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before the wake

2014
Created after a visit to Lake Powel, Utah, where I was on location shooting A Smeary Spot (2015). In discovering that the recreational destination was man-made through the damming of the Colorado River in a nearly untouched region previously called Glen Canyon. These images were torn from a catalog of photographs taken by Tad Nichols who documented the canyon before it was dammed in 1956. Burns uses spirulina—a whole food dietary supplement of active blue-green algae—combined with a clear lacquer, the chemical agent polyurethane to create the overlaid blotches and ejaculatory marks. Marking the speed of human intervention, this quick liquid gesture obscures an archive of what was, notating the destruction and submersion of a landscape and a canyon that took millennia to form.

Spirulina, polyurethane, and images ripped from a photographic catalog, 21 x 9 inches

Spirulina, polyurethane, and images ripped from a photographic catalog, 10.5 x 9 inches

 

A.K. Burns, Canyon

Spirulina, polyurethane, and images ripped from a photographic catalog, 10.5 x 9 inches

Spirulina, polyurethane, and images ripped from a photographic catalog, 10.5 x 9 inches

Spirulina, polyurethane, and images ripped from a photographic catalog, 10.5 x 9 inches

Spirulina, polyurethane, and images ripped from a photographic catalog, 10.5 x 9 inches

Spirulina, polyurethane, and images ripped from a photographic catalog, 10.5 x 9 inches

Spirulina, polyurethane, and images ripped from a photographic catalog, 10.5 x 9 inches

Spirulina, polyurethane, and images ripped from a photographic catalog, 10.5 x 9 inches

Spirulina, polyurethane, and images ripped from a photographic catalog, 10.5 x 9 inches

Spirulina, polyurethane, and images ripped from a photographic catalog, 10.5 x 9 inches

Spirulina, polyurethane, and images ripped from a photographic catalog, 10.5 x 9 inches