Alterscape Stories (2006)

These are two photographic works made after my visit to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. This work was realized in the context of the 1st Architecture, Art & Landscape Biennial of the Canary Islands. I had made lots of pictures of the landscape which inspired me in the creation of a maquette made out of sculpted paper and a variety of materials such as fake trees, colored sand, photographic cut outs, clay, glass, etc. The size of the sculpted landscape was about 350 cm wide by 200 cm deep and 65 cm high. This scale and balance made it possible for me to be in the sculpture and to perform the acts registered. Once the images where made the sculpture was destroyed. The background was completely white to reinforce the effect of the darkness of the body. The silhouette is a representation of the human in the environment: a creator/destructor.

Alterscapes Stories: Uprooting the past refers to the erasing of the past and installing of the present and how these actions alter the landscape. The work was made as a triptych in order to refer to 3 temporalities with regards to the landscape visited, namely the past, the present and the possible future.

 

 

 

 

 

The left image of the triptych is about the past which is just nature in progress without the influence of man; a landscape that has been formed by volcanic eruption following the natural process of transformation. 
The middle image involves the human, uprooting a ruin. This ruined house is the remains of the servant quarters connected to the old 17th century manorial house 'La Casa del Coronels’ in Fuerteventura. In the series Alterscapes Stories cut out images of the ruined house and palm trees were used in both photographical works (triptych and diptych).
The right image refers to a possible future where tall buildings are being installed without the consideration of its effect on the environment. The smoke coming out of the mountain is a reminder of the possibility of an eruption and everything could be destroyed. In a lot of classical paintings the skull was a symbol of memento mori; nothing is eternal. Likewise the smoke in both works refers to the end of an era and the possibility of a new beginning.

Alterscape Stories: Spilling Waste refers to man and its environment with regards to 'Water'.

 

Usable water is imported into the Canary Islands even though it is surrounded by water. At the same time the waters are being polluted by the installation of different kinds of industries which create a certain level of toxicity.

 

To create the idea of toxicity in this photograph, the water is poured out from a plastic cup and the color of the water is more of a saturated blue than a light blue. In that way it increases the feel of toxicity being poured into the landscape and also tells the story of water being imported.

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