A Different Country

On Gerard Byrne’s ongoing series of photographs Images and Shadows of Divine Things (2005 –)

It is so dry here. Things never disappear, never rot, are not washed into storm drains or blown into gutters. Sometimes it feels like the moon, where a flag unfurled four decades ago still hangs in the vacuum. The pale stone facing on these walls remains unstained, pristine. Chrome does not rust. Rubber does not perish. Paint does not peel from timber.

There is no weather. The cold and the heat are the same, indifferent to us and equally tolerable. Only wind and moisture could dramatise the atmosphere, and allow us to feel the air on our skin. We have neither.

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