Rune Eraker

The Blind Eye

From 23.09.18
To 17.03.19

What does the impact of climate change look like? Who feels the results of our exploitation of the planet we all live on? The exhibition The Blind Eye is shown in conjunction with Edward Burtynsky’s exhibition Man and Earth. Light and Shoadows, also photographing the human traces on earth. Whereas Burtynsky gives the overview, Eraker gets close to the humans.

Eraker claims it's difficult for most of us to relate to climate changes that will happen hundred years ahead of time. Instead, we have to concentrate on our time, in order to relate. As climate is abstract in many ways, he finds it right to show individual stories and thereby show the impact of the climate changes for the ones living in vulnerable areas.

The exhibition is accompanied by the photo book Det blinde øye/A blind eye, which is available in a Norwegian-English version. From the back cover blurb:

"At a time when the most serious challenge facing us is climate, Norway's focus is on oil, government budgets, evaluations and getting more for every NOK spent. It is on housing prices that must not drop. Newspapers that must sell. Politicians who are continuously measured by polls and popularity. And they must be re-elected. In four years. The cycle is four years. This exhibition; this book, is about that. About the hundred-year perspective we have lost and about those who are the first to pay the price. The price for the cycle being so short at the moment that it no longer takes upcoming generations into account. It does not even take account of those who are living now.”



Det blinde øye ble vist på Oslo Rådhusgalleri i 2013, Bymuseet i Bergen og Tromsø Kunstforening i 2014. Selv om utstillingen er fem år gammel, og enkelte av bildene flere år eldre, er den (dessverre) mer aktuell enn noen gang.

Rune Eraker (b.1961) has for more than 25 years worked as an independent documentary photographer. He has had a number of solo-exhibitions in museums (such as Stenersenmuseet 2001, Trondheim Museum of Fine Art 2006 and The Nobel Peace Center 2009, and has published widely in magazines and newspapers, both in Norway and internationally. He has also published a number of photo-books (such as “Øyeblikk av Lys” Aschehoug 2001, “The Smell of Longing” Wigestrand, 2005, and “The Dream of Europe” Forlaget Press, 2009). Currently he is heading the editorial team of Norwegian Journal of Photography, and he is one of four curators at European Photo Exhibition Award (EPEA). In 2014 The Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (MOCAK) exhibited Erakers solo-exhibition “Uprooted”. 

Rune Eraker

© Rune Eraker, Honduras, 2009

Inocente Gomez, a farmer in Jesus de Otoro, despairs over a harvest that once again looks as though it will fail.
"Before, we could tell you the exact days when the rain would come," he says. "In the past 5-6 years, it hasn't been possible to predict when the rains will come.
Changes in the rain patterns have time and again resulted in the maize failing to mature for harvest."

© Rune Eraker, Pakistan, 2010

Exhausted and resigned, the boy leans back and lies in a sea of mud.
There have been so many trips with his father and uncle to save carpets and other furnishings from the house by Azakhel.
The great flood in Pakistan has by the UN been called the greatest humanitarian disaster in modern times.
The flood took housing and the basis for subsistence from 20 million people. In mud and water to the waist, they attempt to save what is left.

©Rune Eraker, Pakistan, 2010

Water from the great flood is about to withdraw and the victims of the flood try to save what is possible
from the destroyed houses on the rails that lie a couple metres above floodwater near Risalpur.
The UN called this flood the largest humanitarian disaster in our times. More than 20 million Pakistanis were affected.

© Rune Eraker, The Maldives 2011

Finnish tourists enjoy the evening sun at the luxurious resort on Curedo Island. This is the Maldives that many dream of.
The little island community receives 800 000 tourists annually. Financially, the Maldives are dependent on airborne tourism,
which paradoxically enough contributes to the fact that one day they may be forced off the islands when the sea level rises.
The rising sea level threatens the existence of the Maldive Islands. It is a paradox that the country earns its livelihood
from airborne tourism that contributes to climate changes.

© Rune Eraker, The Maldives, 2011

Waste from foreign tourists at island resorts and from the inhabitants of Male is transported to and dumped on Thilafushi.
Here it is burnt and scraped into the sea. As a result, the island grows by up to a square metre a day and has become 2 metres high.
This is how the authorities are trying to get ahead of the rising sea level. Average height over sea level in the Maldive Islands is one metre.
The rising sea level threatens the existence of the Maldive Islands.
It is a paradox that the country earns its livelihood from airborne tourism that contributes to climate changes.

© Rune Eraker, Angola, 2010

A cabin cruiser worth millions is washed at Club Nautico along the beach promenade in Luanda.
More than 200 skyscrapers under construction characterise the skyline of the world’s most expensive city.
The car park is without compare: Jaguars, Porches and Land Rovers characterise the cityscape.
A three room apartment in one of the housing complexes costs from 10,000-30,000 dollars a month and a night in a
hotel costs between 300-600 dollars a night. The gap between rich and poor has become unimaginable in Angola,
where the elite, in cooperation with international petroleum companies, have enriched themselves on oil.

© Rune Eraker, Chad, 2012

A handful of fishermen manoeuvring between rushes and sandbars while they fish, increasingly more despairingly, after small fish,
on what previously was deep water with large fish and good catches. Now Lake Chad has shrunk to a tenth of what it was not many decades ago.
In fourty years Lake Chad, once one of the world’s largest lakes, has been reduced to 10% of its original size.
The drought south of the Sahara also leads to continuous crop failures that threaten millions of people.