The photographic material for this project was produced from field explorations and research which investigated gold-mining, a specific primary industry, as it explored the traces of place, the scars of technology, marked upon the land and as it relates to our cultural and historical notions of the landscape and of the omnipresent myth of gold. The metric cube is constructed from an industrial gold-coated glass to volumetrically represent the amount of gold extracted from the Cadillac Fault which runs between Val d'Or and Timmins. It was installed in a public space at the intersection of the structural grid pattern of the architecture of Mies van der Rohe's Westmount Square in Montréal. The gold glass is highly reflective, yet one has the ability to see through one's reflection in order to perceive the image of a landscape from one of the abandoned gold mines placed on the bottom plane of the cube. The cube is a measurement used in prospecting codes such that any land staked in a mineral claim is a derivative of a square.
Our relationship to the landscape is a significant expression of our culture. Are we afflicted by the ambivalence towards the landscape, between the economic demands to exploit it and the urge to nurture and protect it? Each abandoned mine site puts to question this ambivalence in its unique ruination of the land and in the simultaneous efforts of nature to repossess it. AU explores our relationship to technology, our connections to the land, and the actual or perceived hegemony of gold.
image to enlarge
(top) series of 8 images - black + white prints 100cm x 100cm
(bottom) series of 4 images - context + installation