Creating a colourful utopia in apocalyptic scenes - Marco Walker's ‘Atlantis’
Cutting edge photographer Marco Walker put together a spectacular installation this March 2019 at the Bombay Beach Biennale. Setting up surreal cut-outs in an eerie environment, the artist invites viewers to an extraordinary experience: a 3D collage in a unique space dedicated to environmental art.
An uncanny celebration of art, music and philosophy, the Bombay Beach Biennale takes place every year on the eerie shores of the Salton Sea in USA’s California. This off-beat art festival invites artists from all over the world for an immersive artistic experience unlike any other: A bohemian haven flourishing from the forgotten soil of a town run-down by environmental disaster.
Bombay Beach was once a splendid resort town to which all of Hollywood’s glamour flocked down for a holiday by the beach. Since the fabulous 50’s however, the man-made Salton Sea lake has become majorly polluted with rising salinity levels due to agricultural runoffs. What was once a thriving town now resembles a dystopian desert, at the brink of the world’s apocalypse. In an effort to keep the place afloat and to bring attention to this environmental disaster, Tao Ruspoli, Stefan Ashkenazy, and Lily Johnson White co-founded the festival that is now transforming Bombay Beach into the quirkiest new hip spot on the Art map. The whole is a maze of artworks, installations and performances inspired by the fight for our environment and the outer-worldly.
Having participated to the festival for the past two years, Marco Walker collaborated with Tomek Sadurski this time around, a Berlin-bred multi-media artist now based in Los Angeles. Together they envisioned a surreal sculptural garden paved with life-size cut-outs, enabling the viewer to stroll through surrealistic images, watching as different compositions unveil together with the backdrop of the ghostly landscape of the Salton Sea.
This installation, aptly named ‘Atlantis’ by the artists, provided a utopian momentum, an outer-worldly colourful joy of surreal nature contrasting ever so strongly with the dusty, run-down dystopia that is Bombay Beach. For the space of a weekend, Walker and Sadurski transported viewers into a city of wonder, soon to be forgotten - an Atlantis of a sort.
There is an effort, however, to keep this Bombay Beach utopian city alive. Artists and art-lovers are investing in property as Stefan Ashkenazy is fashioning an Art Hotel, so that visitors can see the festival’s artworks all year round.
Something significant is happening in Bombay Beach, and it’s gaining in size and momentum every year - An outer-worldly artistic haven hoping to give attention to the desperate plight of the sea through cultural immersion.
Proud to have Marco Walker as part of their platform of artists, Ministry of Nomads is a commercial, educational and philantropic platform for emerging and established artists and collectors.
If you are interested in seeing more of Tomek Sadurski's work, visit his website here.
- Anna Lisa Brouet