In the opening scene of David Lynch's 1986 film Blue Velvet, a suburban dad hosing the garden one sunny morning suddenly has a stroke and collapses. The atmosphere darkens as we descend to the grass, then further, down into the soil. There in the darkness we soon make out the hideous spectacle of insects buzzing and clambering over each other, a black alien world only just below the surface. In his new exhibition Underpin, andrew Curtis also reveals an underworld seemingly just below street level: strange caverns of rubble and poisonous water. Working at night amidst the temporary disarray of building sites, he photographs the usual material of construction, concrete footings, reinforcing wire and plumbing pipes. But instead of a constructive vision, he sees only ruin, the earth gouged and scraped, the surface all waste and debris. Though they are foundations, Curtis depicts them as scenes of decay and regression; mysterious, sunless landscapes without nature. Text by Greg Neville
In memory of Morry Bardas.
Centre for Contemporary Photography
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Seven nights after dark