Land~Edge

{1} The search for Sisyphus

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Landing site
Blue and Grey
Storm
The day after
Inis
Falling
Meteor
Gathering
Late
Floating
The day before
Fall
Pink sisyphus
Taken
Blistering
Hydra

In the Greek myth, Sisyphus is condemned to an eternity of pushing a boulder up a mountain. All day and every day he labours and each night the boulder tumbles back down. Each morning Sisyphus starts all over again, struggling to achieve his task with the full knowledge that it is impossible. In his essay The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus makes the argument that, far from being tortured by this he is in fact happy, his argument being that it is the striving toward the goal through the process, rather than in the achievement, that value lies.

Whilst I was undertaking work for LAND~EDGE I found out through practice that I had set myself a Sisyphean task. It was the resulting work that informed this understanding of the land/seascape I was investigating. I had decided to find the edge of land, the edge of my physical habitat, my bio-region. This seemingly simple undertaking revealed to me that accurately defining the edge of land for photography was almost impossible because the edge, the division between land and ocean, solid and liquid, is constantly in a state of flux, shifting with the tides and with each wave. Not only is this edge physically fluctuating, it is also culturally indistinct. Is the line on the map referring to low tide or high tide? Is it the edge of the shore or, for instance, the edge of the sand dunes or the top of a cliff? It could even be beyond the horizon, the boundary between national and international waters. Clearly the actual edge depends not only on (shifting) physical evidence, but also on a cultural perspective; a swimmer might identify land as the point when they can stand on the bottom, before leaving the water. A farmer might understand this edge as a field boundary.

Hence, I learnt that I could not define this edge of land, hence I am, in these works, searching for Sisyphus, for understanding in two distinct sets of processes. Firstly the actual (and autonomous) processes going on on a shoreline and secondly processes of making and viewing the works. Within the impossibility of the task I set myself lies a process of revealing partial and multiple identities subject to change. A constant flow of events defining this liminal space.