desARTification is an ongoing art project composed of photographs made by Nik Barte in the Sahara Desert over a period of almost twenty years. Structured soundly upon the concepts of love and infinite respect for Mother Nature, desARTification literally stands for “desert turned into Art”.
The fundamental idea comes from the urgent need of an immediate action concerning the desertification as a greatest environmental threat of our time, as well as the climate crisis and ecological disasters in general. Beyond that, the core ambition of the project itself is to activate the original emotional memory of the civilization about what does it truly mean to be a human being. The intent is to generate feelings based on this primordial truth and consequently, to evoke genuine thoughts upon the true significance of being alive. Hopefully, these emotions and reflections should trigger the sense of responsibility based on the privilege of receiving the precious gift of Life and therefore, to reassemble the sense of connectedness among all living forms on Planet Earth.
In order to build the narrative of desARTification Nik Barte uses the language of pure beauty. No violent scenes of the environmental disasters. No brutally wounded landscapes. Just beauty, written by light and shades, sand and wind. Pure, precious and divine Beauty.
The formal visual elements are simple and minimal, based on the flawless harmony of the Mother Nature’s intact aesthetics. By conceptualizing the desert Barte magically captures centuries of prayers, songs, poetry, stories, thousands of years of human soul history and translates them into photographs. They are entirely beyond being merely landscape pictures of the desert and are certainly not abstractions. These images appear like meditative windows, delivering eternal lights and shadows that come from afar, bringing memories from the distant past (or maybe, from the future), rendering the invisible visible.
Essentially, desARTification is challenging effort to build a bridge from person to person, from soul to soul by using the means of beauty and art in order to restore the forgotten kindness and connection among all forms of life on Earth, a sincere attempt for recovering the consciousness of our civilization.