2w in
76.20h x 95.25w cm

Edition of 5

GW_005

Gesche Würfel  Bolin Creek, NC (1), 2021  Archival Pigment Print  24h x 20w in 60.96h x 50.80w cm  5  GW_029, Black and White, Landscape, Close up of a tree stump with an inverted reflection towards the bottom of the image

Gesche Würfel

Bolin Creek, NC (1), 2021

Archival Pigment Print

24h x 20w in
60.96h x 50.80w cm

5

GW_029

Gesche Würfel  Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, NC (1), version 1, 2020-2021  Solarized and roasted gelatin silver print on glossy RC paper  8h x 10w in 20.32h x 25.40w cm  GW_017, Black and White, Landscape, Solarized to create an eerie atmosphere through reversed tones with hints of yellow to emulate a light effect

Gesche Würfel

Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, NC (1), version 1, 2020-2021

Solarized and roasted gelatin silver print on glossy RC paper

8h x 10w in
20.32h x 25.40w cm

GW_017

Gesche Würfel  Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, NC (2), version 3, 2020  Solarized and roasted gelatin silver print on glossy RC paper  8h x 10w in 20.32h x 25.40w cm  GW_018, Warm Brown Tones, Landscape, Burned and blistered image of a seeming destroyed forest to commentate on humans (directly or indirectly through climate change) destroying nature

Gesche Würfel

Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, NC (2), version 3, 2020

Solarized and roasted gelatin silver print on glossy RC paper

8h x 10w in
20.32h x 25.40w cm

GW_018

Gesche Würfel  Wayah Bald, NC (3), version 1, 2020-2021  Solarized and roasted gelatin silver print on glossy RC paper  14h x 11w in 35.56h x 27.94w cm  GW_019, Sepia Color, Landscape, burned image commentating on climate change

Gesche Würfel

Wayah Bald, NC (3), version 1, 2020-2021

Solarized and roasted gelatin silver print on glossy RC paper

14h x 11w in
35.56h x 27.94w cm

GW_019

Gesche Würfel  Rumbling Bald, NC (4), version 1, 2020-2021  Solarized and burned gelatin silver print on matte fiber paper  10h x 8w in 25.40h x 20.32w cm  GW_021, Sepia Color, Landscape, Burned image commentating on climate change

Gesche Würfel

Rumbling Bald, NC (4), version 1, 2020-2021

Solarized and burned gelatin silver print on matte fiber paper

10h x 8w in
25.40h x 20.32w cm

GW_021

Gesche Würfel  Harvard Forest, MA (1), version 1, 2019-2021  Ripped Gelatin Silver Print (matte fiber paper)  16h x 17w in 40.64h x 43.18w cm  GW_028, Black and White, Landscape, Solarized and ripped into three individual pieces

Gesche Würfel

Harvard Forest, MA (1), version 1, 2019-2021

Ripped Gelatin Silver Print (matte fiber paper)

16h x 17w in
40.64h x 43.18w cm

GW_028

Gesche Würfel  Nags Head Woods Preserve, NC (1), 2021  Archival Pigment Print  24h x 20w in 60.96h x 50.80w cm  Edition of 5  GW_009, Vertical Black and White photograph of a tree reflected in a mirror to show the effects of climate change and sea level rise in forests

Gesche Würfel

Nags Head Woods Preserve, NC (1), 2021

Archival Pigment Print

24h x 20w in
60.96h x 50.80w cm

Edition of 5

GW_009

Gesche Würfel  Rumbling Bald, NC (1), version 1, 2020-2021  Solarized and roasted gelatin silver print on glossy RC paper  8h x 10w in 20.32h x 25.40w cm  GW_016, Black and White, Landscape, Solarized to create an eerie atmosphere through reversed tones with hints of yellow to emulate a light effect

Gesche Würfel

Rumbling Bald, NC (1), version 1, 2020-2021

Solarized and roasted gelatin silver print on glossy RC paper

8h x 10w in
20.32h x 25.40w cm

GW_016

Gesche Würfel  Wayah Bald, NC (1), version 1, 2020  Solarized gelatin silver print on glossy fiber paper  24h x 20w in 60.96h x 50.80w cm  GW_014, Black and White, Landscape, Solarized image of trees and branches intertwined to create an eerily interesting looking pattern

Gesche Würfel

Wayah Bald, NC (1), version 1, 2020

Solarized gelatin silver print on glossy fiber paper

24h x 20w in
60.96h x 50.80w cm

GW_014

Gesche Würfel  Eno River, NC (1), 2020-2021  Laser Engraved Archival Pigment Print  20h x 16w in 50.80h x 40.64w cm  5  GW_012, Sepia, Landscape, Close of a tree with a trail blaze (?) marker

