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No Place Like Babylon

Mixed media constructions - laminated B&W silver gelatin photographs, custom-made clear acrylic sink & trays, plastic & acrylic piping & garden reticulation taps, water, Onga fountain pump, metal frame, uncut strips of type C photographs, amber spotlights.

Centre for Contemporary Photography (Access Gallery), Melbourne, Australia 1997
Stills Gallery, Sydney, Australia 1998


All works copyright the Artist 1997.

No Place Like Babylon 

On her first visit to New York in 1994, Kleemann immediately felt the seductive pull of this fantastic metropolis - the layers of density, population, architecture, culture, diversity. As a subject it had facial features, textures, surfaces, dimensions and crevices. She photographed it like a bird hovering above the skyline, to show the edifices of human lives, the city as a fortress and mobile jigsaw whose inhabitants were both prisoners and tenants. Back in Melbourne, her reflections of New York made her look at Australian cities with fresh eyes, as cities shaped and battered by demolition, reconstruction and building booms. Organic jungles formed by the dynamics of constant change.

Kleemann wanted the viewer to recapture a sense of revisiting a city where new buildings seem to magically materialise, where empty space disappears, where new replaces old. The city drowning under the weight of its architecture - cold steel, stone and concrete. Thus the gallery space became a simulated darkroom or personal theatre of aesthetic experiences.

Vikki Riley © 1997