Hollow Ground

by Isaacs, Hayley

Abstract (Summary)
Friedrich Nietzsche classified all precepts which were imposed upon us by human intervention as idols; his aim was to instigate “a revaluation of all values”, through the irrefutable sounding out of these idols. Armed with a tuning fork, his intention was to strike them so as to illicit a hollow reverberation. With a mischievous contentment he declared, “. . . that which would like to stay silent has to become audible.”

Our faith in technology, consumption and our economic system, like our faith in the gods of the past, has facilitated and encouraged our adoption of destructive behaviours which position cultural ideals at war with nature. In the pursuit of profit and growth disguised as a commitment to progress, we have built a manufactured landscape which denies its connection or responsibility to our natural environment. Since the consequences of our disregard for nature have become undeniable, it is now necessary to reassess the hollow foundations of our cultural practices.

The thesis imagines a narrative series of four underground rooms constructed to house four video installations. Each piece attempts to provoke an internal revolution, a reinstatement of our mental faculties through a shifting of perception both within the work and through paralleling the conditions of its installation with our own elaborately manufactured reality. The four galleries juxtapose the generative video pieces with corresponding case studies and stories that echo the themes of each piece. Through the study of unique practices in Slavjansk, Ukraine, the history of the North American lawn, current construction efforts in Dubai, UAE and Walt Disney World, USA, recent developments in China, and the past civilizations of Easter Island and the Greenland Norse, the thesis attempts to expose, through irony and juxtaposition, the absurd tragedy of our delusions.

1 . Nietzsche, Frederich. Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ. Toronto: Penguin Books Canada Ltd. 2003. p 31.

Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Waterloo

School Location:Canada - Ontario

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:architecture perception gallery


Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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