Been spending a lot of time in the etching workshop.
It all started with a photo of Paradise Forum shopping mall in Birmingham.
Everyone looked so pissed off – yet if they just looked beyond to the cosmos, wouldn’t they be dazzled.
I thought the two girls on the steps looked like they had their feet dangling in space, that they were sitting on the edge of something, awaiting their escape.

Of course the word Forum conjures up ideas of a Roman Forum, from which I segue to amphitheatre, a place of gathering, like a shopping mall. A sense of history of construction, of public space.
This small exert of life on earth in fadeout – a temporal moment.

Paradise Forum B3

Paradise Forum B3

I listened to Bill Viola being interviewed about his current retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris which I hope to visit shortly. He talks about the brevity of our lives and how it is really important to leave behind some knowledge or some new thing for the next generation, it can be something really simple. Through knowledge we gain transformation. But beware, too much information can become a pollution and we have to separate out the unnecessary bombardment of advertising and media sources from the good stuff that enriches us.

1404 Bill Viola

Also looking at  the work and ideas of James Turrell. His formless landscapes of light with no object, no image and no focus leaves us only with an awareness of ourselves looking and an experience only felt otherwise in dreams, meditation or near death experiences. I can remember my visit to Gagosian a few years back to see Dhatu – staring into a pink misty void, anticipating angels.

 

JAMES TURRELL  Dhātu, 2010

JAMES TURRELL
Dhātu, 2010

 

In ‘Once Upon a Time’ Steve McQueen presents 116 images from Karl Sagan’s Golden Record which was launched into space in 1977 to enlighten any extraterrestrials about life on earth. McQueen overlays geographical images and scientific diagrams with the sounds of people speaking in tongues. The highly factual with the highly emotional – potentially equally indecipherable to aliens but showing an alternative side to human nature other than the one NASA documented.

Steve McQueen - Once Upon a Time

Steve McQueen – Once Upon a Time

In ‘The Dry Salvages’ Elisabetta Benassi presents 10,000 bricks made from clay taken from the 1951 Polesine flood area (one of the largest natural disasters in Italy) that are printed with the names and codes of the largest space debris orbiting the earth.

1404 Elisabetta Benassi (2)

Elisabetta Benassi – The Dry Salvages

Power of nature, power of nations.

Elisabetta Benassi - The Dry Salvages

Elisabetta Benassi – The Dry Salvages

The regeneration of matter. The impossibility of control.

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