It’s hard to imagine a time when much of the world was still unexplored, when great swathes of the primitive maps that existed were blank, or marked with sea serpents or the foreboding phrase “Here Be Dragons”. Thanks to satellite imagery there’s barely a square inch of Earth that hasn’t been photographed, but artist Jim Woodall is about to change that. Well, sort of.
Woodall’s Landscapes of Uncertainty project at Marsden Woo Gallery, London, will create a representation of an unknown space nowhere to be found on Google Maps; a fictional piece of London, abandoned, and undeveloped, desolate but with a potential that gives value. Woodall imagines an “event” at this location, and represents it with different media including video, photography, a landscape model, cast concrete objects, printed vinyl and (don’t ask us how) customised odour. He is interested in memory triggers and nostalgia, and refers to philosophical gloom merchant Arthur Schopenhauer’s assertion that we are always disappointed when returning to a place that has been the site of a happy memory. Woodall posits that “what we are really nostalgic for is times rather than places, and times cannot be retrieved… we are nostalgic for a lost world, not just a set of buildings in a street”. This piece of a lost world can be found at the Marsden Woo Project Space from 15 May to 21 June.