Mixed media and recycled material.
2′ × 1.5′ × 4′
The sculpture Pyramiden/Permafrost is based on the utopian settlement of Pyramiden, an abandoned soviet town and coal mining community in the Svalbard Archipelago. It was first started in 1927 to demonstrate that communism could literally reach all points on the globe. But the harsh Arctic environment and depleted natural resources proved futile and everyone was ordered to abandon the town in 1998 leaving an eerily preserved ghost town. Permafrost is earth that has been frozen for more than two consecutive years; this polar phenomenon assists in the radical preservation of structures in the arctic as well as aiding in the difficulty of mining.
The work alternates between both painting and sculpture and is housed in a shipping crate, functioning as part of the sculpture, as its pedestal and as its container. The iconic mountain depicted is the peak overlooking the town of Pyramiden, covered in pristine snow. The other side of the sculpture however shows a darker dystopian underside, a cross section of the earth, referring to the depleted resources and human kinds failure to conquer.
Photo credit: Etienne Frossard