Monday, April 19, 2010

Some projects take their time. Allison Davies’ “Outerland” is a body of work begun in 1998 when Davies was an MFA photo grad at Yale and which she has continued to work on ever since. It sees the world through the eyes of a solo planetary explorer in what appears to be a lonely but still sublime post-apocalyptic future. Part narrative, part landscape, it’s “The Little Prince” for the 21st century – a wordless visual inquiry into the mysteries of life.

Photographed all over the world, from Iceland to Argentina, the genesis of the series came from Davies’ fascination with movie locations and sci-fi films like “Planet of the Apes” and “Logan’s Run”. (An interesting sidebar to the work was that it inspired the title of Gregory Crewdson’s seminal show “Another Girl, Another Planet” – an exhibition that thrust many of the '90s women constructed narrative photographers into the limelight, but somehow omitted Davies.)

12 years in the gestating, Davies' photographs have finally been published by Charles Lane Press in a book that’s as spare and luminous as its subject. With a first edition of only 700, “Outerland” is not only likely to be an instant collector’s item, but as volcanic ash filters its way through the atmosphere - a prescient look at the fragility of the planet.

A Jetsonesque self-portrait of the artist.


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