Futures Barren: BAIR 2D summer 2018 (works in progress)
In Living In The End Times, Slavoj Zizek writes “There is something deceptively reassuring in our readiness to assume guilt for the threats to our environment: we like to be guilty, since, if we are guilty, then it all depends on us, we pull the strings of the catastrophe, and so, in principle we can also save ourselves simply by changing our lives.”
Futures Barren combines still life photography vibrant and colourful printmaking applications, apocalyptic self-help sloganeering, and the investigation of alternative transparent materials to cast and reflect information through shape, shadows, and light.
Born out of a sincere fascination with growing and an enduring attachment to the active role of nurturing - humans have a profound connection to plant life. Taking visual cues from a contemporary “lifestyle” obsession with the houseplant, this body of work endeavours to use images as soothing in a time of high anxiety and call into
question the imbalance of power enacted when we perceive nature as capital.
Over the last decade western society has become overwhelmingly screen-based, transforming our relationship to qualities of light and ways of viewing images. Transparency and light are fundamental qualities to the photographic process but I also see them as important philosophical qualities. The ability to see through an image creates a complex and intangible quality, as if the image isn’t fully present or graspable, and constantly influenced by the space and light around it. Often using the visual language of advertising and industry I aim to employ humour and sadness in equal measure when selecting or developing text in my work. The language I seek for this project will keep us connected to the here and now, and also reference a common struggle with the complexities of heartbreak and disappointment, ecological collapse, rampant advanced capitalism and a foreboding sense of the future.
The images developed for Futures Barren will feel intimate and personal but put into contention a historical subordination of life to the imperative of capital and question our ability to live in balance with nature while maintaining strident individualism & materialism.