Almost Safe

In these large-scale black and white photographs, the artist digitally composites elements culled from different locations and combines them into new topographies. Seemingly familiar elements such as telephone wires, power lines, and factories are juxtaposed in a way that torques reality and compresses space and time, creating subtly off-kilter and barely inhabitable worlds. The dense woodland environments of his earlier works are replaced with desolate urban and industrial wastelands that, like its few inhabitants, appear to be atrophying. The sky is a major character in many of the photographs. Thick-layered clouds dominate the composition or slide into the frame from above like an impending threat.

This emphasis on the sky conjures Northen Europeís romantic and early nineteenth-century American landscape painters. Like those artists, Goicolea also de-emphasizes the human figure in favor of the landscape, alluding to an alienation or disconnection from their surroundings. Goicolea, whose photographs are often energized by paradoxes, also alludes to the history of cinema, including Film noir, French new wave, and science fiction.

The bombed out building in Deconstruction suggests the opening scene from Felliniís La Dolce Vita, the gondolas in Sky Lift are reminiscent of The Third Man, a film by Carol Reed with Orson Welles, and the skyline in Smoke Stack takes on a Dickensian quality. These familiar elements are catapulted into dreamlike scenes of decay that are displaced or dissolve into each other. The environments, however, undoubtedly come to us from the future, alluding to films that present palpable visions of post-industrial worlds, including Blade Runner and The Children of Men.