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Louis Porter | Unknown Land

Posted on November 6, 2011 by Oliver Schneider

Louis Porter‘s pictures deal with the strangeness of everyday life and the feeling of alienation; even with abstract pictures he has incorporated a political, analytical and satiric view of the world. Photography shows surfaces, even when it seems that there’s depth there isn’t. Louis Porter shows plastic surfaces reflecting in sunlight, empty spaces, dreamed new worlds where nobody’s living, non-places, model homes went wrong, alienated figures and cheap advertisement promises. When we would get everything we wished for, would we be happy? If everything would be right, in place, neat, wouldn’t it be a nightmare, wouldn’t it be empty and the opposite of being human?
Walking means missing a place, it’s even easier to miss when places seem replaceable and cities look alike. The Situationists explored cities by walking, analyzing the different neighborhoods sociologically and politically, they called it “Derivé”. If urban architecture doesn’t offer places where people can linger and be social, cities will be empty, streets will only used as pathways, places become unidentified non-places and people will stay at home. If you look close enough there will be glitches, scratches and trails on the perfect surfaces telling about human behavior, it’s like the starting scene in “Blue Velvet”: you see a sunny and perfect suburban life and as we get closer and closer we see more and more dirt, death and danger.”
Oliver Schneider {ACMV}

“To walk is to lack a place.”
Michel de Certeau

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“I arrived in Australia about ten years ago and like many before me intended only a brief stay, an escape from the northern winter which I had never fared well in. Very slowly, like a clump of moss, I became attached to this enigmatic place, drawn in by a curious sense of Jamais vu I encountered in its vast suburban sprawl. Like a model town built from memory, there is an idealised and dreamy quality to the urban landscape of Australia, the houses and gardens are just that little bit bigger, brimming with fruit trees and multi-coloured plastic slides. The crisp sunlight makes everything look fresh out of the box, as if it were put there just for my eyes. Yet something about the place has always been out of my reach just over the next roundabout, something that doesn’t entirely add up.
When Australia was colonised the settlers brought with them an image of home, which shaken and buffeted by the long journey was damaged, leaving fine cracks across its surface. So that when it was erected in its new location, parts of the proud and ancient land beneath poured through, changing this image into something quite different. These photographs are of those cracks.”
Louis Porter

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Louis Porter was born in the north of England in 1977 and has been based in Melbourne, Australia since 2001. His work has been exhibited in Australia, England, Canada, Austria and China. He regularly undertakes editorial commissions and has been featured in: Monocle, ADbusters , GEO, Trace, The Age, The Monthly and The Big Issue amongst others.

This work has recently been published by the UK based independent publisher Doubleplusgood Books.

“..Porter photographs suburbia like an antipodean David Lynch..”
Ashley Crawford, The Age

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We featured his work also on fototazo by Tom Griggs a while ago:
www.fototazo.com/2011/10/f100-greg-girard-louis-porter-geraldine.html

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