April 30 – June 6, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Craters represent that which is beyond our world. They are the evidence of ancient collisions – – the trace and proof of thousands of pounds worth of extraterrestrial meteorite fragments blasting into the surface of the Earth at the rate of roughly 50,000 miles per hour. Our planet’s history is punctuated by the consequence of such impact events – – the mass extinction of the dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago standing as the best-known example.
Infused with a child’s sense of wonder and an adult’s preoccupation with the fragility of life, artist Stan Gaz spent six years traveling the globe photographing significant impact structures ranging in age from those formed in this century to billion-year-old specimens. However, Earth’s meteorite craters are actually deteriorating at a rapid pace. The best-preserved impact sites are often difficult to access, located in desolate regions in inhospitable climates, but for Gaz they represented sites of pilgrimage – – steps in a journey begun as a curious young boy accompanying his father on geological expeditions, culminating in the experience of hanging out an open-sided helicopter with a twenty-pound Hasselblad in hand, thousands of feet above the ground. The fruition of such adventures – – Gaz’s extremely large-scale, black-and-white aerial landscapes – – undoubtedly transcend the mere documentary, instead intersecting the aesthetic of the truly sublime: “[A] combination of majesty, awe, and more than a little intimidation. . .” (to quote art historian, Robert Silberman).
Stan Gaz is a graduate of Art Center in California. His photography and sculpture have been extensively exhibited in the United States for nearly a decade.
The exhibition coincides with the release of the monograph, Sites of Impact: Meteorite Craters Around the World from Princeton Architectural Press, 144 pp., 85 b+w illus, $60.