2007 | 2 screen, HD video installation, 32′ x 9′ (variable) with audio, Edition of 3
“Forest Park requires us to immerse ourselves into the kind of landscape that gets describes as ‘ex-urban’ or ‘junk space’: beyond the suburbs, at the edges of what is inhabitable. The work is one of Richardson’s most subtle and slow-burning. The atmosphere in the scene is generated by the rhythm of the street lights flickering, as much as by the implied competition between man and other flora and fauna for the control of this barren territory. The rhythms of the lights might almost indicate that they are communicating with one another – that they have become machines that are endowed with some kind of artificial intelligence. Given Richardson’s interest in science fiction, we might well imagine that the man-made fixtures had, in the absence of any competition from other species, become sentient. They, along with the choir of crickets in the background, occasional birds and butterflies, are the only inhabitants of this bleak yet curious expanse of land. Alternatively, this could be a bizarre electrical storm in which the lights flicker in and out of life: Richardson often represents nature’s most extreme or strange states.
The title is simply that of the place where the work was shot: the name ‘Forest Park’ was named “after what it replaced – or destroyed”. An entire forest was felled to make way for a future that was once imagined but never built. We are asked to imagine the reasons that it remains uninhabited: might it be because swathes of land became uninhabitable at some point in our collective future?” Alistair Robinson, from book ‘Kelly Richardson: The Last Frontier‘
Photo credits: Colin Davison