19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire, 2014
About Michael Cook
Focusing on drainage and sewer systems, utility networks, railways, and the underground infrastructure of the city of Toronto, Michael Cook photographs urban elements that are otherwise invisible, unseen, and unknown. In his “Water Underground” series, Cook seeks to spark conversation and promote change regarding wastewater by revealing the size and complexity of the city’s sewer system. He climbs underground and sets up bright lights to fully illuminate otherwise dark spaces, which are reminiscent of pathways and tunnels within old churches. By reminding viewers that the impact of humans and the city’s infrastructure extend beyond their visible manifestations, Cook encourages people to rethink their perception of their environment and their place within it.
Canadian, b. 1982, based in Toronto, ON, Canada