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Grayson Cooke – Old Growth, 2016


Brenda May Gallery

October 1 - October 27

Grayson-Cooke-Deforest1
‘Old Growth’ is an environmental critique and material enquiry, it consists of three video works, each of which explores different effects of resource extraction or anthropogenic climate change. Each work consists of time-lapse photography of film media being chemically degraded.’Frack’ explores ‘virtual fracking’ – it uses chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing to dissolve photographs of sedimentary rock. ‘Deforest’ uses sulphuric acid (which burns to the touch) to melt photographs of old growth rainforest. ‘Bleach’ uses a range of bleaching agents to dissolve photographs of the Great Barrier Reef.Each work operates as a kind of media analogue for humanity’s effects on the environment; hydrochloric acid, for example, is used in fracking to dissolve fissures in sedimentary rock, and in this project it “fracks” the emulsion, seeking the “fissures” in the image where less silver is deposited on the celluloid. The project uses photographic media and corrosive chemicals to “materialize” environmental degradation along different channels than the documentary record. The ruination of the image and its relation to the environment lies at the core of this project.