Truth of Transience Digicommissions, Full Circle Arts, Manchester,
Geotagged photocollages & microfiche plate, 148 x 105mm
Mongolian cosmology depicts a bed made from dust for the Lord of the Upper World, which his jealous brother stretches in all directions to create the land.
Since 2004, Kangbashi New Area has existed on the Ordos steppe of Inner Mongolia. Exploding on former herding lands, fuelled by mineral wealth and a neoliberal Chinese property boom, Kangbashi is only sparsely populated. Controversially, the city continues to build empty houses and infrastructure, and is the subject of many negative Western media reports. Economists call it a lost cause. It’s a living ghost-town, an oxymoronic space of potential caught between accelerating GDP and imminent decline. Dave Griffiths walked the city to capture half-built apartments, splendid gardens, malls, migrants, mines, and archaeological echoes of the ancient nomadic culture. Griffiths’ photocollages imagine the future remains of Kangbashi’s utopia as compressed fragments archived on microfiche. In an online edition, viewers can browse these images in close-up detail.
Supported by funding from MIRIAD. Dave will discuss the project at Booth Centre homeless shelter on 2 February 2015, as part of a photography workshop by David Oates. Other Full Circle Digicommissions by Volkov Commanders, Kevin Burns, Claire Dean, Hardeep Pandhal and Lauren Velvick.