The Great Destroyer

THE GREAT DESTROYER

2007-2012 | 7-12 screen HD video installation with audio, dimensions variable,
Ed of 3, Originally commissioned by Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

SELECTED PRESS

Artforum, Lauren Dyer Amazeen (review, December 2012)
Corridor8, Rebecca Travis (review)

RELATED ESSAYS

Future Anterior in Kelly Richardson: The Last Frontier, by Alistair Robinson (NGCA)

“Like all of Richardson’s works, The Great Destroyer asks us to inhabit another time or place. Here, we see facets of a Canadian forest wilderness. Shot deep in the countryside, we see different close-up footage of a very green and pleasant land, across lakes and trees. The Great Destroyer is, of course, a tragically ironic title: these are landscapes which mankind has not yet colonised, but which will in the near future be as affected by humankind’s activity as any other. Uniquely in Richardson’s recent work, she has not made any amendments to the footage: the images have not been altered in the studio. ‘The Great Destroyer’ is the only one of Richardson’s works where we slowly become aware that not all is as it should be through our ears, rather than our eyes. The work is accompanied by a natural soundscape of ‘the wild’. A symphony of birds, insects, frogs and flowing water crowd the landscape. Occasionally though, we hear a sound characteristic of the city. It is as though mankind is encroaching on this pastoral ideal, minute by minute. Across the course of several minutes, we might catch a chain-saw, a car alarm, a gun shot, and cameras clicking. As always in Richardson’s work, things are more complicated than they first seem. These urban sounds are made by a male lyrebird – one of nature’s finest mimics who copies noises from their environment as part of their mating call.”
Alistair Robinson, from book ‘Kelly Richardson: The Last Frontier