Trish Clark Gallery is pleased to present Evanescent Monuments, a body of new works by Chris Corson-Scott made in New Zealand’s South Island.
Corson-Scott produces haunting images within a global conceptual discourse, that draw our attention to the international structures that facilitate wealth extraction from individual countries’ natural resources, and the ways in which these give rise to cycles of development and decay. The photographs ask us to pay attention to the future of the planet. The quest for sustainable development in the 21st century will not, the artist argues, bypass these structures.
His extended expeditions have yielded images remarkable for their unsettling juxtapositions of historic industry within the reclaiming natural world, the remnants of industrial behemoths on which the prosperity of New Zealand was formed. In photographing sites now decayed and largely forgotten but uncovered by his diligent research, Corson-Scott captures the past before it disappears entirely. The artist utilises the old analogue technology of film and 8×10 camera, capturing light and detail in ways impossible to achieve with digital technology. Reminding us of our collective dependence upon the natural world, the artist’s understanding of patterns of human behaviour is mirrored by his sensitive capture of light, which remains the equivalent subject in his highly pertinent images of historical sites.
Corson-Scott has exhibited widely. Exhibitions include The Future Machine (2017-18) at Tauranga Art Gallery; The Devil’s Blind Spot (2016-17) at Christchurch Art Gallery; Kinder’s Presence (2013-14) at Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki; History in the Taking: 40 Years of PhotoForum (2014) at Gus Fisher Gallery, Dunedin Public Art Gallery and City Gallery, Wellington; Photo 14, Maag Halle, Zurich, Switzerland; My Place (2013) Pingyao International Photography Festival, China; and Photographs (2011) at Wallace Art Centre. Publications include Evanescent Monuments with Laurence Simmons, Emil McAvoy, and Chris Holdaway (Compound Press, Auckland: 2018), and Dreaming in the Anthropocene, with Chris Holdaway (Compound Press, Auckland: 2017). With art historian Edward Hanfling he is the co-author of Pictures They Want to Make: Recent Auckland Photography (Photoforum, Auckland: 2013).
Key Collections: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki; Chartwell Collection at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki; Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu; Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland; NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.