TERRAIN VAGUE - dysfunction, enchantment and the landscape

A group exhibition of photographic work reflecting perspectives on unresolved and marginal spaces in contemporary landscapes, curated by Allan F. Parker.

First coined by Man Ray in 1934 to describe an unresolved and marginal space in an urban landscape, Terrain Vague has come to refer to areas of indeterminate identity in general. Increasingly familiar in a crowded country, these sites – neither fully urban nor rural – have changed our notion of what landscape is.

In some of the works in this exhibition we experience the landscape as a creation in its own right – a built response to a dynamically changing set of interests and aspirations frequently in conflict with each other.

In others, landscapes designated for particular purposes such as tourism and recreation, sit uneasily next to industrial sites and utility buildings.

We also see ways in which the environment is used metaphorically, its condition informing our own states of mind. We readily refer to our surroundings to describe our experience, and its modifications are reflected in the images we make and the language we use.

David Blackmore’s images of urban locations feature the UV lights used to discourage heroin users. They reveal the impact of social policy on the urban landscape as well as highlighting their mysterious allure as urban stage sets.

Alessandra Chilá’s lightboxes feature the site currently in development for the 2012 Olympic Games. She looks at the regeneration the area is currently undergoing – a process with both environmental and social consequences.

Tania Coates explores the physical and material transformation of the land around us. This series documents the creative and destructive processes that result from the engineering of the environment. In these works she shows the landscape in flux – presenting compositions that exist only in transition, while new sites are being formed.

Allan Forrester Parker’s images are accompanied by texts screen-printed on to glass. The texts are taken from psychometric tests used to assess potential employees for large organisations. The juxtaposition of text and image explores the complexities of place, mind-set and metaphor.


What: Terrain Vague
Who: Four photographic artists, curated by Allan F. Parker
Where: Whitecross Gallery, 122 Whitecross Street, London EC1Y 8PU
When: From Thu 26 Jul until Sat 25 Aug 2007, Tues - Sat 11am - 6pm
Further Information:
Visit the Whitecross Gallery website
Visit the Terrain Vague webiste
e: info@terrainvague.co.uk