In his second solo show at 303 Gallery, Doug Aitken presents two new installation works.
Diamond Sea explores an area known only on the map as diamond area 1 and 2, situated in the country Namibia in southwest Africa. The oldest desert in the world, as well as the richest gem diamond mine, are located in this forty thousand square miles that is restricted access only, a guarded territory. Light itself seems the only native here, all else evidence of foreign occupation. Inside this zone is a world that has been completely sealed for 80 years. Strikingly similar to 2001:A Space Odyssey ultra high tech automated mines contrast with the stark Namib Desert. Ambient and environmental sounds have been taped, and transformed to the musical score of the piece by composers such as Aphex Twin, uziq, and gastr del sol.
Cathouse. Diamond Sea’s antithesis; mundane domestic interior, familiar domestic activities, looped again and again to a frenzied pitch inside a cat scratch house lined in carpet. Individuals act out in their sanitized environment, a nervous energy with no resolution. Characters (including Iggy Pop) find themselves alone, experiencing moments when they suddenly stop accelerating.
The linear version of Diamond Sea will be shown in the film and video program of the 1997 Whitney Biennial. Doug Aitken’s work has been recently screened at the 34th Annual Film Festival and the 5th Annual Video Festival at The Lincoln Center, New York. A special project by Doug Aitken for adaweb can be found at: adaweb.com/project/aitken.