Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Doug Aitken "Plateau"

Doug Aitken, Plateau (2002).
Light box (52” x 10’ x 14”)

Doug Aitken refers to Plateau as a “meta-city.” The composite photograph represents an overwhelming, convoluted, and claustrophobic megalopolis made entirely of FedEx boxes. Other images in the series feature futuristic cities composed of IBM, Macintosh, or Coca-Cola boxes, populated, if at all, by swans, sparrows, and other birds. The buildings are designed to replicate a number of twentieth and twenty-first century buildings in brutalist, fascist, and utopian styles. Emblazoned with corporate logos and built in an apparent frenzy of construction from the waste of consumerist lifestyles, Aitken's city is chaotic, sanitized, and anonymous, humbled by the indifference and the curiosity of the disproportionately large birds. Their presence evokes Darwinian questions of natural selection, rendering the empty corporate city an artifact of an almost desperate will to build, conquer, and survive.

Images courtesy Doug Aitken Workshop / 303 Gallery New York

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