Alvaro Sanchez-Montanes - Indoor Desert (2010)
“By the end of World War I, diamond mines in Kolmanskuppe, a site in the Namib Desert, ceased to be exploited. For over two decades it had been one of the wealthiest settlements in Southern Africa. During that time of splendour, German colonists who run the site had built their peculiar residences there evoking the architecture and décor of those in their homeland Bavaria. After it was closed down and its inhabitants left, Kolmanskuppe became a ghost town engulfed by desert sands. With his series Indoor Desert, Sanchez-Montanes enters these houses abandoned to the desert to unveil the serene enchantment that dwells in their chambers.”
David Maisel - Library of Dust (2008)
“In 1913, the Oregon State Insane Asylum began to cremate the remains of unclaimed patients and their ashes were stored in copper canisters.
After decades in storage the canisters have undergone chemical reactions resulting in explosions of vivid blue-green corrosion. Maisel was granted access to the room in which the canisters were stored to document them for his book.”
“Among my concerns with Library of Dust are the crises of representation that derive from attempts to index or archive the evidence of trauma; the uncanny ability of objects to portray such trauma; and the revelatory possibilities inherent in images of such traumatic disturbances.
While there are certainly physical and chemical explanations for the ways these canisters have transformed over time, the canisters also encourage us to consider what happens to our own bodies when we die, and to the souls that occupy them.”
Gregory Holm & Matthew Radune - Ice House Detroit (2011)
“American cities are not short on abandoned houses, but for great swathes of residential vacancy, Detroit takes the cake. There have been a variety of responses to the motor city’s blight, from the small-scale and practical to ambitious and conceptual, and over the last few years, some interesting art has also emerged, expressing the struggles and neglect suffered by the once-mighty metropolis.
One such creative endeavor came about through the collaboration of photographer Greg Holm and architect Matthew Radune, who proposed Ice House Detroit—a temporary installation that would involve freezing a vacant, foreclosed home bound for demolition, then deconstructing it and salvaging viable building materials for other Detroit projects.”
Ryoji Ikeda - The Transfinite (2011)
“A huge, immersive, electronic light-and-sound installation consisting of an immense wall — 54 feet wide by 40 feet tall — which serves as a screen for streaming video projections.
On one side, horizontal black, gray and white stripes and bands divided into left and right sections scroll downward, flickering furiously to the sound of aggressively percussive, buzzing and whistling electronic music emitted by powerful speakers.
he bar-code-like patterns extend across the white floor in front of the wall, where visitors who have doffed their shoes may loll, dance or meditate. It’s like a walk-in, animated Op Art painting.
On the other side, the floor is covered by soft black fabric and the wall is flooded by finely articulated, incomprehensibly complicated numerical and graphic data.
What is it to be human in such a universe? What values other than statistical ones sustain us?”
“I photograph the act of painting on to my skin and then paint on top of the photographs, creating a layering of image of paint and painted image. My body becomes the canvas for the paint, questioning the traditional concept of painting and portraiture, and the barriers between painting and photography.”
Visit Sophie Derrick’s website here.