Angle 10° by Dag Nordbrenden
Arituba Spa Center
14,8 x 20 cm
Edition of 300, numbered
Dag Nordbrenden’s publication Arituba Spa Center is a photographic study of an unfinished and broken-down Brazilian apartment complex in massive concrete architecture. The plan was to build holiday apartments, but the project came to grief in 2008 as a result of the financial crisis and money-laundering scandals in which Norwegian investors and developers were also involved. In that sense the pictures reflect economic decline as well as architectural collapse. The intended holiday idyll has become an image of global economic hubris. Nordbrenden has gone into this material wasteland with an awareness of photography’s long love affair with the aesthetic of decay.
Nordbrenden found an abandoned ghost town and wanted to populate the place “as a solitary inhabitant haunting a utopia”. Interiors have been abandoned to mould and rot, to obscene scribblings and random animal life. On a wall an eagle-like bird spreads its wings in a decorative drawing. Corners are emphasized, as are holes and protruding pipes; the sense of space is disillusioning and cramped. The walls look lopsided. A greenish concrete block that was once meant to be a bed appears, but is now destroyed forever. An atmospheric and suggestive approach also colours a landscape photograph taken on a beach outside the walls of the holiday complex, surrounded by volcanic stone. The architecture of nature takes on dramatic-romantic overtones, and ends in a dark, dense slope where mankind cowers down.
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