Kelly Richardson’s hyper-real digital films of rich and complex landscapes feature in ‘The Weather Makers’ at DCA, the first solo exhibition in Scotland by the Canadian artist.
Weaving together myth and metaphor with scientific research and new digital technologies, ‘The Weather Makers’ presents three large-scale video works alongside a new print series.
The exhibition asks what the future might look like if we continue on our current trajectory of planetary pillaging and consumption, and why we have allowed ourselves to arrive at such a moment of global environmental crisis.
A 12-metre-long panoramic view of a Martian landscape set hundreds of years in the future, Mariner 9 (2012) presented in partnership with NEoN Digital Arts Festival, evokes the human search for life beyond our own planet that continues even as we damage or destroy entire ecosystems on Earth.
This vast video work was created using scenery-generation software employed by the film and gaming industries in combination with technical data from NASA’s missions to Mars to produce a faithful artist’s rendering of Martian terrain, populated by the debris from centuries of exploration.
In Orion Tide (2013-14), Richardson presents a desert punctuated by spurts of light and smoke repeatedly launching into the dark night sky. The viewer is left to question what these rocket-like movements are; why they have been launched; and who or what they are carrying. They could be departing explorers searching for a new world or perhaps the escape of a group of planetary refugees, a mass exodus of humanity.
Leviathan (2011) is a 20-minute loop of footage shot on Caddo Lake in Uncertain, Texas and captures the region’s unique bald cypress trees in their swamp environment. Filmed from a single vantage point, like a painting set in motion, Richardson has digitally enhanced the nearly monochromatic setting with strange yellow tendrils of light, undulating and twisting beneath the water, hinting at an undiscovered or mutated bioluminant life-form, or perhaps the aftermath of something altogether more disturbing.
‘The Weather Makers’ runs from 23 September until 26 November 2017 at Dundee Contemporary Arts and is programmed in partnership with Discovery Film Festival.
Feature image: Kelly Richardson, Orion Tide, 2013-14 Dual channel HD video installation with audio.