Days Lost; Katja Mayer and Peter Chadwick

JournalArt & Culture

Days Lost; Katja Mayer and Peter Chadwick

Unnerving images steeped in romanticism...

Showing recently at Dalston’s The Print House Gallery this series – a collaboration between German-born, London-based photographer Katja Mayer and British art director Peter Chadwick – has post-apocalyptic written all over it. Desolate, unsettling and steeped in a romantic disquiet – a paintball range has been transformed into a fanciful vision of dystopia, an abandoned village ridden with radioactivity. It’s alluring and terrifying at once – questioning reality with the images’ deft production.

And, as if the photographs weren’t emotional enough, a wonderfully overblown text from John-Paul Pryor – contributing Arts Editor at Dazed Digital and AnOther Magazine – accompanied the exhibition. Text-book scribbling Emos would most definitely approve…

Days Lost; Katja Mayer and Peter Chadwick Days Lost; Katja Mayer and Peter Chadwick Days Lost; Katja Mayer and Peter Chadwick Days Lost; Katja Mayer and Peter Chadwick Days Lost; Katja Mayer and Peter Chadwick Days Lost; Katja Mayer and Peter Chadwick Days Lost; Katja Mayer and Peter Chadwick Days Lost; Katja Mayer and Peter Chadwick

Images © Katja Mayer and Peter Chadwick

… She rose with the skylight and shook a blanket of black-dust from the sun-smoked skin that served as paste to her once elegant frame. The mind she called mother awoke to the creaking, dry, acidic taste on the breeze that said it would not be long before they came scratching around at play once more, such was the scarred enticement of her garden – occasional playpen to spirits flying forever higher on the wing of a radioactive breeze …

… She could feel them already passing through her whispering leaves; a thousand singing souls – residual aura of a world long vacated by the living meat. They were memory and future – tiny thoughts of tinier days that had long passed through massive holes in time; days passed in squalor and negligence; hate and sorrow; hope and despair …

… She gracefully stretched her form to meet them as they passed down through branch and bough to populate the mottled, smiling forest floor, praying as they came in clouds of blue, red, purple … smoking around her twisted open spaces, floating among the dead-world flying machines and criss-cross homes, a choir of colour hopelessly chanting for return; children lost at play in the arms of eternity …

… She knew them all by name – through her long-limbed heart, through her sacred vines, through her black dirt and beetles, through her orange rust and final decay, she allowed them all once more the temporal illusion of love; love in the place their ancient forbears had once called home …

John-Paul Pryor

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