3rd June 2013
On the final day for some parts of the festival, 31st May, a study visit led by Jesse Alexander went along to several of the venues spread and around Cardiff and the local area to view and discuss the exhibits on offer.
Starting in Penarth at Ffotogallery looking at the exhibition from Edgar Martins ‘The Time Machine’. Martins spent a great deal of time in 2010/11 visiting 20 power stations across Portugal, for which he had exclusive access, all built between the 1950’s to 1970’s. The resulting images portray the more than just functional designs of the power plants, they also show the gigantic scales of some parts along with the more intimate, smaller details not normally associated with such enterprises.
I got a sense of emptiness and abandonment from what were originally man controlled places but are now apparently fully automatic. The signs of human activity still pervade the areas whilst these cavernous rooms are totally devoid of any humans. It turns out that the particular site displayed only has a couple of security guards there now, whereas before there must have been several dozen technicians operating the plant. Some of the images of the smaller items cannot be judged as to actual size as they’ve been photographed against a totally black background with no idea of scale for comparison, so it’s impossible to say whether or not they’re micro or macro sized, which adds to the enjoyment of looking as you try to decide for yourself what they are, what they represent and what scale you think they are.