Sharp photographs of bizarre constructions in the Kalahari Desert present us with a number of questions surrounding their identity. The uncanny objects evoke grotesque ballerinas, animal heads, parasols or dismembered bodies, turning the empty wilderness into a science fiction set. What are these sculptural shapes growing off telephone poles? Where is their mysterious creator whose massive and invisible hands produce these wonders, all strikingly unique?
Under the generic title of Landmarks, Dillon Marsh presents elegant photographs that address particular features of the landscape produced either by natural forces or socio economic factors. In the series of birds nests entitled Assimilation the focus is on the transformations of the landscape due to animal intervention. In other series, wind or watercourses are the architects of spectacular land alterations.
Conversely, in the body of work Diamonds Aren’t Forever Marsh portrays abandoned farmhouses and decrepit mining towns of the Diamond Coast of South Africa and Namibia, capturing human made changes. In these images the impact on the life of communities is conveyed by focusing on abandoned buildings and scrapped cars, excluding all human trace. Following on the longstanding tradition of landscape photography the artist represents human beings symbolically through natural space or architecture, hence delivering a subtle narrative constructed from absence.
Text © Gabriela Salgado