Exhibition Preview: OilScapes, Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen, September 22 – October 27 2012
© Marc Wolfensberger
There are few better places to witness the connections between oil, industry and landscape than Aberdeen.
Curated by the Royal College of Art’s Zeigam Azizov and the University of Aberdeen’s Janet Stewart, this artistic exploration of the triumvirate takes a historical, environmental and academic approach, beginning with an oral archive on the “oil diaspora”, Lives in the oil Industry, and expanding through a series of installations including Melik Ohanian’s video, Hidden, in which the sun sets over oilfields in Texas and Baku.
© Aga Ousseinov
Aberdeen remains the setting for Zeigam Azizov’s Conversation Piece, a multimedia installation informed by the trend among 18th century British portrait painters to show informal groups making genteel conversation, this time taking Russians in the granite city as its subjects.
Modernism provokes Owen Logan and Aga Ousseinov: Logan’s photo-essay illustrates how the oil economy allows the hopes and fears of modernity to be expressed, and Ousseinov has created a bi-partite, message-carrying kite which connects continents and the past alongside thoughts on the changing Arctic landscape.
And Peter Fend proposes a hydrocabron industry dependent on water-based plants as a solution to global warming and desertification. Fend’s talk on the opening weekend, After Oil, was originally intended to explain how a switch from fossil to biological energy production could transform the Gulf and Caspian region, but the aftershock of the death of the US Ambassador to Libya in the region means he’ll now be explaining why the necessary action is as difficult and urgent as ever.
A globetrotting accompanying series of documentaries and films cover the Cromarty Firth, small-town Pennsylvania, the building sites of Dubai and Oil Rocks – Stalin’s city of oil rigs built in the Caspian Sea.
- Open 9.30am - 5.30pm (closed Sunday and Monday). Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter.
© Christian Von Borries
© Murad Ibragimbekov
© Emily Richardson
© Murad Ibragimbekov
© Josh Fox