Like Shishmaref is a sixteen-minute film produced in 2016 by Charlotte-based artist Marek Ranis. Ranis utilizes a wide range of media to create portraits of our rapidly changing natural environment, emphasizing the complex issues that have come to challenge communities across the globe. The film is the result of many years of intensive climate change research and a residency at the Anchorage Museum in Alaska. In it, Ranis eloquently argues for the universal impact of climate change by juxtaposing the vanishing coast line on the Sarichef barrier island against the low-lying string of barrier islands in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The footage suggests a unique connection between two rapidly changing landscapes: one, a working-class village in a remote region of western Alaska; the other, a familiar tourist destination in eastern North Carolina.
Ranis has said: “The disappearing barrier islands and increasingly ephemeral coastal lines are not anymore just one of the first signals of changing environment… it is not anymore the search for recognition of the inevitable. It is the search for the response.”
Also on display in the adjacent gallery are two other works by Ranis: a digital photograph (Panzerwerk: Barbara Wroclaw 2013) and a sculpture (Bunker III 2013)