When the World Ends, I Want to Be in Cincinnati
It is rumored that Mark Twain once said, “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always 20 years behind the times.” Inspired by this sentiment, the exhibition explores the regional evolution of both climate and culture from a Midwestern perspective.
Surrounded by fertile land, rivers, and valleys, the greater-Cincinnati area is experiencing climate change at a slower rate than other regions of the United States. The alarm bells are ringing out west, but we can’t hear them in Cincinnati.
Caroline Bell and Elisa Fay’s photographic work wrestles with the following questions: If Cincinnati is indeed 20 years behind the times, what does the rest of the country look like? What about the historically Wild West? Is it still considered “wild,” in terms of both its natural landscape and the people who inhabit it? What keeps people out west despite the climate changes? On the other hand, what entices people enough to visit, but not enough to stay? Do we, as humans, have a tendency to dip our toes into the “wilderness” and the freedom that comes with it, but not fully immerse ourselves in it? Why is that? Why do we stay in the boring Midwest when the western landscape is so stunning at every turn?
Maybe it is because when the world comes to an end, we will still have 20 years left to live.
Caroline Bell, Tinder Box By The River, 2021. C-41 digital print, 30 x 40 inches. Courtesy of the artist
Main Street Shop & Studio
1342 Main St
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Wed–Fri Noon–6pm, Sat & Sun 11am–5pm
Free to the Public