conceptual photography, contemporary art

Dylan Thomas, Crash #2, Crash #1, Crash #3 (2010)

October 10, 2010

If photos of anything, these are of altars. Beyond that it is difficult to say what we might be looking at. The titles suggest compacted blocks of wreckage with few other clues.

One implication of the recessed alcove and the lighting in these shots is we might still come to worship at the indeterminate objects. These are staged shots with real presence.

But the chapels are in a bad state of disrepair. So if a god of any sort be here, he is without a doubt “ill,” to quote this bleak poem in translation by César Vallejo.

As for the altars, they look to have seen one sacrifice too many. The priesthood have given them up out of remorse. It was necessary to abandon them for some reason.

And in architectural terms all three scenes bring us face to face with a dead end. The series is called Crash. It is hard not to think some disaster must have befallen this religion.

The possibilities are numerous: World War I, World War II, World War III, or it may be a sad and simple case of a single road death.

So this is wreckage after all, put forward for our contemplation in a gallery. It has strong aesthetic qualities, and that may be the worst part of it.

The Crash series can be seen at Grey Area, Brighton, until 23 October 2010. It is part of Brighton Photo Fringe.

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