Plinth, found images, metal, dimensions variable
Commissioned by Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art for the exhibition Teesside World Exposition of Art & Technology
25 June 2016 – 9 October 2016
Memorial to the Man of Steel is a photographic installation composed of found images attached to sheets of metal, which are placed in a circular manner on a black plinth. It is composed of images of steel products, ancient Minoan sculptures, and Soviet factories, which were gleaned from a 1920s product catalogue of the Dolman Long factory in Teesside, French archaeology books and Soviet photographic albums. The work crosses temporalities, geographies and cultural registers creating a new topography by bringing together images of ancient sites with the now ruinous post-industrial landscape. Memorial to the Man of Steel utilises the dialogue between ruins of antiquity and ruins of modernity as a critical mechanism. It explores photographic images as sites of local, national and global narratives, and constructs an ironic memorial to a certain conception of European history. It also complicates gender relations by placing women and their work in connection to the masculine worker and the labour legacies of modernity. Bringing to the forefront the ambiguous position of the photographic image as both a physical and conceptual image and object, Memorial to the Man of Steel explores landscape as a ruinous, dislocating space that contains different understandings of historical time.
Collection Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art