An edited version of an imaginary archive, ÆTHER is a photographic installation centred around two dramatic black and white prints of uncertain origin, reminiscent of aerial views of the arctic, or perhaps the surface of some unknown world. Also included are lightboxes with printed texts, aerial views of cities printed on stone slabs, and other presentations of images.
In common with other archives, ÆTHER also functions as a repostitory of ideas – nature and history, time and memory, journeys and landscapes all feature, offering multiple possible alignments of facts and impressions.
The act of constructing meaning and history from archives and recollections of the past has compelling parallels in the creation of our own identities; both attempt to shape memories and ideas into enduring entities which, despite our best efforts, we know to be continually slipping through our fingers.
"Our concern with history, so Hilary's thesis ran, is a concern with pre-formed images already imprinted on our brains, images at which we keep staring while the truth lies elsewhere, away from it all, somewhere as yet undiscovered."
Austerlitz W.G. Sebald
"…each clump of symbols is a brief, urgent message – describing a situation, a scene.
There isn't any particular relationship between all the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep…What we love in our books are the depths of so many marvelous moments seen all at one time."
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
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