Gaelen Pinnock uses photography, collage and sculpture to explore and document cities, structures and landscapes. Originally an architect, his work has a strong conceptual and aesthetic connection to the built environment.
“I am fascinated by the spatial memes that underlie our cities. Beneath the heaving metropolis lie intricate patterns; zones, areas, connections and lines. They mediate between the quotidian existence of millions and the giant economic, legislative and social forces that shape our world.
One could say that these memes are to a city what an idea is to a drawing, but they are more than just sign and signified, because they feed back recursively; macro to shape to prosaic and back again.
I am preoccupied with the distillation of these spatial memes. They are hidden behind the myopia of the day-to-day, behind the mundane agglomeration of suburbs, behind the ebb and flow of highways, and all too often behind our own prejudice. But once they are found and distilled, they become what I hope is a valuable snapshot of a city and a society.”
Pinnock’s work scrutinizes the legacies of failed utopian visions and the shadows cast by laws, systems and urban development trends. His recent work looks at how modern developments and policies in South Africa are entrenching class separation in an urban landscape that is already shaped by the legacy of colonial rule, apartheid legislation and divisive spatial planning.