Photographer Robert Adams on art and society

The 72-year-old photographer Robert Adams, famous as part of the New Topographics photography movement,  which recorded the impact humans have on the natural environment, has won the 2009 Hasselblad Foundation Award. He took part in a webchat on behalf of the Hasselblad Foundation. Here’s a short extract:

Questioner:What part does an artist play in society?
Robert Adams: I recently tried to answer an inquiry like that from Belgian artists: First we have an obligation simply to be the citizens we want everyone to be – informed, engaged, reasonable, and compassionate. Then as artists we are called historically to a double mission, to instruct and delight, to tell the truth but also to find in it a basis for affirmation.”
Questioner: What do you think is the most serious threat facing the world?
Robert Adams: Overpopulation. Its the fundamental, lethal accelerant for most environmental and social problems.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology