Cedric Bomford

May 24-June 15

The Next Village

The project involves an installation component in a paddock at the entrance to the town of Kellerberrin, at the west end where the Great Eastern Highway and the train tracks cross, and a small gallery component consisting of a sculpture and two enlarged photocopies of photographs. The exhibition takes its name from a short piece of text of the same name by Franz Kafka.

The installation consists of a small dam excavated in one corner of the paddock, a small shelter made from salvaged boards, a fire pit and a shed/small house turned on its side in what appears to have been a fall into the dam. My departure point for the work was a mixture of past projects and my wanderings through the wheatbelt during my residency at IASKA. I have worked with ideas of shelter and the need for having a place in previous work, however these have always been in gallery space. In Kellerberrin I have taken this investigation outdoors, in an attempt to wrestle a space of shelter and refuge from this intimidating landscape. The location of the installation is highly visible from both the highway and the train tracks, both of which have a significant elevated vantage point, and look down into the dam. In response to being so exposed, I worked down into the dam, creating a kind of cramped and paranoid space. The shed was pulled over into the hole, a fire pit constructed behind it, the walls of the dam piled up, and a small shelter dug into one of the walls, presenting a defensible and hidden view of the landscape as it disappears on the horizon.

The Next Village

My grandfather used to say: "Life is astoundingly short. To me, looking back over it, life seems so foreshortened that I scarcely understand, for instance, how a young man can decide to ride over to the next village without being afraid that -- not to mention accidents -- even the span of a normal happy life may fall far short of the time needed for such a journey."

Franz Kafka

Cedric Bomford is an artist from Vancouver, Canada. His early work focused primarily on photography, dealing with architecture, constructions of history and story, politics and ideas of progress. In more recent work, however, he has adopted a method of working that more closely resembles manual labour or construction. In a number of projects, he has set out rules for the completion of a series of small (though human scale) structures that are constructed from salvaged materials including reclaimed wood, shipping palettes, etc… These works take the form of installations in which the viewer is invited to climb on, through, along or underneath the structures. Central to these projects is the idea of representing power relations implicit in architecture and public (constructed) space through encouraging visitors to move to different vantage points in the exhibition. Recent exhibition locations include Germany, Sweden, Canada, Iran and the Czech Republic, with upcoming exhibitions in 2008 in Australia and Taiwan.