Clay Ketter’s Gulf Coast Slabs looks like a beautiful collection of over-head images of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. The slabs in question are the raised concrete foundations (see bottom photo) for homes that were made despite the fact that the people knew that one day, maybe months, maybe years ahead, a hurricane would tear the place apart, taking the homes that once sat atop the slabs in its path.
What’s left is an aesthetic beauty that, with all it’s straight lines, at first hints at an architectural drawing. One the textures draw you in you realise that they are actually building remnants of some sort and then finally realise that these are no ordinary demolition sites but that something quite viscous has taken these homes away. Then, and only then, can you begin to build these homes in your mind, in the same way that an architect might, and almost visualise their inhabitants enjoying their homes without a care for the imminent destruction that ultimately took it all way, even randomly erasing the tiles on the floor like worthless pixels. Just seeing these images leaves me elated but at the same time chilled with the reality of it all. I’m hoping to get to the exhibition in London’s Bartha Contemporary before the end of the month (the show has been extended to the 28th of June) so that I can study these images close up. I can’t wait for the experience.