The Construction of a Utopian Model - Helsinki Photography Biennial

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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This installation comprised a raised viewing platform reached by a wooden ramp. Upon reaching the platform, the viewer is met with a large-scale photographic image presented on a lightbox. The illuminated photograph depicts a landscape of rich hues and lush foliage. However, rather than presenting a rural idyll, the focal point of the landscape is a concrete motorway bridge erected over a man-made valley. Gouged out of the land, it is destined to become a roadway, soon to cut through this landscape. This installation explores the audience’s relationship to photography, which by its very nature calls into question the possibility of ‘passive’ viewing as each step taken towards viewing the photographic work becomes self-conscious, as one’s footfall upwards towards the photograph is acoustically registered upon a wooden incline. Notions of interior and exterior space cross-cut through this work. Standing before the illuminated landscape image, one becomes aware of the duality of inside/ outside. The vibrancy of the backlit image is capable of transporting the viewer mentally to an exterior location, but the lightbox, a motif which I consciously borrow from the realm of advertising, also acts as a ‘window’ through which we may temporarily view the world, re-emphasising our awareness of the interior space. The photographic image that sits at the heart of this work explores the notion of landscape as a cultural construct, a scene to be pictured, framed and defined by our relationship to it.The photographic work included as part of this installation was: 'The Construction of a Utopian Model’ (2000 - 2014), 122cm x 152 cm, colour duratran on lightbox.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2014
EventHelsinki Photography Biennial - Finnish Museum of Photography / Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 27 Mar 201414 May 2014


  • Photography
  • installation
  • landscape
  • urbanism
  • 17th
  • 19th Century European Landscape painting
  • the picturesque
  • audience participation/ interactivity.

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