A study of our natural world in Wetplate Collodion by…
Collaboration: interrogating Melbourne’s changing urban landscape. Photographs by Gary Sauer-Thompson & Stuart Murdoch. Atkins Gallery. Adelaide. 3 August – 7 September 2018.
‘The photographs in the exhibition are a negative presentation of the changing landscape in the CBD and the edges of Melbourne. The former highlight the old industrial city, whilst the latter interrogate the gothic beauty of Melbourne’s damaged urban spaces.
Together the photos of these ugly objects and spaces point towards an industrial sublime; one that involves a negative experience, or an oscillation between pleasure and pain, attraction and repulsion.
The photos of the historical objects in ugly urban spaces effect a kind of painful cleavage in our understanding of the past, present and future. The photos of a damaged nature and a repressed culture in an Australian modernity effect a shuddering, tremor or shock that creates an emotional and cognitive dissonance in us.
The sublime in these photographs endeavour to arrest the flow of history, and to open up time for alternative interpretations; ones that verge on the limits of our interpretative frameworks about the violence of the technology of industrial capitalism, its inflicted wounds on nature and the trauma to the human subject. The link between the sublime and trauma calls the conventional notions of a progressive future into question and invites critical reflection.’
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