COP17: Greg Streak – Fake Empire (Blue Monday)
Fake Empire (Blue Monday), 2011
Fake Empire (Blue Monday) was a temporary public artwork specially commisioned from Greg Streak by VANSA as part of the DAC's contribution to the COP17 creative programme. A reflective and finely realised work, engaged with it's physical surroundings and the wider implications of COP17.
The pursuit of capitalism appears to be a major obstacle for environmental sustainability. The month of September 2008 marked a collapse, in many ways, of the worlds economies, and shook many of the assumptions underpinning the global economy. The artwork is structured around the fluctuations in the Dow Jones Stock Exchange during this period as reflected in a graph, and then superimposed onto the visual device of a cityscape. This structure has then been literally inverted, and indigenous plants grow out of this (all these plants are rescued, orphan plants - discarded and brought back to life by Clive Greenstone, who took care of the "roof top garden"). The plywood and steel grid are a direct reference to the materials used in city construction. The white plastic facades refer to an anaemic, plastic and unemotional position. The indigenous plants continue to grow, using the cityscape below as a metaphoric compost. A thin red line traces the city from behind as a linear marker, plotted from the original stock exchange graph.
Greg Streak is a South African artist based in Durban and Amsterdam, who has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Streak is an interdisciplinary practitioner working in sculpture, video, installation and documentary film-making.
Copyright on images: Greg Streak