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This article is taken from PN Review 249, Volume 46 Number 1, September - October 2019.

Darren Almond, ‘Present Form Exposed’ Rod Mengham
Across all media – film, photography, painting, sculpture, audio-installation – the work of Darren Almond hovers over the puzzle of time and how it is understood, measured, sensed and represented. Almond is perhaps most well-known for his uncanny photographic compositions that offer meditations on the natural world and its indifference to the place we give it in our system of meanings. Present Form Exposed is a trio of monumental photographs of a glacier in Patagonia. What we see is a cross-section of ice that has not been exposed since deep prehistory. The visible particles lodged in successive layers of ice are redolent enough, but what have also been found in this glacier that we do not see are the sub-atomic particles originating from outside the solar system. The visual data only implies what this photograph has to reveal about the Anthropocene. This is art that gives us a core-sample of the exponentially catastrophic effect of global warming. Almond’s triptych of long exposure photographs is an icon of our own impact on time-space relations.

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