By connecting the physical, the virtual and the distant and imagined, Eminent Domain seeks to consider how notions of place-bound identity, memory and belonging are shifting as both tangible territorial boundaries and the online / offline divide are increasingly eroded.
First presented in 1975 at the Scottish Arts Council Gallery in Edinburgh and the Serpentine Gallery in London, Glen Onwin’s Saltmarsh centers on ten-acre merse near Dunbar on the east coast of Scotland. Originally discovered by the artist in March 1973, Onwin repeatedly revisited the area, photographing it throughout all seasons and at varying tidal levels. Speaking of the piece in the original exhibition catalogue Onwin reflected: ‘I want the work to exist in a microcosmic macrocosmic way: to get as much information from the larger image of the work as you do from the detail. It is important that you know the detail is there but you should stand back from the work and view the whole work with that knowledge’.
Also addressing the Scottish landscape Salvatore Arancio’s Cathedral was filmed and recorded on Fingal’s Cave, a geological formation located on the island of Staffa in the Inner Hebrides. First discovered by naturalist Sir Joseph Banks in 1772 and featured in the work of Keats, Tennyson, Wordsworth and Turner, the cave has long been the source of artistic inspiration. Due to the ethereal and uncanny sounds that can be heard inside as a result of its unique structural properties, the chamber has also been referred to as ‘the musical cave’. Through his film Arancio aims to merge the allegorical with the empirical, juxtaposing elements of past scientific investigations with mythological tales and esoteric studies.
Exploring the tension between the natural world and human influence, Geoff Diego Litherland’s work draws from traditional genres of painting, the rusty surrealism of science fiction and the fantasia of abstraction. Litherland seeks to create a parallel world that not only questions our perception and relationship to nature, but also probes paintings’ current and historical role in forming these viewpoints.
Further interrogating representation, Oliver Binnian’s practice explores contemporary versions of the sublime. Assuming the role of mediator between the ‘real’ and the digital, Binnian is particularly preoccupied with the promise that virtual worlds offer vs. their failure to sufficiently replicate the wonders of nature. In Screen Effect Binnian conflates imagery from Google Earth with his own photographs, proposing a third world situated somewhere between a digital memory and the future. With Prima Facie, what on the surface appears to be a photographic reproduction on closer inspection reveals itself to be paint posing as pixels.
With Volatile Prophesies Patricia Reed employs the intersection between astronomy and the world of finance as a starting point. Depicting a terrain where the stars have been replaced with all of coin-based currencies currently in active circulation, Reed highlights the increasing abstraction of our current economy that has evolved into an entity with a heightened detachment from easily traceable physical manifestations. With this substitution Reed suggests while once we may have gazed into the heavens for prophetic guidance, financial engineers are todays contemporary soothsayers.