This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
arcHitecture, DISPATCHES art, music, arcHitecture, Film, sHoPPing, news anD tHings to make anD Do… art, music, arcHitecture, Film, sHoPPing, news anD tHings to make anD Do…
unDer tHe inFluence
Darren almonD on norilsk
portrait valerie staHl von stromberg
My interest in the nickel-Mining town of norilsk started extraordinary. the trees in the forest have been killed
because of a visit to antarctica. once you’ve been to by the amount of toxins that has since been pumped into
the antarctic, logically the next progression was to the atmosphere. today norilsk’s nickel industry produces
go to the arctic, just out of curiosity. i decided to more sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere – more acid rain –
go in through siberia, because that way i could make a than north america, including canada, so people die there
political journey through some of stalin’s old gulag 15 years below the national average. it’s owned by
sites. that’s how i came to make many works based in the norilsk nickel, and it’s a totally closed, private city.
region of norilsk, the first of which was a piece called
arctic pull [2003], a single-channel video where i’m the series of works i have made there build up to getting
searching for the grave of scott of the antarctic, but to this ogre of a city that’s churning out pollution.
because i’m british, i’ve gone to the wrong Pole. on the at the moment i’m in its bowels. everybody that goes
return from making that, i spotted a dilapidated old there describes it as hell on earth. the snow is covered
railway bridge. i wondered when it was built, because in black soot. vast chimneys pump out sulphur that you
the trees there are just so dead and spindly. it turned can kind of feel. it’s dark 24-7 through the winter, and
out to have been constructed under stalin’s gulag regime, it’s bright 24-7 through summer. it’s an interesting
and that 60,000 people died working on the railway. landscape politically as well, because it encompasses
that’s how i began to discover the history of norilsk, everything of the past century, all within such a short
which was once the largest of the gulags. time frame. marxism has become this capitalist machine,
and there are a lot of people suffering, but it’s beyond
i think you need to have a physical engagement with a the radar somehow, though it’s because of our needs that
landscape in order to understand its political aspect. this kind of place exists. i’ve been returning again
i was photographing the bridge in temperatures of minus- and again, trying to work out what my interest is, which
46 degrees centigrade, which is when your eyeballs freeze began as a very emotional engagement with the people
and you can’t focus. the people who were constructing there. they are incredibly proud. they live off very
the railway were wearing cotton sacks and cardboard little, because they can’t grow anything outside,
shoes, so it’s unbelievable the amount of torture they so they have small greenhouses in their apartments.
endured. i do believe that the landscape can hold a they’re all clustered together, in concrete monoliths
kind of memory. i’ll never forget sheltering from the that are all on stilts because of the permafrost.
wind, feeling that all these railway workers, prisoners, you’re confronted by the strength of humanity, seeing
sheltered there too. the landscape is pretty how these people survive.
Darren almonD is an artist living anD working in lonDon. He currently Has two solo exHibitions,
Fire Under Snow, until 30 marcH, at Parasol unit, lonDon, anD MoonS oF the iapetUS ocean
at wHite cube Hoxton square, lonDon, until 23 February
ArTrEvIEw 28
Dispatches_D.Almond.indd 28 2/1/08 12:43:06
Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142
Produced with Yudu - www.yudu.com