Category: Metropolis Experiment

Metropolis Experiment

Tracey Clement, ‘Metropolis Experiment,’ 2016-17, rusty steel, salt, laboratory glass, cotton, dimensions variable (max height 200cm). Photo T. Clement.

Metropolis Experiment, 2-17 June 2017 at AirSpace Projects, Marrickville.

Metropolis Experiment is part architectural model, part mad science: the whole city is a laboratory. But instead of shiny stainless and gleaming glassware in sterile white surrounds, we are presented with rusty tripods and salt crystals that creep up and over everything, corroding as they go. In Metropolis Experiment something has gone horribly wrong: it’s a ruined model city, a metaphor.

Metropolis Experiment is my third recent body of work which responds to the vivid prognostications of JG Ballard’s 1962 post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel, The Drowned World. View the first here and the second here.

What links these works is the image of the ruined city, an image Ballard conjured so evocatively in The Drowned World.

Tracey Clement, 'Metropolis Experiment,' 2016-17, rusty steel, salt, laboratory glass, cotton, dimensions variable (max height 200cm). Photo T. Clement.

Tracey Clement, ‘Metropolis Experiment,’ 2016-17, rusty steel, salt, laboratory glass, cotton, dimensions variable (max height 200cm). Photo T. Clement.

Thanks to its scale, Metropolis Experiment draws on the conceptual qualities of architectural models (as well as ruins) in order to make a point. As theorists are fond of pointing out, all ruins simultaneously embody both the present and the past.

Meanwhile, architectural models are inherently aspirational. They embody potential, physically manifested, but not quite realised. They represent the future. As a ruined model city (a combination of both) my artwork adds a third temporal stream: the future already devastated.

Metropolis Experiment is a premonition, a warning.

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Metropolis Experiment II

Tracey Clement, ‘Metropolis Experiment II,’ 2016, laboratory glass, salt, rust, dimensions variable (max height 100cm).

Metropolis Experiment II is actually part of a larger work, Metropolis Experiment, which will be shown at AirSpace Projects 2-17 June 2017.

This sculpture is the unholy love child of an architectural model and a chemistry trial gone horribly wrong: it’s a ruined model city, a metaphor.

Metropolis Experiment is part of my third recent body of work in my Mapping The Drowned World project which responds to the vivid prognostications of JG Ballard’s 1962 post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel, The Drowned World.

It is also my third model city. The previous two are: Post-Premonitionism 2 and Plastic City.