"If you conserve everything, there is no room for life"

Sometimes the most thought provoking quotes about conservation are found in articles that are not directly about conservation. The article, “Body of Work”, by Alice Gregory in the August 1, 2016 issue of The New Yorker ends with such a quote. Gregory is profiling the efforts of the conceptual artist Jill Magid to get Federica Zanco, the owner of the archive of the Mexican architect Luis Barragan to open the archive to scholars and others. At the end of the article Magid and Zanco are in the underground shelter in Switzerland that houses the archive, looking at Barragan’s drawings. Zanco complains to Magid that the hectic development of Mexico City means that many of Barragan’s buildings are being torn down. ” ‘I see the silent, rapid destruction of his actual legacy, all while his biography and his colorful houses get more popular.’ As she motioned toward the exit, she added, ‘I understand, though. If you conserve everything, there is no room for life.’” Agree or disagree, it is something to think about.