rising seas


Format 1: 132 x 202 cm / 52 x 79.5 in, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Format 2: 67 x 102 cm / 26.3 in x 40.2, edition of 6 + 2 AP
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec, custom-made wood/ aluminium frame

Global CO₂ emissions will cause sea levels to rise in the coming centuries. Our fossil-fuel driven civilisation is creating a profoundly changed planet. Storms, floods and steadily rising sea levels may possibly destroy our coastal cities. Global warming affects sea levels in two ways: About one third of its current rise is due to thermal expansion as the volume of water increases the warmer it gets. All the rest is due to ice melting on land. Because the ice shelves in Antarctica and Greenland are melting, the land ice behind them can flow into the sea ever more rapidly. And this causes the sea level to rise. If we succeed in limiting the rise in temperature to 2 °C, approximately 130 million people would still be affected by flooding. However, if we cause global warming of 4 °C through our emissions, this could result in the submergence of land areas that are now home to up to 760 million people worldwide. New York, Mumbai, Shanghai, Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco und Miami would be flooded in large part or would completely disappear. It is possible that technical solutions such as the construction of dykes, dams and protective barriers will no longer suffice at some point and then the retreat from the coast will begin. From Florida to Bangladesh people will leave the coastal regions, civil unrest and wars will then ensue. Our civilisation will change.

The art work “rising seas” visualises the threat to our coastal cities and our modern civilisation posed by ever higher sea levels. The composition of the picture consists of the surface of the sea, mountain ranges and clouds. The viewer’s gaze is quickly drawn to small star-like points of light just above the coastline. The mountain range rising from left to right reflects the increase in temperature from 1850 to 2100; a small plateau on the steep right-hand side of the mountain range marks global warming of 2 degrees; the mountain peak on the far right edge of the picture the rise in global temperature of 4 degrees. A dense cloudy sky has formed over the mountain range and is reflected in the water – a symbol for the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the associated rise of the sea level. “rising seas“ is an allegory of human civilisation on the edge of existence. Unless we drastically change course in the coming years, our carbon emissions will create a world whose geography is completely different from the world in which our species evolved.


Personally liable:
Michael Najjar

Design concept & coding: Matthias Hübner, possible.is
with support by Marco Land

Accountability for content
The contents of our pages have been created with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the contents' accuracy, completeness or topicality. According to statutory provisions, we are furthermore responsible for our own content on these web pages. In this context, please note that we are accordingly not obliged to monitor merely the transmitted or saved information of third parties, or investigate circumstances pointing to illegal activity. Our obligations to remove or block the use of information under generally applicable laws remain unaffected by this as per §§ 8 to 10 of the Telemedia Act (TMG).

Accountability for links
Responsibility for the content of external links (to web pages of third parties) lies solely with the operators of the linked pages. No violations were evident to us at the time of linking. Should any legal infringement become known to us, we will remove the respective link immediately.

Our web pages and their contents are subject to German copyright law. Unless expressly permitted by law (§ 44a et seq. of the copyright law), every form of utilizing, reproducing or processing works subject to copyright protection on our web pages requires the prior consent of the respective owner of the rights. Unauthorized utilization of copyrighted works is punishable (§ 106 of the copyright law).

Our newsletter

With our newsletter we inform you about us and our offers and events, art fair participations and exhibitions in galleries, museums and art institutions. If you register for our newsletter, we will save your e-mail address, first name(s) and last name, as well as any information you choose to provide on a purely voluntary basis. If you do not wish to consent to this, you can unsubscribe by using the link at the end of every newsletter.

You can revoke your consent to the storage of your data, e-mail address and the use of your data to send the newsletter at any time. This revocation can be effected by notifying us: studio@michaelnajjar.com

In the course of the further development of our website, changes to this privacy policy may become necessary. We therefore recommend that you reread this data protection statement from time to time.