Scenes from Late Capitalism
Opening Reception Friday 15 July 2016 7PM
Show Room Gallery at NAC
My work is largely concerned with the role of architecture in society as a symbol of cultural values and history. Architecture represents a significant investment of time, resources, and design knowledge, and while we celebrate this fact in the achievements of our celebrity architects, we are less apt to acknowledge the achievement inherent in our more utilitarian structures. The American landscape, in fact, is full of contemporary ruins of factories, hotels, schools, and other architecture that has fallen by the wayside in an aggressively consumerist society. Each of these abandoned structures forms the nucleus of a small narrative, often one of lost livelihoods, budgetary cuts, and dying industries.
I choose to decontextualize the subject of each drawing, removing the structure from its surroundings and isolating it on a white ground. This aesthetic decision is intended to echo the fragmentary picture of history that we are presented with in a museum, where isolated artifacts are meant to tell us the story of an unfamiliar culture. I use mechanical perspective as a means of meditating on the design process that went into the commonplace structures that I depict. Perspective is not only a visualization tool employed by architects, but it is also a process that helps me to fundamentally understand the space that I am depicting. It is my hope that through these drawings viewers will reconsider the deeper cultural significance of these structures and the ramifications of the intensive capitalism that shapes contemporary American life.
– Nathan Heuer