Contamination

My most recent work, “Contamination,” shows pages of a water-damaged ledger from the 1905 Yukon Gold Rush. The factual transactions recorded in the book have been bypassed in favour of showing a series of mould formations that have migrated from page to page through the unused portion of the book. The soft, tainted pages, and the bleeding pink ink are ghostly traces, phantoms of a cruel history, motivated largely by expectations of wealth. The spores are the animating principle of this work. The book itself is the host, the ground upon which these spores dance. As we approach the last pages of the book, we see the mould subsiding, gradually disappearing, leaving us with but a memory of what went before. The contaminated pages silently speak of a forgotten epoch of unfulfilled desires and delusional dreams…

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Volume 27, Number 4: Photography

This article originally appeared in Border Crossings #108, published December 2008.

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