Detail of Still Water in Side Canyon, lake Powell, 2012
In the early 1960s, photographer Eliot Porter photographed Glen Canyon, a stunning landscape slated to be submerged under the waters of the Colorado River with the construction of the Glen Canyon dam. The Sierra Club published a book of the images in mid-1963, called The Place No One Knew, in an attempt to halt the proposed dam. The effort failed, and Lake Powell was created, becoming a bustling recreation area atop the majestic canyonlands.
In their most recent project together, Mark Klett, Byron Wolfe and Rebecca Solnit engaged with Porter’s published work to make a vital statement about climate change. Years of exploration of Lake Powell, making pictures, studying Porter, and learning about the history and future of Glen Canyon produced a body of work in which Solnit’s sparse and effective text is interwoven with Klett and Wolfe’s impressionistic images.
Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado, documents both the devastation of the dam project, as well as the unanticipated resilience of the Colorado River.