Gesche Würfel

Eno River, NC (1), 2020-2021

Laser Engraved Archival Pigment Print

20h x 16w in
50.80h x 40.64w cm

5

GW_012

Gesche Würfel  Mt. Mitchell, NC (2), 2020-2021  Archival Pigment Print  38 2/5h x 16w in 97.54h x 40.64w cm  Edition of 5  GW_008, vertical triptych of a landscape with a tree that is sepia and cyanotype blue to illustrate insect invasions on forests

Gesche Würfel

Mt. Mitchell, NC (2), 2020-2021

Archival Pigment Print

38 2/5h x 16w in
97.54h x 40.64w cm

Edition of 5

GW_008

Gesche Würfel  Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, NC (1), version 1, 2021  Archival Pigment Print  8h x 10w in 20.32h x 25.40w cm  5  GW_010, Black and White, Landscape, commentary on climate change

Gesche Würfel

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, NC (1), version 1, 2021

Archival Pigment Print

8h x 10w in
20.32h x 25.40w cm

5

GW_010

Gesche Würfel  Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, NC (2), version 1, 2021  Archival Pigment Print  8h x 10w in 20.32h x 25.40w cm  5  GW_011, Black and White, Landscape, commentary on climate change

Gesche Würfel

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, NC (2), version 1, 2021

Archival Pigment Print

8h x 10w in
20.32h x 25.40w cm

5

GW_011

Gesche Würfel  Linville Falls, NC (1), version 1, 2020-2021  Solarized gelatin silver print on glossy fiber paper  20h x 24w in 50.80h x 60.96w cm  GW_015, Black and White, Landscape, Solarized to create an eerie atmosphere through reversed tones

Gesche Würfel

Linville Falls, NC (1), version 1, 2020-2021

Solarized gelatin silver print on glossy fiber paper

20h x 24w in
50.80h x 60.96w cm

GW_015

Gesche Würfel  Rumbling Bald, NC (3), version 2, 2020-2021  Solarized and burned gelatin silver print on matte fiber paper  8h x 10w in 20.32h x 25.40w cm  GW_022, Black and White with Burnt Color, Landscape, Burned image commentating on climate change

Gesche Würfel

Rumbling Bald, NC (3), version 2, 2020-2021

Solarized and burned gelatin silver print on matte fiber paper

8h x 10w in
20.32h x 25.40w cm

GW_022

Gesche Würfel  Rumbling Bald, NC (4), version 2, 2020-2021  Solarized and burned gelatin silver print on matte fiber paper  10h x 8w in 25.40h x 20.32w cm  GW_023, Black and White with Burnt Color, Landscape, Burned image commentating on climate change

Gesche Würfel

Rumbling Bald, NC (4), version 2, 2020-2021

Solarized and burned gelatin silver print on matte fiber paper

10h x 8w in
25.40h x 20.32w cm

GW_023

Gesche Würfel  Rumbling Bald, NC (5), version 1, 2020-2021  Solarized and burned gelatin silver print on matte fiber paper  10h x 7 1/2w in 25.40h x 19.05w cm  GW_024, Black and White with Burnt Color, Landscape, Burned image commentating on climate change

Gesche Würfel

Rumbling Bald, NC (5), version 1, 2020-2021

Solarized and burned gelatin silver print on matte fiber paper

10h x 7 1/2w in
25.40h x 19.05w cm

GW_024

Gesche Würfel  Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, NC (2), version 4, 2020-2021  Solarized and burned gelatin silver print on matte fiber paper  4h x 10w in 10.16h x 25.40w cm  GW_025, Sepia Color, Landscape, Burned image commentating on climate change

Gesche Würfel

Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, NC (2), version 4, 2020-2021

Solarized and burned gelatin silver print on matte fiber paper

4h x 10w in
10.16h x 25.40w cm

GW_025

Gesche Würfel  Lumber River, NC (1), 2021  Phototex  20h x 25w in 50.80h x 63.50w cm  GW_026, Color, Landscape, Flooded forest

Gesche Würfel

Lumber River, NC (1), 2021

Phototex

20h x 25w in
50.80h x 63.50w cm

GW_026

Gesche Würfel  Nantahala River, NC (1), version 1, 2020-2021  Gelatin silver print (matte fiber paper)  8h x 10w in 20.32h x 25.40w cm  GW_027, Black and White, Landscape, Close up of the side of a hill

Gesche Würfel

Nantahala River, NC (1), version 1, 2020-2021

Gelatin silver print (matte fiber paper)

8h x 10w in
20.32h x 25.40w cm

GW_027

Gesche Würfel  The Frying Pan, NC (1), version 1, 2021  Archival Pigment Print  8h x 10w in 20.32h x 25.40w cm  5  GW_030, Black and White, Landscape, Salt applied to image taken on the coast of North Carolina during while being processed

Gesche Würfel

The Frying Pan, NC (1), version 1, 2021

Archival Pigment Print

8h x 10w in
20.32h x 25.40w cm

5

GW_030

Gesche Würfel  Battle Park, NC (3), version 1, 2019-2020  Solarized and roasted gelatin silver print on glossy RC paper  14h x 11w in 35.56h x 27.94w cm  GW_006, solarized black and white vertical photograph of a forest that has been roasted in a kiln creating cracks and white areas

Gesche Würfel

Battle Park, NC (3), version 1, 2019-2020

Solarized and roasted gelatin silver print on glossy RC paper

14h x 11w in
35.56h x 27.94w cm

GW_006

Gesche Würfel  Rumbling Bald, NC (3), version 1, 2020-2021  Solarized and burned gelatin silver print on matte fiber paper  8h x 10w in 20.32h x 25.40w cm  GW_007, horizontal, solarized black and white photograph of a tree, the print is then roasted and burned in a kiln

Gesche Würfel

Rumbling Bald, NC (3), version 1, 2020-2021

Solarized and burned gelatin silver print on matte fiber paper

8h x 10w in
20.32h x 25.40w cm

GW_007

Press Release

 Tracey Morgan Gallery is pleased to present When Trees are Dying an exhibition of photographs by Gesche Würfel that explore the effects of human made climate change on forests. This will be Würfel’s first exhibition with the gallery.

“Trees have always been a reassuring presence. The reassurance they provide is partly their continuity. Rooted in place, we may recognize still living trees in the oldest photographs. Further, a tree that lives as long as we humans, 8 decades or at most 10, is deemed, among trees, to be a “short-lived” species. More typical tree lifespans in old growth forests exceeds three centuries and the oldest trees reach several millennia.

And yet trees now face unprecedented environmental challenges. Each tree species has an evolved optimum set of environmental conditions in which it does the best and each tree species has an evolved range of tolerances for variation in the environment. The problem is not that trees have never seen change before, it is that the magnitude and rate of change in the present time are pushing them to the limits that defines the simple proposition that their ability to turn sunlight into organic matter exceeds the loss of organic matter through the energetic cost of living.

We now know that our species, through increases to the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, the harvest and fragmentation of forests, and other effects, has produced a rapidly warming world. The effects of that warming are not uniform, but some places are warming faster than others. Artists help us see and interpret the world around us. In When Trees are Dying, Würfel makes climate change effects on trees direct and tangible. In this exhibit she has created a dramatic illustration of climate change by treating trees —through her photographs — with warming, drought, fire, invasive species, increasing salinity and storms.”*

Using 4x5 film and a large format camera, Würfel photographed forests in two U.S. states and climate zones (North Carolina and Massachusetts) to show the impacts of global warming. These impacts include warming, drought, fire, storms, flooding, invasive insects, sea level rise and saltwater intrusion. Würfel used specific photographic processes to represent each impact. For example she invokes warming through solarized prints in the darkroom; drought with solarized prints roasted in a kiln until they are browned, blistered and sometimes cracked; storms by ripping the solarized prints into several pieces; sea level rise by mirroring gelatin silver prints; saltwater intrusion by adding sea salt from the North Carolina coast. The resulting photographs are presented as an installation with both color and black and white photographs.

Photography creates a plethora of carbon emissions such as traveling to locations, shipping, supplies such as paper and darkroom chemicals among others. Würfel tried to stay local as much as possible to emit as little carbon as possible. The portion photographed in Massachusetts was taken at the beginning of the project while she was attending a residency at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and while a visiting researcher at Harvard Forest in 2019. The carbon emissions created with this project were offset through www.carbonfootprint.com. This project was supported by awards from the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, the Institute forthe Arts & Humanities, and the Department of Art & Art History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Würfel lives and works in Chapel Hill, NC. She holds an MFA in Studio Art from UNC Chapel Hill, an MA in Photography and Urban Cultures from Goldsmith’s, University of London, UK and a diploma of Spatial Planning from the Technical University Dortmund, Germany. Her work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, UK; the Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC; the Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC; Goldsmith’s, University of London, UK; Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, among others. Würfel is the author of Basement Sanctuaries (Schilt Publishing 2014). Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, WIRED, Slate, and others. She is a recipient of grants from the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD), the North Carolina Arts Council, the Puffin Foundation, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Her work is in the collections of MIT Museum, MA and the Portland Museum of Art, OR.